Taking the Travel Bull by the Horns

Have you ever been to Europe?

I haven’t.

Is that kind of sad?

I feel sort of strange about it, I guess, because I don’t think of myself as a person who hasn’t traveled (I have a few stamps on my passport and a whole lot of miles on the car from our cross-country road trip),ย but I am not going to pout about it because Jeff and I are getting our butts in gear… I’ve been looking up travel info and wandering around the bookstore a lot more than usual lately, which is a sign that we will finally be traveling overseas this year.

I have no idea what we’ll be doing once we get there (well Jeff will be at a conference but other than that it’s up in the air), but right now we’re planning for a trip to Paris and Portugal, and maybe London too, around my birthday in May.

My Dad recommended a few places we should visit while we’re there, and I am sure my mom will too, so I am getting pretty excited – looking up stuff for the trip and day dreaming about how much fun it will be to hit up some awesome shopping explore a new place for a week or two.

Which brings me to what today’s post is really about..a shop called Mercantile Mill. Jamison Hinerย makes these black and white hand painted bus scrolls from various cities around the world (Paris and London included). And each one is just lovely! Look at the detail on these things…

They look like antique works of art, but they are actually brand spanking new and painted by hand on thick, handcut canvas. And oh yeah, they’re really big too! So if you can’t travel this year, at least you can make your home feel more worldly, right?

I love it when I find shops like this. You’ll have to check it out.

19 comments | Click here to reply

Thank you so everyone for the comments and suggestions. With your advice, we’ll have the best trip ever. Much appreciated.


Being British I am totally biased but come to London! Ah it is such an amazing city…then so is Paris and so many other places! I’m sure you will have a wonderful time planning it all ๐Ÿ™‚


These pieces are stunning. The antique lover in me rejoices and admires all of the effort and texture in each one. I spent four impressionable childhood years in Italy. Your artist soul will soak in European art and culture like a sponge! Make sure to take beautiful photos to share with us!


Hi, I’m going to Poland in March for the 1st time. My husband was there for a few days last year and said that I must go as I would love the architecture. So….hoping to be inspired….taking the camera. Really looking forward to it, and our journey is not so long as we stay in Scotland.


wow, it sounds like you are going to have a great time. I’m from London so obviously I’m going to say it’s a must have but Paris is a truly beautfiul city so don’t leave it out. ๐Ÿ˜€ xx


I’m european (I’m from Rome!) and I think that you have to visit Europe absolutly!! I love London and Berlin, too and You should visit Italy too, of course! ๐Ÿ˜€


Hi again Brittni – yes that was a chocolate croissant – they are EVERYWHERE around Museum Island in Berlin – yum! xx


I was just in Europe over the summer on a 14 day tour and it was amazing. Anywhere you go is beautiful. I especially loved Italy and Switzerland.

xo kristen


Congrats on the travel plans! I’m a huge travel junky so a thumbs up from me. The journey itself is all part of the experience, I love the buzz of an airport and wondering where all the folks are going to. I love the perspective you get from the plane of our planet below. I’m a frequent Atlantic crosser (going back to the UK to visit family) and I never tire of it.

I recommend Lonely planet books, I never travel without one. They’e are accurate and honest and give a great breakdown of things to do depending on the time you have.

Have fun planning!
PS I also recommend beautiful Paris, it’s my favorite city in the world!


Hey Gina. How great that you are able to go to Ireland every year. Sounds amazing.

And Yvonne- yes that is our exact plan at the moment. So I am looking forward to going to your favorite cities. Hehe.

Lyndsey- oh yes, my brother said the same thing about Lufthansa. Thanks for the advice. I’ll check out that book.



oooh, FUN! how exciting to look forward to your trip! I highly recommend using Rick Steves’ guidebooks to research the cities you plan to visit — they were totally invaluable when we went to europe a few years ago. and i second kasia — lufthansa is THE greatest airline ever.

lyndsey @ the stationery place

If you are going to Paris, London and Lisbon your Trip will Be wonderful. These are my favorite European cities and I keep visiting them again and again!
Enjoy planning your trip!


So fun! My husband is from Ireland, so we go there every year…I have been nine times. I also studied in Spain while in college and spent time in Italy and London with my family. Europe is the best. I could easily live there – you will love it!!


Thanks Lara. I just went over to your blog and I love all the photos you took of Berlin. Did I see a chocolate croissant in there? Because that pretty much sold me on Berlin. ๐Ÿ™‚


So excited for you! As a Brit, I can obviously say you MUST come to London. But my fave European cities are: Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and now Berlin. Just got back (photos on my blog of you want to take a peek). It was uhmazing. x


Hey Kasia! Thank you SO much for sharing your experience with me. I had no idea to what to expect so this helps tremendously. And I definitely think I’ll be ordering a glass of wine. ๐Ÿ™‚


As someone who moved from Poland to the US a while ago and has gone back and forth about 20 times… yeah, the plane ride is long and sometimes a little unpleasant (babies crying, drinks spilled, talkative neighbors, too hot, too cold), but the last few times I’ve asked for a glass of wine with dinner, and… woke up in the morning. The flight in 2011 on Lufthansa was so pleasant that I thanked each attendant I could – they just pampered us and were soooo nice! (Even in the economy section.) And then once I was sitting next to a scientist who was involved in sending a probe into space, and it was me who spilled water on his seat, which started the conversation, which turned out to be so fun ๐Ÿ™‚
Travel is adventure… and in my opinion it’s worth all the inconvenience. That said, we’ll see how it goes with the 11-hour flight to Istanbul in a few weeks, next to my husband, who is like a kid on long flights – maybe I should bring crayons, puzzles, books… ๐Ÿ™‚


Thanks Brandi. Both of those things have stopped us from going in the past too – especially the plane ride because Jeff really doesn’t like to fly, and that is a super long flight! But we’ll deal with it. I am sure our time there will far outweigh the bumbum travel time to get there. Have a great night!


I would truly love to visit Europe – you are so lucky. You are going to have an amazing time. Two things stop me – the plane ride and the money. I could swing the money if I had time to save but I just could never take a plane ride that long.

Anyway, that is amazing that you are going to DO IT! Have fun planning!


Keeping It Indie
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