A Journal, with Pictures

Family

Christmas 2021

by on Jan.01, 2022, under Family

TheThe fam­i­ly con­verged on Hilton Head Island for Christ­mas on Thurs­day, Decem­ber 23.  After get­ting set­tled in it was time for some fun with the grand Chil­dren. The activ­i­ty of choice was the Go Kart Rac­ing in Bluffton at the K1 Rac­ing Cen­ter. The rac­ers checked in includ­ing Mike and Gary for three races, the dri­vers posed for the group pic­ture then the rac­ing start­ed. Every­one had a great time com­pet­ing to see who could run the fastest lap.

Back at our home, every­one hung out, and then Gary made a trip to the Smoke House and picked up Bar­beque with all the fix­ings to top off a great day.

Christ­mas Eve, every­one did their thing then gath­ered to do a throw­back activ­i­ty of mak­ing gin­ger­bread cook­ies and hous­es. A lot of fun and cre­ativ­i­ty, Alexan­dra won a spe­cial prize for her “Let’s go Bran­don” roof. After Mom’s ham din­ner we took some pic­tures of the grand­chil­dren in the same pos­es as a past Christ­mas, they have grown up before our eyes.

Christ­mas morn­ing dawned anoth­er beau­ti­ful day in Hilton Head, the gift exchange start­ed prompt­ly at 8:30 the time nego­ti­at­ed the evening before. Lots of fun, with every­one get­ting more than they need­ed. Brenn got his tool­box for his truck (he has no tools), Caitlin lots of horse­back rid­ing things, Kin­sey sports clothes & a TV, Alexan­dra a new com­put­er, and the adults, adult stuff. After the gift exchange a big Christ­mas morn­ing break­fast, then the assem­ble and set up started.


Foot­ball on TV then a feast of Roast Prime rib with every­thing you would expect includ­ing pump­kin pie.


We are blessed, Mer­ry Christ­mas to all and to all a good night.

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Fourth Of July 2021

by on Jul.07, 2021, under Family

The pan­dem­ic is gone and the fam­i­ly tra­di­tion of gath­er­ing for the Fourth at the Chechessee Creek cot­tage con­tin­ues. This year we were joined by Joyce’s nephew and fam­i­ly (Brett, Juliana, Bri­ana, and Bruce Shugart). The Shugarts flew in from Las Vegas on Wednes­day and the rest of the fam­i­ly con­verged from South Car­oli­na. Flori­da and George. The Shugart chil­dren joined Kin­sey and Caitlin Pra­do for Sports Camp on Spring Island and enjoyed the great weath­er. Gary Pra­do brought his lat­est boat over and Brenn arrived in his new set of wheels a very hand­some Ford F‑150. The Shugart’s got the tour of Spring Island and Gary gave them a tour of the area by boat. We had lots to eat and gath­ered each evening lead­ing up to Sun­day’s Fourth of July cel­e­bra­tion on Spring Island.

The fes­tiv­i­ties start­ed with the tra­di­tion­al parade, led by a horse-drawn carriage,  with walk­ers in cos­tumes, dec­o­rat­ed golf carts, floats, some clas­sic cars, and lots of bikes end­ing with the singing of the Nation­al Anthem at the pic­nic area.

The parade was fol­lowed by a spec­tac­u­lar cook-out, with tons of food and live music. There were fun and games for the kids, pool time, and some­thing new an antique car show at the Tab­by Ruins.

The evening of the Fourth Juliana treat­ed the fam­i­ly to an authen­tic Mex­i­can din­ner includ­ing her famous home­made enchi­ladas. We took the oblig­a­tory group pic­ture before the sec­ond feast of the day.

At sun­set, we all pro­ceed­ed to the Chechessee Dock for the tra­di­tion­al Fourth of July Fire­works. Gary Pra­do is Chief of Fire­works and this year he out­did him­self. He was ably assist­ed by Mike and Brenn. Along the Chechessee riv­er, there are river­front homes (“the riv­er peo­ple”), and each year there is a friend­ly com­pe­ti­tion to see who can put up the biggest dis­play, and we all cheer as each year the dis­play gets more elab­o­rate. Our dis­play last­ed about an hour and capped off a great day on a per­fect South Car­oli­na evening.

