Week One of My Fabulous 50’s Farewell Tour

Cantoro’s and my handsome husband

My plan is to post every Monday to update my progress on the bucket-list. That being said, whether I am able to post next week will depend on availability of WiFi, as we will be in London where I hope to check a few more items off the list! To say I am excited for this long-awaited trip would be an understatement. We booked our tickets to Stonehenge with side trips to Windsor and Bath last week. I hope to include some awesome photos from the trip, even if the sites did not all make it on my bucket-list. There are so many things I am looking forward to seeing and doing in London: the London Eye, perhaps a Harry Potter tour? Mike has been to London already but I have not. If any of you have been to London and have must-see suggestions, please send them our way!

Well, on to this week’s progress. Mike and I tried a new restaurant. We had never been to Cantoro’s Trattoria and decided to give it a try. We weren’t disappointed. I ordered chicken piccata (though it was called something different on the menu). So delicious! I tried a new wine, even though they had my current favorite on the menu, in search of a new favorite. I ordered an Italian White called Zorzettig Pinot Grigio. While it was good, it wasn’t good enough to knock Grand Traverse Late Harvest Reisling from it’s top spot. The other beautiful thing about my current favorite wine is the price point, hovering around $10 a bottle and often on sale for even less, though menu prices at restaurants never reflect that. So the mission to find a new favorite wine continues.

We decided to stroll through the little gourmet shop connected to the restaurant after dinner and selected a dessert from the pastry counter. I can not recommend Chocolate Decadence enough. New FAVORITE dessert, I know that wasn’t on my bucket list but really, what was I thinking? One bite and I was stumbling into Nirvana. Sidenote: wouldn’t that be a great book or album title – Stumbling Into Nirvana? We also purchased bacon-wrapped steak tips to grill later in the week. As we were perusing the deli aisle, we noticed there were two beautiful plants, basil and rosemary, cue the angelic choir. Wow! Another item for my list! Go me!

Herb garden container 1: Parsley, Rosemary, Basil

Later that week, I ran up to Pinters where I discovered a few more herbs to add to my garden. I purchased, oregano, parsley, cilantro, sage, and chives. I found cute little plant markers through Amazon. Here’s the link if you want some for yourself. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CZS7KBV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Herb container garden #2

I would still like to add dill and thyme, so I am on the look-out! If you see any, let me know. I also managed to use the cilantro in a new recipe I tried called Pineapple Salsa Chicken. Very healthy, easy and also yummy! So, for those keeping score, so far that is a fail on finding a new favorite wine, but check marks for trying a new restaurant, trying a new recipe, creating an herb garden and using cilantro from the garden in the recipe. The recipe follows:

Pineapple salsa chicken and steak tips wrapped in bacon from the grill and my favorite wine, of course!

Pineapple Salsa Chicken

1 cup of pineapple salsa (I used Meijer’s sweet heat pineapple salsa)

1tsp chili powder

1 tsp of cumin

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Olive oil cooking spray

Fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, combine salsa, cumin, chili powder and lime juice. Place chicken in a baking dish that has been sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Pour salsa mixture over chicken, flipping chicken until well coated with salsa. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. During cooking, baste chicken occasionally with salsa. Top with fresh cilantro. Makes four servings.

Note: this recipe has been adapted from The Doctor’s Diet by Travis Stork, M.D.

I also completed 6 Nordic Track workouts. I just have to tell you a little bit about this awesome piece of sorcery. Nordic Track, using iFit, has a video screen built in that allows you to run or hike through most anywhere in the world. Hiking through the Alps, the Grand Canyon, running through the bizarres of Morocco. You can virtually see the world with guided narration and music if you wish all from the comfort of your own home. It’s been a game-changer for me. I am currently hiking the Grand Canyon which has been pretty awesome and I threw in a Jack the Ripper walking tour through London in preparation for our trip. I absolutely love the Nordic Track that Mike got me for my birthday. It may be my favorite present ever because it took the drudgery of the treadmill and turned it into an amazing daily adventure that I haven’t tired of yet and doubt I ever will! I am predicting I will hit the 50 work-out mark well before the year is through. I intentionally selected 50 because I am still doing bootcamp 3 times a week and thought I would just add a treadmill work out in once or twice a week. Instead, I’ve been on it almost every day! It also offers other kinds of work-outs so I was able to do a gentle Yoga class this week as well. (checkmark)

Inclines have ranged from -4 to 10%. They match the actual terrain and keep the intensity steady by varying speed when the incline changes.

I am using Overdrive now. Yay! It required two trips to the library to consult with the librarian as my card wasn’t working, but once set up, it is incredibly easy to use and I’ve already downloaded two books in anticipation of our London trip. One current read, All We Ever Wanted and then a second older read set in London, Howard’s End. I am still reading book #9 of the Poldark series but hope to finish soon and am glad to have a few books in the on-deck circle. I wish I had discovered this awesome app sooner. I am also delighted that our township is building a new library. I may actually start visiting it a lot more often once it’s complete. Here’s a photo of the progress.

New Belleville District Library underway!

As far as those items which are ongoing:

1. I have been attending my French Class at Alliance Française de Détroit. I am really glad I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do this. Despite studying French on my own for over a year, it has added a more challenging aspect to learning. There are only 5 people in the class and I really like our teacher, David. He’s from France and his tagline should read, “I’m funny in two languages.”

2. My Duolingo progress continues also, with a 642 day streak so far. I hope we have internet in London because I will really be disappointed to lose my streak if we don’t.

3. We have a meeting set up with our contractor for our basement bathroom renovation. We are really looking forward to hammering out the details of our home modernization.

4. I’ve been meditating and visualizing daily.

5. I’ve been in touch with family members by phone and online.

I want to thank Carol for sending me yummy recipes for gyros, pitas and bread to try! I am looking forward to that. Thank you also to Katherine for offering her home for lakeside yoga classes this summer which my sister-in-law Sharon and niece Ashley have so wonderfully agreed to teach. Thanks to Loraine for her suggestions for French Meet-ups as well as a good movie to watch in French. It takes a village people, so you have my heart-felt thanks. I always welcome any assistance anyone cares to offer!

In case you missed my original post and are curious as to the items on the bucket-list to polish off my 50’s, here’s the link. https://wordpress.com/block-editor/page/farewelltomy50s.home.blog/10

So in part, thanks to you all, I am off to a great start, but it’s still the honeymoon phase of this adventure. Thanks so much for checking in, I hope to be back next Monday to share some cool London photos, even if they aren’t on my bucket list, because…London! Make it a great week!

5 thoughts on “Week One of My Fabulous 50’s Farewell Tour

    1. Thanks! The little multicolored pot one was right under a downspout and got hammered during the deluge yesterday. It looks like it may bounce back. I hope so!

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