Her name is Nicole and she lives outside the charming university city of Aix-en-Provence.
"Taste some cheese," she said to me. Or something similar!
I speak no French but that was no problem. She held out a sliver of the most delectable cheese imaginable, and her smile said the rest.
"Oh, Americans!" Then between her wonderful accent and some rather hilarious charades we understood that her family makes the cheeses and she has a friend studying in Florida.
"Merci!" my husband smiled as Nicole pressed another sliver of cheese toward us.
"Au revoir!" I laughed, and snapped her photo as I swallowed.
If there is anything more vivid and friendly than market day in France, I don't know what it is.
The carrots, the cabbages, the spices galore.
Even the handwriting on the price signs is stylish in France.
I love how different this is than the giant American supermarket.
There is the bread vendor, the cheesemonger, the spice merchant.
The women with flowers, the family vegetable stands, even a pair of brothers who sell nothing but mushrooms with the earth still clinging to them and a few oak leaves strewn about as decorations.
The colors and scents are dizzying.
How I wish I could shop like this at home.
I long to stop and sketch the scenes but a camera will have to do.
How about you? Do you find the open air markets endlessly captivating, too?