2022 in Review

2022 was definitely a year of travel! My first trip was in late Jan/Feb for almost a month in Honolulu, Oahu. Although I went by myself, I had lined up a few dates through online dating and also went to a couple of Meetup.com happy hours. It was a nice escape from the winter here in Northern Kentucky.

I left in early April for almost three months in Europe, 5 countries, 21 accommodations, with 18 day trips. It was a trip of a lifetime! When you travel solo, you tend to meet people more easily. I met a man at the beach in Mykonos, Greece and had dinner with him, a man and his family from a Facebook Europe travel group in Colmar, France, another lady from the same group in Colmar, France, and was invited to a friend’s country home in Chania, Greece.

I started in Rome for six nights with day trips to Tivoli and Orvieto. (Photo at Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy)

I traveled by train most of the time. Next I spent seven nights in Spoleto with day trips to Perugia, Assisi, and Spello. (Photo in the town of Spello)

My next destination was Florence where I spent eight nights with day trips to Siena (photo below), Lucca, and San Gimignano.

With nine nights in Paris, I was able to take day trips to Rouen, Versailles, Chartres, and Troyes (photo below).

Rouen shown below

During my five nights in Tours, France I took a shuttle bus to see some amazing Chateaus: Villandry (the gardens)…

Azay-Le-Rideau…

Cheverny…

Amboise, Chambord, Clos Luce, and Chenonceau.

I also had my hair colored/cut and had a spectacular 90 minute massage!

The seven nights I spent in Colmar, France were some of my favorite. It’s a magical place.

I took day trips to five quaint towns surrounding Colmar: Riquewihr, Kayserberg-Vignoble, Ribeauville, Equesheim, and Turckheim.

I also took a day trip from Colmar to Strasbourg, which I loved!

I began my time in Germany with five nights in Freiburg Im Breisgau (Black Forest) with day trips to a couple of area lakes. My Airbnb host let me borrow her bicycle which I rode often. I also went to a day spa with indoor/outdoor mineral pools.

Next, I made the journey through towns along the Romantic Road and spent one night each in Wurzburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Dinkelsbuhl (photo below), Noerdlingen and Augsburg.

The last stop was in Fuessen for two nights. The Neuschwanstein Castle is located here. The first photo was taken while on the uphill walk to the castle…

I flew from Munich to Mykonos where I spent four nights.

Then took a ferry to Santorini for three nights.

To finish my Greek Islands experience, I flew to Chania, Crete, and spent three glorious days.

Next up was Switzerland…I flew to Zurich, took the train to Lucerne and spent two nights.

I backtracked and spent three nights at Lake Como, visiting Varenna, Menaggio and Belaggio (photo below).

I spent eight additional nights in Switzerland and discovered it’s my favorite European country! The hiking is amazing!

Took the Bernina Express Scenic train to St. Moritz for two nights. (Photo taken from a hike)

Took the Glacier Express Scenic train to Zermatt for two nights. (Photo taken from a hike)

Spent four nights in Lauterbrunnen (Photo taken from a hike)

In September I took a 10 day road trip through Michigan, Traverse City, Taquamenon Falls State Park, Marquette, Munising in the Upper Peninsula, and Mackinac Island. My dear friend Sherry joined me for the UP and Mackinac. (Photo: Pictured Rocks Boat Tour)

In October, a friend and I drove to the Smoky Mountains and hiked for a couple of days.

Finally, in December I found an inexpensive ($160 including luggage) flight to St. Petersburg, Florida and rented a beautiful Airbnb for 10 days. A new girlfriend joined me for part of the trip.

The holidays are rough for me since my husband and only child passed away a few years ago. I don’t contemplate suicide like I used to. I’m getting used to living alone. On Christmas Day I had brunch with my brother and his wife and then went to a get-together at a girlfriend’s home.

A few other things to note: I had my bathrooms and kitchen remodeled and after a six month break from online dating, joined five sites and have gone on too many first dates to remember ๐Ÿ™‚ I also joined a health club and have been working out pretty regularly.

I’m writing this on my deceased son’s birthday. We named his Justin, because he was born Just-in time for the new year. I miss him so much. I’ve been invited to go out this evening, but I’ve decided to stay home.

I’m looking forward to a trip I planned to Mexico City for the month of February. I’ve always gone to beaches when I’ve visited Mexico, so this will be a nice change.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Bachelor Number Three

Since Bachelor Number One and Two didn’t work out, I went out twice with Bachelor Number Three, a surfer dude and native Hawaiian. Our first date lasted for over 12 hours. He picked me up before sunrise at my apartment and drove me around the island sightseeing. Our first stop was to view the amazing sunrise…

He was my favorite of the three, but since it was nearing the end of my month-long stay, we didn’t keep in contact.

A surfer preparing for the day…

This is known as China Man’s Hat…

There are cool rock formations all over the island…

We went to Waimea Botanical Gardens and walked thru the lush gardens to the waterfall where you can swim. I had my bathing suit on and the water was so refreshing!

We stopped for a late lunch and I paid for his as a thank you for the wonderful day!

Upon arrival back at Waikiki Beach, where I was staying, we sat on the beach and watched the sun set. What an amazing day!

Bachelor Number Two

As I said in my last post, since I was spending a month in Oahu, Hawaii in January/February of this year, I thought it would be nice to meet some people, so I had tentative dates set up with three men. Bachelor Number Two had lived on the island for over 30 years and was originally from Germany. I ended up going out with him three times. For our first date, he took me on a 2-3 mile round-trip hike to this spot that hang gliders use. The view is amazing! Obama’s compound is down below. #localsknow

Our view as we approached the scenic overlook.

For our second date, we went out for dinner. I paid for his as a way to say thank you for showing me around.

We drove to the North shore for our third date and I met a small group of his friends at a barbecue. It was fun, but I didn’t have chemistry with him.

This was our secluded bbq site, except for the rooster ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Date While on a Solo Vacation

After my husband passed in 2018 I began online dating in 2019 through a few different sites. Dating in your early 60’s is quite different than when you’re younger. I would take a month or two off when I became frustrated with it. I decided to reach out to a few men that lived in Oahu before my arrival in January of 2022 and got to know a little about them.

Bachelor Number One

My first date was with a man that was going through a lot with his ex wife concerning their child. He drove us around the island sightseeing. I bought his lunch as a way to say thank you for his time.

We stopped at various spots for the views. I know many of you would be hesitant to get in a car with a stranger, but I am the type of person to take calculated risks and I listen to my instincts.

Since I’m retired I can move any where and tried to imagine living on Oahu, but decided the island life wasn’t for me. Next up is Bachelor Number Two.