We arrived in Geneva on Tuesday morning, twelve hours after very nearly missing our flight from Seattle. Over the last 24 hours, we had gotten married, packed all our belongings into boxes which we then moved into Public Storage, handed over the keys to our house, and packed and prepared for the four-week “Euromoon” that Courtney had been planning for over a year. Of course, some things were bound to slip through the cracks, which ensured a modicum of sleep.
So, by the time we landed in Geneva, I could barely keep my eyes open. On the bus ride to Chamonix, where we will hike a portion of the Tour du Mont Blanc over the next week, I didn’t see a thing. Not one snow-peaked mountain. Not a single blonde-haired child. Not one alpine chalet that could have doubled for the cover of a Swiss Miss package.
Our room at the hostel in Chamonix was called the Bunker. Appropriately named, because it resembled a bunker in nearly every way – underground, sparsely utilitarian, windowless, and rife with nuclear fallout-ready boxes of identical food rations. I ate a handful of Kellogg’s Tresor cereal (think: mini-chocolate pillows) that I only later realized had expired in 2018.
To fend off jet lag, we went out to explore the town. Still, neither of us could do much save for will ourselves to stay awake. We went to a butcher shop-slash-fromagerie. We bought a map at a French bookstore. By 6pm, we were starving, but, of course, it was still far too early for European dinner. So, we begrudgingly settled on a British-style pub and ordered a burger and steak (i.e. a burger, sans bun) that I very nearly fell asleep while chewing.
We somehow made it back to the iconoclast grain silo of a room – replete with underbed storage, cinderblock walls, and a ceiling barely higher than our heads. And yet, when it was time to go to sleep, my mind wouldn’t stop racing. Was there something I forgot to pack? An email I had neglected to write? Defeated, I powered up my laptop and opened my to-do list, as Courtney slept fitfully in the yellow glow of the overhead fluorescents. The honeymoon had officially begun.