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travel sketchbooks

When we went on our extended family vacation to Rome my Mom brought sketchbooks for each of the kids. We asked them to draw a picture or write something at the end of each day, but we also brought them on many of our outings. It was wonderful way to document the trip, and a really fun way to see what stood out in the kids minds. I love all the drawings they did, and stories they wrote, but the memory that stands out the most is from the day we went to Palatine Hill, the Colosseum, and the Forum. We had waited in a very long line and had climbed a windy path to the top of the hill and decided to sit down and rest for a bit. The kids all got out their books and started drawing, getting totally absorbed. Everyone who walked by smiled or commented at the sight of these little kids sketching Rome, which only made the kids more proud of their work.



Owen's drawing of Palatine Hill. He really loves to do architectural drawings! 


Of the 4 kids, Owen was the one who really embraced the journal concept.
 We all loved reading his "Dear Me," entries each night.



Oliver's drawing of Gladiators; note the gelato spoon columns.


 Oliver loved taking the metro (buying the tickets and collecting the used
tickets were favorite pastimes of all the kids).



Bea did this drawing of St. Peter's Basilica on the day of our arrival. We drove by it in the taxi on the way to our apartment. I was amazed at how much detail she noticed in that brief moment...and almost fainted when she labeled it from her memory of the conversation in the car!



I neglected to mention in my first Rome post that we were in Rome for Easter. None of us are Catholic but my Dad and I both were intrigued with the idea of going to the Vatican on Easter Sunday and seeing the crowd and possibly seeing or hearing the Pope. This was not unanimous, and we all knew it was as crazy as going to Times Square on New Year's Eve (something none of us would ever consider!!) but we decided to go. We got there just as the Pope gave his blessing but we could not get very close since the crowd was so big. At lunch that day Bea drew this picture. When she finished drawing the Pope she started on the female figure and I asked her who it was. She said it was the Pope's girlfriend. I explained that the Pope is not allowed to have a girlfriend, that he has to dedicate his life to God. She shrugged and without missing a beat labeled her drawing God. I love it!



This is Lila's entry on our first day. We rented one big apartment that had room for almost all of us, and then a second little apartment in the same building for one couple. I love all the details she included in this drawing. We were at the top of a cobblestone street, in an apartment building with lots of winding stairs, roof terraces, and big shuttered windows. She even included the daybed on the roof where Ben took a nap that day!



None of us had ever been Castel Sant'Angelo before and we really enjoyed exploring the huge fortress. This drawing of the Angel by Lila is one of my favorites...I guess I let that show a little too much. Bea got jealous and tried to copy it.

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  • Response
    Truly interesting update here thanks for sharing it that would be enjoyable. I also like the sketches on your website and pretty enjoyable as well. I would love to share my sketching sample I hope you will like it too.

Reader Comments (3)

i love these! i want to see them in person! god as the pope's girlfriend is hilarious and so bea... and i love lila's dashes to separate her words! so cute!

April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkori

This entry actually made me cry. Those drawing are so incredibly beautiful and whimsical and genius and I'm just full in my heart of how amazing your family is. Wow.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJordana Martin

Amy, I'm so glad Kim Agnew mentioned your blog and this entry on Facebook--it is just wonderful! Your kids are so talented (not surprising) and their drawings are full of life, charm and whimsy. I was also excited to read about your trip because we are similarly going to Rome and Pompeii with our kids and my mother-in-law in June. My boys are a little older--12 and 15--so will be easier but I'm so glad to hear how much your children enjoyed Rome! We are all very excited! Any favorite restaurants? Glad to know all is well with you! Best, Jill

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