Disembarking from a Transatlantic Flight and Hiking 12 Miles

HELLO FROM GENEVA!

After a harrowing trip to the airport (insane amounts of traffic, being stuck in the Holland Tunnel due to an accident), I had an incredibly smooth flight over and landed in Geneva yesterday morning around 7:45am to big hugs from Ashley and Bo.

Much of our itinerary had been up in the air other than a truffle festival next weekend due to my inability to commit, but I knew that the plan was to drop my stuff at their apartment and head out for a hike. I don’t handle jet lag terribly well, so I was a bit nervous about this plan but knew that moving after a long overnight flight would be good for me.

Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve Disembarking from a Transatlantic Flight and Hiking 12 Miles

The plan was to head to Chamonix, France and hike to Lac Blanc. Ashley had hiked to Lac Blanc before and had taken the La Flégère lift to about halfway up and then hiked the rest of the way up. When Ashley did this hike last time, it was about 3 hours. Even that, I was a bit apprehensive about, but I soldiered on. Well, the gondola was closed, so instead we just started from the bottom…

Chamonix Disembarking from a Transatlantic Flight and Hiking 12 Miles

This was the view from about halfway up, once we were above the tree line.

CHAMONIX Disembarking from a Transatlantic Flight and Hiking 12 Miles

BRB, just gonna nap here.

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When we left, it felt pretty chilly, so I was wearing long pants, a long-sleeved tech tee and a jacket. I took off the jacket about 3 minutes into the hike, and maybe an hour in, I was feeling really hot. Ashley was wearing both a tank and this tee, so she literally gave me the shirt off her back, which I was very thankful for.

The plan, as I said, was to hike up to the lake at the top, where Ashley had said there would be food and beer. As the hike got more difficult, we kept saying FOR THE BEER! We’re doing this for the beer! We started passing other hikers and asked about the “refuge” at the top, as it was called, and nobody seemed to think it was open. Welp, let’s just keep hiking…hopefully we can still get water at the top?!

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Just a little shot for scale.

I told Ashley at one point that I was basically composing this post in my head: “I landed from a transatlantic flight, went and hiked a mountain, got pulled way out of my comfort zone, and it was worth it, of course. Also, beer.”

I’m not super afraid of heights, but I’m really really cautious in any situation where I might be in the slightest bit of physical danger. I’ll ski black diamonds, but really slowly. I don’t hike much and was clearly dehydrated from the flight, so it was Strugglebus, Population 1.

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Just some casual ladder climbing in the middle of a mountain, as you do.

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Too much adrenaline to care about jet lag.

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The view was okay?

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I’m not really afraid of heights, but it was a little nauseating looking down at this.

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Little Monopoly houses…

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Ashley’s friend Renaud pointed us to the fastest way down, which included descending at least 10 ladders.

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Yikes.

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Mom, don’t worry. I’ve totally got this.

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THESE DUDES CLIMBED THAT. WHAT?!

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Going up, I was way behind the pack, but coming down, at least for a portion, I was happy to beast it out and get down as quickly (and safely, Mom) as possible.

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7 hours and 12 miles later, I finally got my beer. We went to a cute little bar at the bottom called Le Slalom.

We drove the hour back to Geneva, and I finally got a chance to nap and slept hard.

Today we’re laying kind of low (which is a huge requirement on any vacation for me), but my big agenda for the week includes adventures to Cote du Rhone, Gruyere and a truffle festival. I am in freaking heaven.

What does a good vacation look like to you?

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I’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

The other day, I talked about taking a private swim class with my coworkers. (Which was awesome!)

Over the summer at our company retreat, there were a few opportunities for pool-time: both the late-night post-karaoke kind and the in-bright-daylight time. Both times I suited up, sucked in a bit (let’s be real here) and jumped right in.

Several years ago, I never would have done that. I avoided the rooftop pool at my building because I thought people — people I didn’t even know! — would be staring at me. I doubt they were. They either had their own issues or, WEIRD, were just enjoying the pool.

As I put my swimsuit under my clothes on Friday, I thought how far I’d come in these few years. That I work at a fitness company, so it’s no big deal to wear a swimsuit around my coworkers. That I am fit, and know I can swim moderately long distances.

That I even work at a fitness company.

My one year is coming up at work next week, and I can’t help but be a little introspective when I think about this. When I realize how freaking happy I am now; and that it was partly (a big part) the job and amazing and supportive coworkers and a lot of self-growth that I’d done to get to a place where I could accept that and embrace it and enjoy it and not be worried that the other shoe would drop.

This week before vacation is so busy at work. I’m doing my regular work, plus trying to plan out the social media content for while I’m gone, plus a few random events coming up at work (if you’re in NYC, watch my Twitter tomorrow…). I’m a little stressed. But a coworker walked in from a yoga class today and said that she’d set her intention to not be a big ole ball of stress this week, and I decided I’d do the same. I’m busy, but I get to work at a job I love where I get to go to interesting events, and I get to go to Europe on vacation. This week will be busy, but then I will be in Switzerland!

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