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Allow Me to Introduce...the Fabulous Kate!

10/04/11 - Grand Haven, MI

Caroline travels to Michigan to meet the newest member of the family, her niece Kate

On August 3rd, Caroline and Scott's first niece, a healthy baby girl named Katarina Claire, known as Kate, was born to Caroline's sister Jen and brother-in-law Ivan.  As Caroline's side of the family was a tribe of females before our nephew Christopher came along five years ago, this was a pretty exciting occasion for them - not just a baby, but a girl baby had become the newest member of this close-knit family of ladies!  Caroline was still "in-between jobs" (a neck injury and some necessary dental work getting in the way most recently) since the move over Memorial Day Weekend and Scott was set to be busier than ever at work during the end of September and into October, so he encouraged a visit while he toiled away at home.  On September 27th, Caroline boarded a flight bound for Grand Rapids and was on her way for a week of family visiting.  Prior to the trip, it was decided that Caroline would start and end her visit in Grand Haven where her mom and stepdad, Bill live (and which is also her beloved hometown).  Those segments would bookend a 2-and-half-day visit to Lake Orion (accompanied by her mom) to meet Kate and to spend time with Jen and Christopher.  It proved to be a perfect plan, if one discounts the cold, rainy weather that was dialed up for almost the entire Lake Orion leg of the visit.  One day during some future visit, Caroline feels certain there will be sufficient warmth and sunshine to escape the "excitement" of Hotwheels and Transformers in the basement for some good old-fashioned running around in the backyard with her high-energy nephew (it hasn't happened yet, but a girl can always dream...).  Despite the rain in Lake Orion, Caroline enjoyed several lunches with her mom and Jen  - a very nice one at Kruse & Muer sans kids and two more with a well-behaved Kate - while Christopher was at school or out with his dad, in addition to spending some quality time holding, feeding and soothing sweet little Kate, looking cute as could be in pink and polka dots, and who has such a good temperament that she made even her baby-idiot Aunt Caroline feel highly successful in her role as aunt.

Back in Grand Haven, Caroline had lots of quality catching up time with both her mom and Bill (when he wasn't busy garage sale-ing or puttering in his outdoor domain) over coffee in the mornings and dinner each evening, including a visit to that west Michigan institution and an old favorite of hers, Russ'.  On her first afternoon in town, though overcast and threatening rain, Caroline strolled downtown with her mom to check out the popular costume jewelry exhibit (most impressive for the fact that the entire collection filling many display cases was owned by a single collector!) at the excellently curated Historic Museum as well as the numerous ArtWalk exhibits set up in conjunction with the larger and more well-known ArtPrize project in neighboring Grand Rapids. 

It was a special bonus indeed that the famed  ArtPrize competition was being held during her visit.  Beneath newly turning autumn leaves, Caroline, her mom and Bill enjoyed the best fall weather of the week during a jaunt to Grand Rapids to wander the exhibits set up at indoor and outdoor venues all over town.  While all the exhibits were impressive, Caroline particularly enjoyed the numerous large-scale installations, some of  which were creatively incorporated into the pre-existing architecture of this charming, smaller city.  A definite highlight of Caroline's time in Michigan, she recommends checking out this amazing event should you ever find yourself in the Grand Rapids area during this lovely time of year.

Although Scott's presence was sorely missed, Caroline enjoyed a satisfying week of family bonding while boning up on her auntie skills and is already looking forward to her next visit with the youngest members of her family.  And maybe Scott will be able to come next time too, hopefully bringing some sunshine with him!

Grand Haven ArtWalk exhibit


Caroline has a joyful introduction to her new niece Kate...


Kate shows off her cute little animal print pants that Grammy bought her!


Christopher loves being silly with his Auntie C'Lo


Three generations of Ladies Bosch!


Bill and Jane pose in front of the Grand Rapids skyline


The artist of this ArtPrize piece created a fully functioning bar out of an old shipping container


This ArtPrize entry was created entirely with mosaic tiles and installed on the side of an existing building as lasting public art


Downtown Grand Haven, home of  the former Grand movie theater


This ArtWalk rocketfish proves that even the fish love a Ray's hamburger!


Caroline's mom, Jane, poses at the foot of downtown with new banners showing scenes of historic Grand Haven


We checked out the art in the long-refurbished Story & Clark piano factory building


...And a happy reunion with her nephew Christopher


Affectionately referred to as a chowhound by her mother, Kate's not picky about who holds her as long as they've got that bottle!


Kate, looking positively angelic in her sweater that her "Grandma 'Nise" handknitted for her


One of Caroline's favorites, this ArtPrize installation features giant, carved wood bears frolicking in an existing fountain


Metal monkeys hang from an existing bridge


Caroline says good bye to her favorite beach on a chilly, blustery day before heading back to California