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My travel bucket list: Everyone else is doing it so why can’t I?

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

It’s not news to anyone that I like to travel, that I plan trips months in advance.  It’s what keeps me going; I can’t help it.  Some folks think I have traveled extensively – and I have.  I’m not ungrateful for the trips I have taken; however, there is still so much of this world that I want to see!  When I think about certain trips or destinations, my thoughts are always followed up with, “Yeah, I’ll get there someday….”  But what if I don’t?  What if I run out of time?  What if life really gets in the way?  I was thinking about that the other day and it really depressed me.  It’s not the fact that I haven’t been to some places already, but that I may not get to experience them at all.  On a related note, I have been seeing a lot written lately about “bucket lists” as they pertain to travel – places that people must see before they die (or “kick the bucket”).  It got me to thinking about my own bucket list.  Do I dare compile such a list, put it in writing?  I’m afraid it’s going to be really long!  And what if I don’t make it to all these places?!  Nevertheless, here it goes:

1 – Spend at least one month in Calabria and at least one month in the area around Napoli to explore and learn about my family’s roots.

2 – Go to Bhutan.

3 – Go fly-fishing in Mongolia.

4 – Go to Argentina and visit vineyards, drink lots of malbec, listen to tango music, and just take it all in.  (Side note:  Argentina is my current travel obsession.)

5 – Return to Africa.  At the top of my list to visit in Africa are Mozambique, Ethiopia, and South Africa.

6 – See Dry Tortugas National Park

7 – Travel around Scandinavia.  I’ve been obsessed with the region, specifically Norway, since I was a young girl.

8 – Visit Isle Royale National Park.

9 – Go to Alaska, and not via cruise ship if I can help it.

10 – Western Canada, namely Banff and Vancouver.


12 – Finally make it to Glacier National Park

I think that about covers it.  Of course, all of the above will be in addition to returning to Yellowstone with my daughter and then taking her to Disney World… Oh dear, I see another list in the making.

What’s on your bucket list?

Posted by Francesca

My foray into the Twittersphere

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

I had to see what the fuss was all about. I joined Twitter for the first time about a year ago and just didn’t get it. So I deleted my account. I tried again a few months later; I still wasn’t getting it. But then I noticed that so many organizations and individuals I have an interest in were saying, “find more information on Twitter,” “get updates on Twitter….” I figured the third time would have to be the charm and, sure enough, it was. I finally “get” Twitter and I’ve become an active participant. I’ve realized, too, how useful it is in keeping up with the latest information from and about, say, my favorite sports teams and animal welfare organizations. But I’ve also realized that there are a whole lot of self-important people out there, seemingly self-proclaimed experts, compiling numbered lists of the “best of”, and dictating “the dos and don’ts” of this and that. But my favorite (sarcasm) tweets or tips of all are the ones that outline how to tweet and what exactly to tweet about. The explanation most provided is that your followers don’t care about petty details, or you shouldn’t clog your followers’ feeds with stuff that doesn’t matter. Well ya know what, followers? It matters to me, and if you don’t like what I’m tweeting or how often I tweet, then unfollow me. I don’t take myself that seriously. My bio lists that I’m a working mom, travel nut, animal advocate, and sports freak; I don’t keep any of that a secret, and that’s what I’ll be tweeting about most of the time. If that’s not what you’re into, then, again, unfollow me. It won’t hurt my feelings.

And, yes, I do follow Alyssa Milano on Twitter. #dontjudgeme

Posted by Francesca

An inspiration to other families?

Sunday, March 28th, 2010
Lucia was not exactly 100% perfect on all three of our flights out to Arizona. On the first leg, which was Chicago to Minneapolis, she got a little cranky. She cried a bit but nothing too crazy. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Big deal

Sunday, February 8th, 2009
Cubs' pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in just five days and I don't even care. Normally, I'm counting down the days until Spring Training, beginning sometime in November, but not this year. I'm still so mad ... [Continue reading this entry]

Crunch time

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008
Yes, another year has gone by and it’s pretty scary how quickly time is passing. Now with the holidays behind us, it is crunch time. Christmas is over – we all had a wonderful time spending days and ... [Continue reading this entry]

I just don’t get it

Sunday, October 5th, 2008
The Cubs kick butt all season, decidedly win the NL Central Division, and get swept out of the first round of the playoffs by a team that squeaked in. I'm shocked, confused, upset, sick to my stomach - you ... [Continue reading this entry]

Thoughts from the first 2008 visit to Wrigley

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Before last night, it had been almost two years since I went to my last Cubs home game. It was good to be back at Wrigley and see the Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-5. Felicia and I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Someone call the Punctuation Police!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
Yesterday, as part of Opening Day ceremonies at Wrigley Field, the Cubs unveiled a statue of Cubs legend, Ernie Banks. I watched the replay of the ceremony during the 40-minute rain delay and, shortly after the statue was uncovered, I ... [Continue reading this entry]


Saturday, January 12th, 2008
My friend Angela L. sent this email to me and I agree with the first one about meeting the wrong people before you meet the right one. I've met my fair share of "wrong people." Some of the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Merry New Year!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008
I was able to tear myself away from the raucous party we're having here to write a quick Happy New Year wish. Actually, there is no raucous party going on. Unless you count playing Rummikub with your mother and ... [Continue reading this entry]