The Friday Five, 9/29/23: 5 things I've been up to this week

This month went by FAST, probably because I've been traveling so much. We are headed to the East Coast (MA/RI) to visit my family and sightsee (and take some engagement photos in Boston!) tomorrow, and then I have a one-night work trip to Kansas City in October, but otherwise it should be a much calmer month. 

Mushroom dumplings at Madam, Birmingham
Mushroom dumplings at Madam, Birmingham

What I've been up to this week:
  1. Dining out for my Instagram. Madam (pronounced Mah-DAM) in Birmingham invited me out for my Instagram, and I was super excited because I had been one time previously, within the last few months with a friend (as a paid customer), and everything had been exquisite. It didn't disappoint this time, either, and I highly recommend it; we got to try a good portion of the menu too, and I recommend the Five Shades of Chocolate dessert—which I ordered both times—and also the housemade bread and butter, which changes seasonally. EVERYTHING there is actually housemade, including the chocolate in their desserts, which was super impressive to me. Click here to see my reel on Instagram.
  2. Short one-night trip to Holland/Zeeland. The reason for this is that we were checking out three engagement venues when in the area: Boatwerks (Holland), Ravines Country Club (Saugatuck), and the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, which I've been to twice before, but only for the market side—they have a beautiful greenhouse on the second floor which can be used for weddings. Stay tuned to see which one we pick ;). We used IHG points to stay at the Avid Hotel in Zeeland, which was a convenient 15-minute drive from Boatwerks, and the rooms are smaller there (about 220 sq. feet) but the bed was comfortable.
    Two days before that, on Sunday, we also looked at the Fenton Winery, which was a 45-minute drive (96 West to 23 North). That venue was also beautiful but we are hoping to get married September or October 2024, and unfortunately they mostly have August dates and earlier available still or November/December. 
  3. Seeing the DSO at my gym. This was kind of random, but the DSO was in town for a community concert, and it was at The Hawk, in Farmington, which is also where I work out—it has a great pool and I alternate between that and treadmill or elliptical there. I haven't been to a real orchestra concert in quite a while so it was great, although I will mention the seats are super small, so if you're tall or larger that's something to consider (my 6'4" fiance was not comfortable in them at all).
  4. Having some good meals. When in the Holland area I definitely made sure to stop by the Southerner, in Saugatuck, because when we tried to go over Labor Day weekend, the last time we were in town, it was PACKED and a 45-minute wait; this time, at 12pm on a Tuesday, we got right in, and I was able to have my favorite chicken. I think their chicken meal is the best chicken in Michigan, if not the U.S., honestly, and the venue is right on the water as well. On Tuesday night when we got back, we got delivery from a Mexican place in Livonia, which was also very good, and on Wed. I went to Qdoba with my mom before seeing Funny Girl in Detroit.
  5. Seeing Funny Girl at the Fisher Theatre. To prepare for this, I had just recently watched the movie version, with Barbra Streisand, on Prime; I actually ended up liking the show a lot more than the movie, though. It's one of the best acting/singing performances (by everyone!) that I've seen in a long time, and I strongly encourage seeing it when it's in town—it's here until October 8th. Find out more info at my original blog post here.
DSO Community Concert at The Hawk, Farmington
DSO Community Concert at The Hawk, Farmington

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