I discovered this book before we took our kids on our trip around the world in 2007-08. Perhaps just as much as the idea of traveling around the world, I fell in love with this family. Author Janet Gillespie keeps it real traveling with her husband and four kids ages 8-16 around Europe. They aren’t always thrilled, it’s not always fun, but it’s definitely an adventure and she paints what she sees with authentic strokes, like this:
Our gondolier shouted to other gondoliers and occasionally burst into scraps of song. With his single oar he sent the gondola through the pink evening like a bird through the air and this swift silent flight put us all under a spell. Billy, who sat in the bow with the curved beak of the gondola rising behind his head, was too overcome even to smile. Solemn as a little owl, he stared at the people who waved at us from bridges.
And then a little later, still in Venice at a museum with the four kids:
The gigantic canvases of Venetians eating and drinking left the younger members very cold, but fortunately we found paintings of the Martyrdom of Saint Ursula which had great appeal.
I love the honesty and humor. I convinced my book club to read this book and we still agree, it’s one of our favorites.