The Friday Five, 12/29/23: 5 things I've been up to this week

Welcome to the last Friday Five of 2023! This week has been full of relaxation and family time, which has been very nice. Today I'm headed back to my condo for a bit and hopefully to see a movie—I'm thinking The Iron Claw—and then Saturday and Sunday will be busy.

Chocolate hazelnut cake at Symposia, Atheneum Hotel, Detroit
Chocolate hazelnut cake at Symposia, Atheneum Hotel, Detroit

What I've been up to this week:
  1. TSO at Little Caesars Arena, Detroit. By my count, this was my NINTH (9th) time seeing them in concert, and they always put on a fabulous show. I started seeing them in 2014, at the Palace, and at some point they switched to LCA; I think in 2017 or 2018. I've seen them every year from 2014-2023 now, with the one exception being December 2020, where obviously (due to the pandemic) they did not have a show. I highly recommend seeing them if you never have; they usually are on Groupon too by mid- or late-year.
  2. Dining out/getting takeout. After the TSO concert, we went to Symposia, at the Atheneum Hotel—I had won a "Yelpie" award, "Takeout Champion," a few weeks ago, but hadn't been able to go to the ceremony/dinner because I was in Grand Rapids that night at the Lindsey Stirling concert. I had won a gift card from Symposia a while back, in May, from the hotel's Instagram page, plus I had a free appetizer coupon from them that everyone at the Yelp dinner had received, so we decided to check it out. All the food was really good; my favorite was the chocolate hazelnut cake, for dessert, pictured above, but the 8-oz. filet I had was also good. 
    In Indiana this week, when we were visiting my fiance's family, we had Pizza Hut takeout one day, also, and Mexican takeout on Wednesday night.
  3. Christmas with family. On Friday night, after I finished work, my fiance and I went to my parents' house for Christmas. We have a tradition where we do all appetizers for a meal, although in the past we did appetizers, then went out to see a movie, then came back for a "full meal," and it's a tradition I like a lot.
    On Sunday, my fiance and I headed to Indiana ... separately. His parents and sister live there, and normally he and I drive there together—it's about a 4.5-hour drive from Metro Detroit, with at least one bathroom break stop—but I wanted to keep my Delta Silver Medallion status for next year, and I needed ONE more one-way flight to qualify, so this time we had a "race" of sorts, and he drove in and I flew in, with his mom picking me up at the Indianapolis airport. We had Christmas with his family the next day, and we just drove back yesterday (Thursday). Last Christmas, we had a home emergency of sorts and only got to stay for like five hours (long story there!) so it was nice to be able to spend more time there this year.
  4. Playing board games. I got to try out Dominion with my fiance and his family and it was a lot of fun. For Christmas, they bought me the "What Do You Meme?" game, which I like a lot but did not own, and we played that, as well. 
  5. Flying to Indiana. As mentioned above, my fiance drove the 4-4.5 hour drive to Indiana this time, coming in to the state, and I flew there, which was interesting. The plane was very small (it was a 2x2 configuration) and so was my seat, which I was not a fan of, even though Delta gave me an upgrade to Comfort+. I ended up accidentally taking a nap for about half of the short flight (one-hour flight), and made the mistake of not buying a water bottle at DTW; I figured Delta would give us some water at least but only First Class got snacks, and the rest of us got zilch, lol. Next time I won't make that mistake. On a positive note, it put me over the MQD (Medallion Qualification Dollars) I needed to make Silver for 2024, which is probably the last year I'll qualify for it, since Delta just raised the spend (MQD) by $2K, which is crazy.
TSO Violinist Roddy Chong, who was excellent
TSO Violinist Roddy Chong, who was excellent

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