My 2022 year review is filled with memories. Ever since the pandemic, my international travels have taken a backseat. The pandemic hit just as I switched careers and started my own business as a Travel Agent/Blogger and I just didn’t feel comfortable traveling. Nobody was traveling. However, we started to get out more in 2022 and went on a couple of big trips last year. We had all kinds of adventures, locally and out of state. Going to shows, exploring state parks and other interesting things to do near home. I hope your 2022 was as great as it can be and wishing you a very Happy New Year.
Her Life Adventures 2022 Travel Wrap Up
Renowned for transforming venues into unforgettable art experiences, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit strives to highlight the unique architecture of its spaces while integrating influences from its history and community. Logan and I visited Detroit to be transported into the world of Van Gogh as we listened to the music in time with the art visuals that encompassed the entire room around us. There were two rooms you could experience his work, a larger more open space with a balcony and a smaller more intimate space with glass mirrors all around.
Cumberland Falls State Park
Cumberland Falls is a hiker’s paradise with 17 miles of hiking trails that wind through the park to scenic areas. The popular Moonbow Trail connects with many backpacking trails in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Cumberland Falls is one of the few places in the world that regularly produces a moonbow. The “moonbow,” also called a white rainbow or lunar rainbow, is formed just like a rainbow—light is refracted in tiny water droplets—and appears for two or so days, as long as the sky is clear, on either end of the full moon.
Top Five Things to Do
1. View the epic Cumberland Falls.
2. Tour the Pinnacle Knob 1937 Fire Tower.
3. Hike Eagle Falls Trail.
4. Gem Mine for fossils in season.
5. Go horseback riding through the forest.
Daniel Boone National Forest
In the summer we went on a road trip to Kentucky and Tennessee. We explored the Daniel Boone National Forest on foot, with very confusing and outdated signage the entire time. Big South Fork is where we spent our time hiking, and driving around to the different “trail heads”. Following two different maps apps, using the park map and using an actual map – we still couldn’t find some of the trailheads! We ended up in someones driveway at one point. But the two main trails that we wanted to see we were able to find.
My “must-see” were Yahoo Falls and Princess Falls so I was glad we were able to hike those trails.
But before we found yahoo falls, there was quite the debocle. When we were hiking to yahoo falls we stopped at a cave to take some pictures. Some fellow Michiganders came up, and they were lost. We looked around and realized the trail just ended, but there were no falls. Everyone turned around and sought another path, us one way them another. They called us and said the trail was by them so we headed toward them.
The trail had been washed away and flooded. So I, the brave one.
Went under the rock and jumped across the water to the other side- but the water was deeper than I realized as my entire boot sunk into the mud on my missed landing. The trail was NOT that way either by the way. So on my second jump across the water which I now know is actually a POND- my other boot also became soaked. Because the way of the first jump was now blocked by a huge black unknown spider. We ended up finding the trail again and hiking back was so gross as my feet squished around in my boots just sopping wet.
We decided to find our own way after that.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Continuing our summer road trip into Tennessee we drove to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Driving the park’s scenic roads, we admired the pull-off views along Newfound Gap road and along Cades Cove, we watched for any signs of wildlife, like a bear! Hiking to different waterfalls around the park we discovered you could also go tubing down the river at Deep Creek campground.
Our entire road trip was organized around the synchronized fireflies event in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Once a year for just a few short weeks there is a special area of the forest that lights up with thousands of fireflies all around you. It’s truly a magical experience. I wasn’t able to capture photos that show the sheer number of them, but maybe next time!
Matthei Botanical Gardens – University of Michigan
Our visit to Matthei Botanical Gardens was a first, and we were very impressed by the grounds. There was a beautiful wedding going on during our visit so the garden area looked extra special. Outdoors behind the Conservatory is the Gaffield Children’s Gardens. The children’s garden offers a nature trail, butterfly garden, garden maze, stage, sandbox, and more. Other gardens include Bonsai & Penjing Garden. There are more than 10 display gardens at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, along with several miles of trails and natural areas.
Cranbrook Botanical Gardens
The Cranbrook Botanical Gardens are close to our house so we try to visit them as often as we can. Last year we visited in the spring and it was magical. Spring is my favorite season because everything comes back to life and there are flowers EVERYWHERE. The year before we visited in the fall when all the leaves were changing colors and it was still beautiful, I just prefer the flowers 🌸
Island Lake State Park
The 4,000-acre Island Lake State Park lies on the Huron River and Kent Lake, just downstream of Kensington Metropark (we’ve also been there) with which it is also connected by a bike trail. So whenever there was a nice day we would pack up the bikes and head to one of our local state parks or recreation areas to explore. Some days we would ride as many as 20+ miles then go home and ride some more
Maybury State Park
Another popular biking park was Maybury. The Park is composed of 944 acres of gently rolling terrain, open meadow, and mature forest. This park gives people in the nearby metropolitan area an opportunity to get outside and enjoy recreational activities in a state park setting. There are trails to hike or bike, and even some equestrian trails.
Belle Isle State Park
The state park is home to plenty of wildlife and offers camping, picnic shelters, beaches, boat launches, and numerous types of trails. We always bring our bikes and drive around the island which is east of Detroit. You get beautiful views of the Detroit skyline, Detroit river, and the Ambassadors Bridge that connects the city to Windsor Canada. So you can go to the south end of the island and wave over to Canada. There is also an aquarium, conservatory, and kayaking available.
Detroit has blossomed into a beautiful midwest city over the years. We go downtown all the time and always discover something new like a restaurant, new park, and BIKE LANES which the city never had. As we explored we walked the river walk, Woodward, and around Campus Martius.
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Pictured Rock National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is around a 5-6 hour drive north in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from where we live so we have tried to make it up there at least once a year. In 2022 we visited during the summer/early fall and the weather was perfect. We brought the dogs with us that time so we made sure to find a dog-friendly hotel and a dog-friendly beach for them to swim and play. Leashed pets can join you at these locations: Sand Point Beaches. Munising Falls Trail. Miners Falls Trail. Miners Castle – Paved Trails, Overlook Platforms.
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Frankenmuth is a city in Michigan, known for its Bavarian-style architecture. Michiganders and Canadians alike vacation here as there are plenty of fun things to do. We like to walk around the little shops and stores on main st and the river walk then grab some food at the local brewery or the food trucks. But we CAN’T leave without stopping at the Sugar High for cupcakes. Because those delicious cups of joy are truly a winner, and not just on Cake Wars! If you visit, the Bavarian Inn Lodge is one of the most popular places to stay in Frankenmuth because of their indoor waterpark.
During the summer, Michigan Renaissance Festival is bustling with entertainers, visitors, and good food. But in the winter it’s normally just a snow-covered ghost town. Until 2022 – when it was turned into a sparkling Holly Dazzle. The grounds were covered with millions of holiday lights and displayed all across the village. Hot cocoa and the famous broccoli cheddar soup are served to keep you warm. There are also snow domes to keep warm, they are available by reservation.