BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for the 'Outside' Category

« Home

Wild animal encounter (and why I am terrified of alligators)

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Every Thursday, I try to participate in Travelers’ Night In (TNI) on Twitter.  It’s in the middle of my workday so sometimes it’s difficult.  TNI basically is a global discussion about, well, travel (read more about it here), with different topics each week.  This week’s topic is “animal encounters” and that got me thinking…..

I’ve had a few animal encounters in my life, most of them occurring in or around Yellowstone.  But my most infamous animal encounter story goes a little something like this:  I was 10 and with my family on our annual Florida vacation.  The five of us were bike riding on then-undeveloped Sanibel Island.  We were biking for hours on narrow trails that bisected swamps and cut through heavily wooded areas.  Dad led the pack, followed by Mom, then me and Felicia, and Frankie was taking up the rear.  When it was time to start heading back to the bike rental place, we left the scary trails in the woods and rode out onto a residential street.  We were happily biking along, admiring the big, new houses on that particular street, when all five of us came to a screeching halt.  I swear, it was like something out of a cartoon.  A whole line of Folinazzos on bikes braking and skidding because of the massive, greenish/blackish reptilian figure that appeared a little ways down the road.  My breath was lost somewhere between my diaphragm and my mouth; all I could muster was a breathless, “Is that….. an alligator?!”  By golly, it sure was an alligator.  At the time, in my 10-year-old mind, that enormous alligator turned its head, looked at my family, and said to itself, “Oooh, lunch.”  At the same time, a disturbing thought penetrated my paralyzing fear:  a few days prior, in a one-day-when-you’re-on-Jeopardy!-moment, my father informed us that alligators are capable of running up to thirty-five miles per hour.  All I could think of was my then-four-year-old brother at the back of the line being unable to pedal his little legs fast enough to outride that alligator.  I was snapped to by my father’s voice instructing all of us to slowly and calmly turn our bikes around and begin pedaling in the opposite direction.  I thought I was going to pass out.  That alligator almost ate my whole family!

True story.  Well, almost.  The reality is that the alligator was crossing the street about thirty yards down.  Now, in my thirty-six-year-old mind, I’m pretty sure it didn’t even turn its head and see us.  But that doesn’t make for a very fun story now, does it?

Posted by Francesca

Gone fishin’

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

We’re checking out for a weekend to head to the land of Badgers and beer, Cheeseheads and creameries. Hope to have some good fish tales when we return.

Posted by Francesca

Snowshoeing at Fullersburg Woods – Oak Brook, Illinois

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007
Yesterday I participated in REI's Snowshoeing 101 clinic. Thankfully there was enough snow to actually snowshoe. I think I've found myself a new hobby! Snowshoeing is pretty easy to do; if you can walk, you can ... [Continue reading this entry]

Let it snow

Monday, February 12th, 2007
Here in the Chicago area we have gotten only 13 1/2 inches of snow this winter. That total is kind of disappointing for snow sport enthusiasts like myself. Such is not the case over on the other side ... [Continue reading this entry]

My snow angel

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

My snow angel, originally uploaded by superstarsinger.

[Continue reading this entry]

Colors of McKinley Woods – Channahon, Illinois

Sunday, October 29th, 2006
Being the end of October, I know the days of cloudless skies and warm-ish temperatures are numbered here in the Chicago area. Today was one of those days: crisp, clear blue skies, temperature in the low 50s; it ... [Continue reading this entry]

Frankie’s fishing trip

Thursday, August 17th, 2006
Our brother Frankie has been asking me to write something about and post pictures from his latest fishing trip to Winneconne, Wisconsin. He was up there in mid-July with our Aunt Donna and Uncle Daniel and our cousins John, ... [Continue reading this entry]

St. Josaphat Summerfest

Friday, June 23rd, 2006
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Head over to St. Josaphat Church at 2311 North Southport for their 17th Annual Summerfest. It is one of the more relaxed street festivals in Chicago but it's still ... [Continue reading this entry]

Weekend festivals

Thursday, June 15th, 2006
I've got another fun-filled and action packed weekend ahead of me. Hopefully the recovery time won't be as long as last weekend... anyway, summertime in Chicago means street festivals and two of my favorites are going on this weekend. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Not exactly a drive-in…

Monday, May 15th, 2006
But you can still watch movies outside on a big screen. The 7th Annual Chicago Outdoor Film Festival will begin on July 18th at Butler Field in Grant Park (Lake Shore Drive and Monroe). Admission is free ... [Continue reading this entry]