A retired flight attendant shares his favorite vacation of 2022

Traveling is a way of life for me. It was part of my career for nearly 25 years as a flight attendant. Now I travel for fun and not just for work. This year my travels were a little modified due to family responsibilities, but I found time to sneak in unexpected places.

Jonesborough, TN

Let’s start with a little old town in eastern Tennessee called Jonesborough. This city was established seventeen years before Tennessee was even granted statehood and is the county seat of Washington County. It is a unique small town filled with beauty and historic architecture that is best known as the capital of storytelling.

Things To Do In Jonesborough

Main Street alone will take you on a trip down memory lane with its diverse history and the marks of everyone who came to make the city so special. We were able to discover the famous Chester Inn State History Museum. It guides you through the history of this picturesque town. The visitor center offers tours of the city, which is a great way to learn about its incredible history. The Watauga Valley Railway Museum displays a unique rebuilt train car. This is the perfect stop for all workout enthusiasts.

One event I missed but might need to go to next year is The National Storytelling Festival. This is Jonesborough’s biggest event. The weaving of stories old and new is fascinating and fun for all ages.

Delicious burger at Main Street Cafe in Jonesborough

Photo credit: Kentrell Charles

Best restaurants in Jonesborough

We had plenty of food options but settled Main street cafe. It’s in the center of town next to the courthouse. We ordered a burger, a veggie sandwich and hot crispy fries. Of course, I had to try a flight of local beers. We just missed Infusions and melodies featuring local music, craft beer, cider and great food.

Overall our visit was amazing and incredibly interesting and educational. Although we went to take care of a family business, it turned out to be an educational experience.

The Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery

Photo credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Vancouver, British Columbia

Took this trip with two friends as a last minute getaway. Ticket prices weren’t the best, but I think if you plan ahead you could find plenty.

Pro tip: I suggest checking the weather to ensure you have the appropriate clothing when visiting. Vancouver temperatures tend to vary.

Where to stay

Our hotel of choice was the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront with a view of the harbour. You are steps from downtown with incredible views. There are tons of food choices and public transportation. We decided to use Uber or walk. We used a local taxi for our departure and return to the airport. The price is fixed and can be paid in cash (local currency) or by credit card.

Things To Do In Vancouver

stanley park is the oldest park and a must-see on any trip to Vancouver. The suspension bridge park is another stop I recommend. This bridge is 110 feet over the Capilano River and takes a bit of time to cross, but it is beautiful.

One of the highlights is the FlyOver Canada located at Canada Square. This simulated flight experience takes you over Canada and you’ll talk about it for a long time. The Vancouver Art Gallery will be good for rainy and cold activity. The gallery has so many unique exhibits.

Enjoying nature is a must for Canada, so I would suggest The Sea to Sky Gondola. Once at the top, you will be amazed by the breathtaking view of the landscape. Be sure to check the website if you are going during the winter months. They sometimes close early due to the weather.

Pro tip: the Christmas market was being installed when we visited so we didn’t get to experience it. However, this may be a reason to come back next year!

Rice & Noodle in Vancouver's West End

Rice & Noodle in Vancouver’s West End

Photo credit: Kentrell Charles

Vancouver’s Best Restaurants

The food is plentiful and there is something for every palate. If I had to choose my first places, it would be Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House, Rodney Oyster Houseand Earls Test Kitchen and Bar. One of my favorites is Rice and noodles in West End. I ordered the most delicious noodle bowl. You can’t go wrong with any option. If afternoon happy hour is on your list I would suggest CAVO Bar + Kitchen. Everything is so good and the happy hour menu is excellent.

We also made it a point to find local treats and snacks for our hotel room. We talked to the locals about the treats we should try to take home. We returned to the store several times to ketchup chips!

Maui, Hawaii

How can you go wrong in Hawaii? It’s one of my favorite places to get up and go. I can’t say enough about how you feel before, during and after your visit.

Where to stay

I have stayed in hotels, Airbnbs and with friends during my stay. However my favorite place is the all inclusive Wailea Beach Resort. It may seem a bit pricey but well worth the value. It’s great not having to worry about having a credit card or cash on me. You just wear a bracelet and everything is charged to your room (and I didn’t have to worry about losing my wallet).

I advise you to rent a car during your stay. Toro was our choice but there are also other options. To enjoy all that this island has to offer, you’ll want to drive during your stay.

The Road to Hana, Maui

The Road to Hana

Photo credit: Kelly Headrick / Shutterstock.com

Things To Do In Maui

Sure, the beach scene is always good, but I found several things to do that could enhance your stay and make good memories.

Best restaurants in Maui

When it comes to food, drinks, and treats, I usually look for suggestions online, so it’s a different experience every time! I haven’t had a single bad experience with food in Maui. I usually try to find local restaurants. My go-to is Manoli’s Pizza Company. However, don’t expect the cheapest food you’ve ever eaten! Maui comes at a cost, but the sheer beauty and fantastic food will hopefully outweigh the price. Memories are priceless!

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