My memorial day weekend started with having a friend over, and I served a charcuterie board, my first ever. I was proud of it! On Saturday, two of my friends came over and we bicycled to an event in Cincinnati … Continue reading
Tag Archives: Nature
Hiking in Iztaccihuatl – Popocatepetl National Park
This morning, I walked less than 10 minutes from my Airbnb to meet the tour I signed up for through Airbnb Experiences, to hike at Iztaccihuatl – Popocatepetl National Park. The drive there took about an hour and a half, … Continue reading
A few hours exploring Coyoacan
This morning I ubered 6 miles (25 minutes) to an area of Mexico City called Coyoacan. My first destination was a park called Viveros de Coyoacán. There were lots of people jogging and doing yoga. This man had a way with squirrels.
Jardín Centenario and Jardín Hidalgo are right next to each other and are the center of town.
The interior of the church in the park was gorgeous!
I hadn’t eaten breakfast so I went to Pepe Coyotes Coyoacán, a place I had read about on a blog. I was the only gringo there. I ordered the same thing someone else had because it looked good.
The Coyoacan Market filled an entire city block.
The Plaza de la Conchita is pretty.
The Frida Kahlo Park was the highlight for me. First I videotaped a group dancing and then I took photos around the park. I ended up back by them. I showed them a dance I knew and we were dancing together and laughing!
I wanted to go to the Frida Museum but after checking a couple of days ago, there were no tickets for a while.
MODO Museo del Objeto del Objeto (now it’s the Museum of Broken Relationships)
Yesterday was a day of rest, so today I decided to go on a bike ride and utilize my Ecobici bike sharing membership. I rode 9 mi and here are some of the interesting things I saw. I had a … Continue reading
Historic Center of Mexico City
Today started with a 4-mile Uber ride (20 minutes) to Murales de la Secretaria de Educacion Publica. There’s an amazing volume of Diego Rivera murals located here.
A few minutes walk from there is the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral.
I walked less than 20 minutes to the Palacio de Belles Artes museum. Mexico definitely values their senior citizens. I have free entry to most of the museums here.
Located next to the Palacio de Belles Artes Museum is Mexico’s oldest park, Alameda Central. There are beautiful fountains and trees in the Park.
Museo de Arte Popular is a few minutes walk from the park. This was my favorite museum today. I tend to like quirky whimsical art.
A few of the sites I saw in between my destinations.
I don’t have plans for tomorrow yet. There’s so much to see!
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!
Bike riding at St. Petersburg Beach
These are a few of the sites I saw while bicycling at St. Petersburg Beach. I cycled about 8 mi round trip.
Bicycling is a great way to get some exercise and see things at a slower pace.
St. Petersburg and Treasure Island Beach
I’ve been to the beach a few times since I arrived here in St. Petersburg, Florida. My favorite things to do at the beach are to walk and people watch.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Autumn
My friend Scott and I left Tuesday Morning on a road trip to the Smoky Mountains National Park. I had booked an Airbnb for two nights above Gatlinburg. It was more room than we needed, with three bedrooms and two baths. The highlight of our lodging was the view from the balcony on the third floor.
The following day we did a 2 1/2 mile hike at Laurel Falls.
Autumn is my favorite season, I love the colors!
We stopped to check out Mannish Branch Falls, but weren’t able to cross the creek to see it up close.
Our next stop was “the Sinks”.
Our second hike was 5.5 miles at Rainbow Falls. The elevation change was 1,500 ft.
The mountains were dusted with snow.
Since it hadn’t rained much for a while, the falls were smaller than usual but still beautiful.
We saw two bears from the car.
All together we walked over 10 miles yesterday, and my body knew it. After a hot shower, some pizza, and a couple of Tylenol, I was almost good as new.
Meetup.com Hike in Ludlow, Kentucky
Yesterday, I led 11 hikers on a wooded 3.6 mile loop trail at Devou Park in Ludlow, Kentucky. The trails are seven minutes from my home. I’ve been a member of Meetup.com for 15 years and am an Assistant Organizer for the Tri-State Hiking Group, one of the meetups. Recently, I’ve been making more of an effort to get out to meet people and do more activities. In the past three years since the death of my husband and son, I’ve tended to isolate and lost my passion for most things in life, except travel, which I’ve used as a form of therapy. It was a great 1 ½ hr. hike with wonderful weather.
