While we did a lot of fun things in Europe, another favorite was being able to see dear friends and enjoy a little time to catch up.
In London, we visited my friend Johanna and her sweet little son. Johanna was always the prettiest and friendliest girl I knew at the Capitol in Austin, and I’d been green with envy over her London life ever since she moved across the pond. So, we met up at a “proper British pub” in her posh London borough and enjoyed a lovely lunch and a glass of wine. Then, she introduced me to two new great loves – her sweet son Coleman, who is absolutely gorgeous, and Cath Kiddston, a new designer of purses, lanyards, tea towels and other sundries that I’m now obsessed with.
When we went to Paris, we reunited with older and even dearer friends – Michael, one of Will’s best friends from high school, and his wife Christine. They drove over from the Netherlands and spent the day with us, indulging in conversation, beer, wine, books, foie gras, crepes and rugby. Does that sound like a crazy mashup all in one day? Maybe, but it was amazing and unforgettable. There’s something so cool about meeting up with old friends an exploring a completely new place together.
One moment I hope to look back on fondly is our visit to Shakespeare and Co., Paris’ famous literary haunts, beloved of expats like Fitzgerald, Pound and Hemingway. Christine is an actual writer, one who has been published, who can actually list her job as a writer, and who is working on a serious novel in earnest. I am a wannabe writer who likes putting together (hopefully) funny, frothy, witty sketches of life. So, it was really inspiring to visit the shop together and leave a note with our ambitions in the upstairs library and let our dreams percolate a bit more.
And, then of course, as Christine and I are married to two men who played baseball together for years and years, turnabout is fair play, and sports were involved in the equation. We went to our first rugby match, watched racing metro, watched kids getting really excited in French, watched people eating really strange gameday foods like full roast dinners, sandwiches on baguettes and radioactive hotdogs with no buns and veritable mountains of fries.
The rugby match also included some stealing of cups, some inadvertent viewing of open door urinals (a French custom I am definitely not a fan of), some screaming of “R.C.” (pretty much the only chant we could catch on to) and some memorizing of the Racing Metro theme song, which is still stuck in my head.
The best thing? With all our international friends, it was so easy to pick up where we left off. And I think that’s the true test of friendship – to be happy and comfortable in each other’s presence, to not run out of things to talk about even after 12 straight hours together and to be ready and eager to plan seeing each other again, whenever the occasion might arise.