Disembarking from a Transatlantic Flight and Hiking 12 Miles


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

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…


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


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.


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

Hiking in Chamonix

Too much adrenaline to care about jet lag.

Hiking Chamonix

The view was okay?

Chamonix Valley

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

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Little Monopoly houses…

Hiking Chamonix Valley

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

Ladders Hiking Chamonix



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




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.

Le Slalom Bar Argentiere

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?

18 comments on “Disembarking from a Transatlantic Flight and Hiking 12 Miles

  1. Mom

    Well as I catch my breath looking at these photos, I am glad you called me this morning
    before I saw these photos so I know you are safe.
    Will you please relax, drink wine and eat (never thought I would say this) for the remainder
    of the trip. Well maybe a little sightseeing. Have fun, above all be safe, we love you
    Do love the beautiful pictures!!!! lovely
    Oh Bailey said he is glad he is not on this trip, he is best at snuggles

  2. Kristine

    ^^^ My mom wrote basically the same thing to me when I told her about my first few days in London. She was like GO TO SLEEP. Anyway the photos are GORGEOUS and I’m obviously super jealous about… your life for the next week. Every bit of it. Have the BEST TIME. You deserve it!

  3. Lauren @ Beautiful Plant-Based Life

    A good vacation for me looks a lot like this one! I crave epic outdoor adventures followed by cozy, local cafés and restaurants. I love to explore new-to-me cities, neighborhoods, or villages. Although road trips to national parks are up there on my list, I prefer more walking and less driving when I’m in vacation mode!

  4. Katie

    My hands are sweating looking at the picture of “those dudes climbed that” also, please tell me you’re bringing back wine from Cotes du Rhone? And Truffle festival…..heaven!


    Super beautiful and exciting stuff! This gets me pumped for my trip to Spain later this week! Can’t wait to hike Montserrat!

  6. Scott

    A good vacation always includes lots of good beer. When my wife and I honeymooned in Alaska, we nicknamed the trip the Great Alaskan Beer Tour because we had so much good beer.

  7. Chrissy

    Way to conquer jet lag!! I always like a mix of busy and slow on vacation…spend a day at the beach and then something active like hiking or biking. When we do ski vacations, we always make sure to have some down time. It is a vacation after all.

    Enjoy your holiday!

  8. Laura

    I didn’t realize that you were going to Chamonix! If you are back there again, go to the little B&B near Brevent/Flegere called La Bagna. It’s really adorable, but more importantly, the food is THE BEST. Seriously, my mouth still waters for this insanely amazing tartiflette they made. I think it is the number one best meal I have eaten in my whole life. I would travel there just for that.

  9. Ashton @100in6

    WOWOWOWOWOW!! Amazing pictures. This looks like a very fun hike. I have been thinking about doing a hike in the blue mountains in Australia. Seeing these pics has definitely gave me a little motivation. I just don’t know how you weren’t afraid of falling!

  10. Nicole

    Beautiful photos!
    My favorite vacation is when we head south to the beach…we can leave WI at 6am and one connecting flight later, I can be ‘toes in the sand’ by 1pm.

  11. Mary

    These photos are STUNNING! I love looking at your blog. Congrats on all your weightloss! I’m trying to lose weight, but really struggling to figure out how to do so. Hopefully your blog can help me 🙂

    Pacific Prep


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