The leaves are finally beginning to change color.
Afterwards, a couple of the hikers and I went to The Standard Covington Restaurant in Covington, Kentucky for dinner/drinks. This morning I scheduled the same hike for an upcoming Saturday.
Pure Michigan Road Trip – Day 9
On Friday, 9/10/22 my friend Sherry and I walked (I rode my bicycle) less than 10 minutes from our hotel in Mackinaw City to the Star Line ferry that takes you to Mackinac Island. The ferry ride takes about 20-30 minutes. There are two ferries to choose from, the other is Shepler’s. They’re about the same cost. I took my bicycle on the ferry for an extra charge of $14 and Sherry rented one on the island for 5 hours. We cycled 8 miles around the island. We both agreed it was the best cycling experience we’ve had because the island is car free, the paths are wide and flat. You do need to watch out for the horse dung and the multitude of horse drawn carriages close to the main areas of town.
We passed beautiful homes.
We both agreed the parents of these children shouldn’t have allowed them to climb these rocks.
We walked up lots of steps for this view.
Back in town…
About two-thirds of the way around the island, we stopped for lunch at the Grand Hotel. They had a buffet for $75 (nope), so we opted for sitting in the bar area and had their sliders which were good.
The inside is quite colorful and pretty.
Down by the docks…
Leaving the island…
Later that evening, the view of the moon was beautiful from our hotel room…
Suddenly there was a beautiful display of fireworks which was quite unexpected…
My 10 day Pure Michigan road trip was everything I had imaged!
Pure Michigan Road Trip – Day 8
On Thursday, 9/8/22, my friend Sherry and I drove three hours from Marquette to Mackinaw City for a two-night stay. We arrived around noon and since we couldn’t check-in to our hotel until later, explored the town a bit and had lunch. Of course we purchased some of the famous fudge.
Me being silly…
We drove 5 minutes to our hotel, the Best Western Plus Dockside Waterfront Inn and checked in. The view of Lake Huron from our balcony was lovely.
After settling in, we relaxed at the shore…I even went swimming for a few minutes.
We made our way to the pool/hot tub for more fun and had the place to ourselves.
After showering we walked less than 10 minutes to the Hook Lakeside Grill for a drink and dinner.
Tomorrow I’ll post about our trip to Mackinac Island
Pure Michigan Road Trip – Day 7 – Part 2 – Pictured Rocks Cruise
Continuing from Part 1 of Day 7, we arrived at the Pictured Rocks Cruises and boarded the 2:00pm cruise that lasts 2 ½ hrs. There’s an open-air top deck and enclosed bottom deck. Originally, I was planning to hike at Pictured Rocks, but with more research discovered the best way to see the beautiful cliffs/rocks was by boat.
The rock formations were beautiful!
My friend Sherry
The Captain took us into a small cove
We drove back to the Airbnb and walked across the street to Blackrocks Brewery and split a flight of beer and then walked 5 minutes to a pizza place for dinner.
Another beautiful and fun day in the UP.
Pure Michigan Road Trip – Day 7 – Part 1
Wednesday morning, 9/7/22 my friend Sherry and I drove 50 minutes from Marquette to Munising Falls. It’s only a ½ mile round-trip walk to the falls.
Back in the car, it’s only 10 minutes to Wagner Falls
Next, I drove 20 minutes to the Upper and Lower Overlooks near Miner’s Beach. The view was beautiful from the Upper Overlook.
The Lower Overlook view is nice also…
Lastly we drove 20 minutes to the Pictured Rocks Cruises, arriving at 1:20pm and waited in line for the 2:00pm departure to see Pictured Rocks from the water. I’ll post about that tomorrow.
Pure Michigan Road Trip – Day 6
We started our first full day in Marquette driving to Laughing Whitefish Falls State Park, where we had a short hike to a waterfall.
Next, we drove to Sugarloaf Mountain and walked up 304 steps to the viewing platforms. Wow!!
Lake Superior is large enough to fit five states in it.
Our last stop was Presque Isle Park. We drove around the one way loop and stopped a couple of times to view the lovely scenery.
After stopping at our Airbnb to freshen up and have a drink, we walked to The Vierling Restaurant and Marquette Harbor Restaurant.
We shared a smoked whitefish appetizer and had a delicious Whitefish entree (it looked so good I forgot to take a photo 🙂
Another wonderful day!