After work today, I went with a friend to my favorite local coffee and pastry shop. As I walked through the door, I was greeted by the strong smells of espresso and buttery pastries in the air. The smells reminded me of my favorite cafe in Rome that I used to go to when I lived abroad. Every day, I would stop there and order a steaming cappuccino that always warmed my hands on my cold, wintry walk to school past the Colosseum and all of the beautiful sights in Rome.
Though this little place can't really compare to my Roman cafe, I still love it. And today, I couldn't help but notice the happiness on the other customers' faces as they devoured their chocolate croissants, sweet and savory crepes, and coffee in the largest mugs I've ever seen. It seemed like everyone in there was just plain happy.
As I went to the counter to order, I noticed the beautifully arranged pastries, brightly decorated cakes, and delectable-looking baguettes. Even though I've been there many times before, I can never decide what to get--because everything just looks that good. So I usually stop and stare and debate and then decide and then see something else that looks even more delicious and then seriously consider ordering one of everything and then finally decide on about five different treats.
But today, I had a different strategy--I looked around the cafe to see what everyone else had ordered. I thought that might make my decision easier. I noticed a woman, smiling ear to ear, eating a crepe, sipping on a latte, and laughing with a friend. Whatever she was having I wanted--it looked too good to pass up. So, I asked and she began to rave about her strawberry and Nutella crepe. After hearing that, I knew what to do. I ordered the same...and a cappuccino.
As I waited, I watched the crepe being made and marveled at how artfully it was being crafted--watched as the gooey Nutella and bright, red strawberries were carefully spread onto the delicate crepe. When it arrived at the table, I took a bite of it and big gulp of my cappuccino. It couldn't have been more delicious. Even though this wasn't Rome, I couldn't help but feel like all of the other customers there: happy--just plain happy.
There's just something about that place...