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)…



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 🙂 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!

Elia Beach and my date on Mykonos Island

There are lots of beaches to choose from on Mykonos and I chose Elia beach because it’s the longest stretch of Beach and there’s a bus (€4.6 r/t ) that leaves from the Old Port, which was a 15 min. walk from my hotel and takes about 25 minutes to get there.  It actually stops in front of my hotel, but I wanted to see the Old Port anyway.  After researching I knew there would be umbrellas and sun beds available for a fee (€25 per person). One side of the beach is gay-friendly and clothing optional.  The water was cold but refreshing! I would have gone for a walk on the beach but after walking 300 miles according to my Fitbit since April 2nd, I thought I would just relax.

That morning I made reservations for dinner at Karavaki, located less than a 5 minutes walk from my hotel. I made the reservation for two because I thought they might not fit me in if I said one.  While I was waiting for the bus at Elia Beach, I began talking with a man that was also waiting. His name was Olli. He’s from Finland, but splits his time between Belgium, where he works and a city south of Amsterdam where his children and other home is located. Anyway I mentioned my dinner reservation to him and said if he wanted to join me he could just show up. He asked for my phone number, which I gave to him. I told him if he decided to come he needed to be on time because I was going to tell them that my partner didn’t feel well. He arrived to the restaurant a few minutes before I arrived.

We had an enjoyable dinner and the view from the patio was amazing. I made it clear on the bus that I would be paying for my dinner but he insisted on taking care of the bill. That was his last day on the island for his vacation. He walked me back to my hotel and I showed him the steps he needed to go down to get to the Old Port area where his hotel was located (a 15 min. walk) He was afraid of getting lost and doesn’t use Google Maps so I had my hotel call him a taxi.

The view from our table

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.

Four nights on Mykonos Island, Greece

It was the end of May of this year when I took four trains from Fussen and 3 ½ hours later I was at the Munich Airport for my flight to Mykonos. Side note about taking trains in Germany. Occasionally trains will split, meaning the front goes one way and the back would disengage at some point on the ride and go somewhere different. Since the scrolling messages on the platforms are in German, it’s wise to ask someone. It happened on one of the trains on my journey to the airport and numerous other rides I took during my almost two week stay.

I was picked up by my hotel’s shuttle and transported 10 minutes to my lodging. I’d only been to Greece once in 2010 for part of a day in Corfu while on a Mediterranean cruise. After checking in, I ordered a daiquiri from the pool bar (photos below) and walked 15 minutes round-trip to a grocery. Mykonos is lovely!

The Kato Mili, constructed in the 16th Century by the Venetians, are beautiful!

Little Venice Quarter

It was only a five minute walk downhill from my hotel to the center of town. My room was very nice.

The pool was so refreshing after a morning of exploring. The weather was perfect in the high 70’s.

My front patio and view.

That 13 euro daiquiri I mentioned.

p.s.  If you’ve just began reading…I planned an 11 week, 5 European country, 21 accommodations solo trip from April – June of 2022.  Photos were taken with my LG Velvet Android phone.