To this pastryholic, I thought I'd died and gone to whipped creme heaven.
As I'd stand, staring into the windows, shop owners would rush out to wipe the drool off their pristine glass.
Unlike here in America, loaves of French bread were not bagged, often carried home without benefit of a paper wrapper.
We loved buying a pastry or two to eat at a nearby sidewalk cafe along with a cup of espresso.
Making a choice was always hard. Pastries were virtually works of art, or so my eyes proclaimed as they roamed over the delights in the glass cases and windows.
Yet, as I'd enjoy my calorie-rich treat, I'd look at slender French women rushing by, their stilettos creating a stacatto on the sidewalk and I'd wonder...how do French women burn off calories and stay so slender? Perhaps this YouTube video explains that...
EXCERPT FROM MONA LISA'S ROOM:
Ten minutes later, Alyson wobbled in front of the cashier ready to pay for the black kidskin three-inch Pradas she wore. As soon as she saw the bow at the back of the heel, she fell in love with the shoes. Gwen called her a “bow freak.” When Niko reached for his wallet, she elbowed him. “Look, as long as they take Visa, I’ll pay for my own shoes.”
“Please, allow me.”
“Absolutely not. I planned on having an expensive birthday meal at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant tomorrow. With all that’s happened today, that plan is ruined, too. So I’m rationalizing since I won’t be paying for my birthday meal, I can pay this ungodly amount for the shoes.”
Niko placed his hand over hers. “I don’t mind. Let me treat you since I goaded you into buying them.”
“Really, that’s not necessary. Even my husband…er…ex-husband never bought me things. I’ve always paid my own way.”
He leaned an elbow on the glass counter and looked at her. “You’re kidding me. He never bought you little surprises? Little treats? A woman like you should be spoiled, treasured—” his voice lowered as he slowly trailed a finger up her arm “—loved often and well.” Merciful heavens, he was trying to seduce her in a shoe store. Gwen would squeal in delight when she told her about this.
“Down, buster. American women are different than French women. We’re not so easily seduced by glib words or smooth moves.”
His eyebrow arched and his demeanor turned insolent. “You think I’m trying to seduce you?”
Typical male. He touched her almost nonstop since they stepped into Minelli’s. Now that she called him on it, he wanted to deny everything. “I think you’re toying with me, seeing if you can make an old, lonely American woman quiver at your feet.”
“First of all, you’re not old. Second, if you’re lonely, that’s your fault. Third, if I wanted to make you quiver—” he leaned in, his lips against her ear “—I damn well could.”
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