[She] thought of the night before and how stupid she'd been. She must rid her mind of that memory...
But for now she was off to explore the shops just opening for the evening. Most didn't close until after midnight, some not until sunup. As if following Alice down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, [she] plunged through a break in a row of seafront tavernas, and—like magic—the harbor vanished. She was back in the maze of twisting, narrow stone paths that, for her, held the essence of Mykonos' charm; it was the labyrinth itself—not what it offered—that she loved.
Sure, Mykonos was famous for tantalizing tourists with brightly lit shops, colorful restaurants, roaring bars, and freewheeling dance clubs, but this still was a town where people raised families and shared strong traditions. Down the less traveled lanes, children played their games oblivious to the occasional tourists squeezing through their four-, five-, or maybe six-foot-wide playgrounds. Pairs of grandmothers, all in black, did duty watching the children. They'd sit on stoops in front of their houses or, if a shop occupied the street level, on brightly painted wooden balconies outside their second-floor homes; balconies with gates guarding pets, pots of geraniums, draping bougainvillea, and—if rented to tourists—clothes left to dry.
As she walked, [her] eyes drifted up from the rows of glossy green, blue, and red banisters to where the white textures of the buildings met the sky. So many whites: light white, dark white, sunlit white, shaded white, dirt-caked white, white over color, white over stone, white over wood, white over steel, white over rust, peeled white, fresh white, old white, slick white, coarse white—against so many blues: dark blue, pale blue, and all those blues in between. [She] smiled, took in a deep breath, and said softly, "I just love it here."