Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Surprise Wedding Gift

On July 5th, the day after our wedding celebration, my family organized a surprise wedding gift for Lauren and I. So after a night of sleep at my aunt and uncle’s house, the Courvoisiers in Simandre-sur-Suran, and after breakfast on their patio, we were impatient to see where the day would take us.

My siblings, Marianne and Sylvain, drove us to Chamonix, a mountain resort in the French Alps, about 2 hours away. We drove up a narrow gravel path on the side of the mountain, where our final destination was, as well as a small restaurant. We stopped here for a little while to have drinks.

Drinks at the restaurant.

Then we walked the gravel path toward our final destination: a helicopter station! We were going on a half-hour helicopter flight above the Alps, flying above the Mont Blanc, Aiguille du Midi, many other peaks, valleys, glaciers, etc.

About to climb in the helicopter.
We were all wearing noise-cancelling headphones + mic to communicate with other passengers and with the pilot (4 other passengers were riding with us).
I had a good view of the dashboard from my seat.
Refuge du Goûter.
Aiguille du Midi (3842 m / 12605 ft) - the buildings at the top are very precarious looking! I remember visiting it as a teenager.
Mont Blanc (4810 m / 15781 ft), where we saw lots of people climbing.

At some point the pilot decided to make a U-turn to follow a small airplane. He caught up with it, flying at almost maximum speed (200 km/h / 120 mph), and we were close enough we could see its passengers waving at us.
One of the beautiful glaciers we saw.

After coming down from the helicopter ride, we stopped for lunch to have traditional dishes from the region: tartiflette, raclette, etc.

We drove out to Geneva to take the train to Paris. The weather was very hot: 41⁰C / 105⁰F, so we cooled off by walking in the mist of the Geneva Water Fountain and by eating ice cream.

Geneva Water Fountain (140 m / 450 ft).

We walked on one of the beaches on the shore of Geneva Lake. Unfortunately Sylvain stepped on something in the water (broken glass?) and cut his foot! We took him right away to the hospital to get stitches. We had to part ways in the emergency room so that Marianne could give us a ride to the train station.

We arrived in Paris late at night, to meet the Wong family who had arrived there earlier in the day. We all stayed at an AirBnB rental in the 11th arrondissement.


  1. Waouh!!! Super ce voyage en hélico !! Et l'"Aiguille du Midi" est incroyablement belle !

  2. What a sweet surprise! Those pictures look beautiful too! So excited for you guys!