Last Tuesday was the big 2-9, and I woke up in despair over the fact that it was the last year in my twenties.
An entire decade has almost expired, and I was afraid it might be written all over my face.
As the sun streamed through the window, I whipped open the curtains, stepped into the natural light, and demanded to know the following:
"Do I look 29? Or do I look older than that?"
(Any boys who have stumbled this way, I'm going to give you a tip. Consider it insider trading, but you won't go to jail. The above is a TRICK question. Girls are looking for the answer to be a number significantly less than what appears on our driver's licence.)
Dan looked at my matted and greasy hair, sunburned faced, sleep crusted eyes, and probably tried to recoil from the morning breath that was surely being spewed his way.
"Sweets, you look about 24."
Ah, what a sweet little liar. But happy birthday to me!
TANGENT ALERT: After getting home from the week in the mountains I was complaining to my youngest sister (who happens to be 24) about turning 29. She, in her youthful wisdom, was all, "It's just a number Caitie. You're only a day older than yesterday, you can't worry about that." Umm, thanks AIS! I'll be sure to remind you of this--IN FIVE YEARS--when you too are on the brink of being wheeled into your thirties. Kids these days....
Back to the story though. Dan and I decided that to kick 29 in the keester, we were totally going to conquer a mountain that day. And by conquer, I mean we had plans to stick to the mid-mountain trails so that we could both live to see 30.
Starting the day off right.
View from gondola station.
Adelboden is that cluster of buildings in the distance, and this shows the ground we covered the day before.
Top of yesterday's waterfall.
Stairway to heaven.
After marveling at the gondola views, we began our hike.
Getting away from the gondola station...
...and out of the valley.
As we trooped along, I noticed that we seemed to once again be heading straight up. As in...STRAIGHT UP.
And as we trudged onward, these two girlfriends passed us going in the opposite direction.
"These stupid hikers...."
(Side note: the brown one hip checked me. I stumbled.)
"...are so dense."
Hindsight is always 20/20. Three hours later, I would recall these girls and how they were going in the OPPOSITE direction.
But at this point I was still relatively fresh, and was just pleased to have had a (literal) run-in with a goat.
We hiked for three hours...straight up. I stopped taking pictures because the higher we got, the narrower the path became, and the longer my fall to death would be should I topple over the edge.
Sometimes it takes getting your head in the clouds before you want to face reality, and so it was at the three hour mark that I stopped in exhaustion and cried, "Are we there yet?!"
This is when my fearless leader consulted the map.
"Ah...oops..." he said.
"Oops? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!"
"We took the wrong trail. Looks like we veered off from intermediate...to blue and white."
People, you need to understand that it is VERY difficult to take a wrong turn on a Swiss hiking trail. This makes the feat even more noteworthy. However, I will say in Dan's defence that these trails weren't littered with stones painted in their telltale red/white or blue/white. But there were still route markers...
We collapsed to the ground, and pulled out our lunch. Munching on our sandwiches while I consulted the map we considered our options: (1) hike another five hours to take the shortcut off the mountain; or (2) turn around.
We turned around.
This is why yesterday I said it was my goal to complete a blue/white trail. I have technically started one, but I still need to finish it.
Took about an hour and half to get back into the valley, but then I got the best birthday present of all.
I bet his mother hates it when he does this.
But they have the best real estate...
...because they're worth it.
After I took approximately sixty photos of all the alpine bovines, we headed down the gondola and hiked home.
That night Dan took me to a really nice restaurant, and from their gourmet menu I chose Wienerschnitzel mit pomme frites. Sometimes you just need to eat something greasy.
I did get a gourmet experience though, despite my fast-food choice. My first course was a really pretty cream soup that came decorated with a rainbow of flower petals, and my schnitzel came garnished with red berries and unnecessary vegetables (though okay, I did eat them).
It was a great day, even if it did start out on the wrong trail.