The Friday Five, 8/20/21: 5 things I've been up to this week

This week has been very busy, since I was on vacation Sunday through Tuesday in Holland, and so it doesn't feel like it's Friday already, but I'm glad it is!

Pickle pizza with cheese curds, at New Holland Pub on 8th
Pickle pizza with cheese curds, at New Holland Pub on 8th

What I've been up to this week:
  1. Traveling. My boyfriend and I stayed in Holland for two nights (thank you, IHG points from the flood last year) at Staybridge Suites, which was pretty nice—it's more of a long-term hotel so we had a full-size fridge and freezer and a mini kitcheonette, plus a little living room area. We visited downtown Holland, Grand Haven, Saugatuck, and Fennville, for the most part, stopping at some of my favorite restaurants like The Southerner (Saugatuck), and we tried out some new ones too like Big Lake Brewing (Holland). The pickle pizza with cheese curds, pictured above, was from New Holland Pub on 8th, which apparently does an all-day happy hour on Sundays, which was a great deal—$2 off select drinks and appetizers. Their soft pretzels with beer cheese and mustard were also very good, as were their cocktails. 
  2. Yelp Elite Panda Express pickup event. Yesterday I visited the new Panda Express in Royal Oak (on the Madison Heights border, at 12 Mile & Stephenson) and was able to bring home two bowls for myself, as part of a Yelp Detroit event. I chose orange chicken, of course (one of my faves from them, I used to go to Panda a lot in college and would always get that), with white rice, and for lunch today I am going to try their black pepper steak with fried rice. Fun event and pretty COVID-safe, as Yelp hasn't been doing in-person events since March 2020, although it does have a yoga and beer one coming up, outdoors, which is in-person. 
  3. Watching TV shows. To my delight, I discovered last week that Jim Gaffigan had a TV show, from 2015-2017, called The Jim Gaffigan Show, and it's streaming on Paramount+. My (old) iPad really hates the app, for some reason, but my Smart TV is newer, so I can watch it there. It's pretty funny and similar to his own comedy. I also am about to finish My Unorthodox Life today, and I started watching Modern Love season two on Prime last night, though I'm not sure that I like this season yet. I also finished Fboy Island and it had a major twist at the end, which was pretty interesting.
  4. Seeing movies. I saw Respect at the theater last Friday even though I was really exhausted that day, and it was good although very long—2 hours and 20 minutes, and it felt like it. I would still give it 4/5 stars though. Today I am seeing Free Guy in 3D and I hope it is not crowded, I usually wear my mask in the theater but with 3D glasses it is hard to do, so if it's not busy I sometimes don't wear my mask. 
  5. Eating out, on vacation and beforehand. Last Friday, my boyfriend and I went to Ima, in Madison Heights, which is good but expensive. He had the butter udon noodles with beef, which is usually what I get, but I got the teriyaki udon noodles with beef instead, to be kind to my stomach, because I had my infusion on Saturday morning. After the infusion, I finally stopped by Vivi Bubble Tea, and I tried its tiramisu tea and basil popcorn chicken. Both were okay ... the tiramisu tea was too much of a coffee taste for me. However, I will be back to try more drinks at some point. 
    On vacation, we went to Boatworks (Holland), one of my favorites; New Holland Pub on 8th, which was better than I remembered it being—I went in 2017 with friends; The Southerner, always a favorite; Big Lake Brewing, which had flights, including a COCKTAIL FLIGHT, which was kind of amazing, haha; and we finished the vacation at El Burrito Feliz, in Saugatuck, which used to be called El Loco Burrito (and really should have been El Burrito Loco, according to Spanish grammar rules!). On the last day, we also went to Virtue Cider and Evergreen Lane Creamery, both in Fennville, which were pretty cool. I'm not sure I've had any of Virtue Cider's products before, and Evergreen Lane was this tiny little farm-type place, where we bought a cheese sampler and then each bought a half-pound of their goats' milk cheese to take home (which was delicious). 
Grand Haven beach
Grand Haven beach

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