See, this is the problem with Paris. It's just too easy, when in good company, to drift and meander without a care in the world.
You leave your hotel at 10am and the next thing you know, you've gone from one side of the Seine to the other at least twice, strolled through at least 3 distinct neighbourhoods, heard more languages then you could have imagined in one day, and finally, at 7pm, you realize now is a good time to stop and watch the world go by.
From the glare of the Christmas lights at Printemps and Galaries LaFayette, we weaved our way through the throngs of humanity (in all it's glorious colours, shapes, and smells) and found ourselves in front of Notre Dame.
For a few minutes, we stood enthralled by the nighttime majesty of this house of God. It was quiet there this late at night. Even with tourists like us milling about, the sense of calm and peace there was wonderful.
My good friend, who knows all my stories since I was five, sat there with me and in front of this relic we laughed and poured out our thoughts and worries. There is no one in this world quite like her. She made friends with every shop keeper and waiter during the weekend, her laugh daring the world to smile and laugh with her.
That afternoon, as we walked past a homeless man curled up in a blanket on the sidewalk, she pulled out the last of her secret stash of snacks, and gave it to him. I am sure he understood not an English word she said to him, but her smile and her gesture were enough.
She does this all the time. Everywhere she goes. To everyone. Myself included.
A weekend wandering through the most beautiful city with my most beautiful friend.
I needed that.