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!

Santorini Food and Wine Tour

Rebecca, a friend that owns http://www.santorinilocaladventures.com invited me to a complimentary tour while I was on Santorini. It began in front of the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos, located between the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli.

We strolled along Firostefani’s pathways, tasted local yummy food and spirits, and admired breathtaking views. Here was our group.

We tasted a variety of wines

The tour ended in Fira. It was a fun evening!

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.

Santorini: Catamaran Cruise with Lunch & Open Bar

My catamaran cruise was amazing!  I booked the “Santorini: Catamaran Cruise with Lunch & Open Bar” cruise through Get Your Guide, but it was run by a local company, www.vistayachting.com.  After being picked up at 2:15pm it took about an hour to pick up a number of other people scattered on the island, so I had a little tour of the island.  My phone froze up and wouldn’t work or turn off before I left on the cruise, and I was worried that if it couldn’t be fixed, that my data might not be able to be transferred to a new phone.  I decided not to worry about it and have fun on my cruise.  I took my camera so I could have photos from the trip. 

The “Captain”

We saw Red Beach from the boat, got up close to the volcano, and snorkeled near Mesa Pigadia beach.  I made friends with a young couple from Denmark and did a mini photo shoot for them and another couple at sunset.  I started a conversation with a couple from India, who live in London, and I asked him to take a look at my phone.  He’s an engineer and he fixed it!  I was so relieved I gave him a hug, after asking his wife if that was okay.

Mesa Pigadia Beach

There were snacks and drinks, dinner was delicious, and the scenery was stunning

It was a wonderful outing and the sunset was special!

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.

Three nights on Santorini Island, Greece

I took a two hour ferry from Mykonos (€80) to Santorini. Getting on and off the ferry is quite an experience, there are so many people. I had arranged transport through Get Your Guide for the 20 minute ride to my hotel, which was only a 10 minute walk into town. I went exploring the next day before going on a catamaran cruise (tomorrow’s post).

Santorini is dramatic and stunning! The cobalt blue sea is amazing! It’s a photographer’s playground.

I walked through Thera (Fira), almost to the 3 Bells of Fira. I kept wondering where are the pretty houses. I passed by lots of donkey dung. I had done so much research (months) for my 11 week trip especially concerning trains and 21 accommodations/18 day trips and everything else that I just assumed the pretty houses were here.

I finally asked a girl where they were and she said Oia. I saw a bus stop but it was faded and hard to read and she said to go back to Fira, to the bus station. I walked 2 miles total before taking the 8:30am bus, arriving at 8:55. The full size bus was packed.

I made good use of my time, taking paths up and down and back up again.

Here’s my hotel room. I had a patio with a view of the sea.

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.