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Gift Exchange with the Prado’s

by on Jan.07, 2021, under Family

We met at the Chechessee Creek Club on Jan­u­ary 2nd for a very nice lunch. The Pra­dos had just returned from the Green­bri­ar Resort and they shared their fun expe­ri­ences and their New Years’ cel­e­bra­tion. We then went to our cot­tage for the belat­ed gift exchange. We had lots of fun with San­ta get­ting high marks for this Christmas.

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Holidays 2020

by on Dec.30, 2020, under Family

What a year! The pan­dem­ic has changed a lot of things but we have tried to keep our fam­i­ly tra­di­tions and still be safe. We gath­ered for the Fourth of July as usu­al at Chechessee Creek, with most of the orga­nized activ­i­ties can­celed, how­ev­er, we had our own includ­ing a huge fire­works event on the river.

We all got test­ed and then gath­ered for Thanks­giv­ing again at Chechessee. It was a great fam­i­ly Thanks­giv­ing with the usu­al feast­ing and giv­ing thanks.

Joyce and I flew down to Fort Laud­erdale for Christ­mas with Jen­nifer, Mike and, Alexan­dra on the day before Christ­mas Eve. We again had all got­ten test­ed and trans­ferred from our plane to Jen­nifer­’s car with­out much con­tact with oth­ers. Jen­nifer had planned a great hol­i­day week­end with lots of great food and being with fam­i­ly. The gift exchange on Christ­mas morn­ing was lots of fun fol­lowed by brunch. Both Christ­mas Eve and Christ­mas day din­ners were eat­ing extrav­a­gan­zas, with a tra­di­tion­al prime rib of beef the piece de la resis­tance. On box­ing day we got to meet Josh Alexan­dra’s boyfriend, who joined us for din­ner. Our Forty-Nin­ers won their game so it was a great day cap­ping a great Christ­mas holiday.

Joyce and I flew back to Hilton Head on Sun­day after a ter­rif­ic fam­i­ly Christ­mas. This was the year that Hiedi’s fam­i­ly spent Christ­mas with Gary’s fam­i­ly. They then vis­it­ed the Green­bri­er for a fam­i­ly out­ing to return on the first. Joyce and I will cel­e­brate the New Year and then plan to meet the Pra­do fam­i­ly for our Christ­mas gift exchange on the week­end after New Year’s Day. Stay tuned for more images to fol­low. Hap­py New Year to all our friends.

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Christmas 2019

by on Dec.29, 2019, under Family

Anoth­er great fam­i­ly Christ­mas, maybe the best ever. The grand­chil­dren are matur­ing and every­one seems to just enjoy get­ting togeth­er and add Christ­mas tra­di­tions and its spe­cial. Jen­nifer, Mike, and Alexan­dra drove from Flori­da on the Sat­ur­day before Christ­mas and we met at the cot­tage at Chechessee Creek. It was relax­ing, with some pre-Christ­mas things includ­ing dec­o­rat­ing the Christ­mas tree. On Christ­mas eve Hei­di, Gary, Brenn, Caitlin, and Kin­sey came over from Savan­nah arriv­ing in time for Christ­mas eve din­ner. Plen­ty of food and cheer with antic­i­pa­tion for Christ­mas morn­ings gift exchange. Christ­mas morn­ing dawned a beau­ti­ful day and every­one was up at the appoint­ed 7:45 AM that had been nego­ti­at­ed the evening before. It was great fun with every­one enjoy­ing the gift-giv­ing and receiv­ing. This was fol­lowed by a hearty brunch, then on to fig­ur­ing out how to oper­ate new things or start­ing new books, etc. There were trips to Spring Island, vis­its to the gym and relaxing.

Christ­mas din­ner prepa­ra­tion start­ed right after brunch with the 15-pound prime rib going into the oven. Every­one did their thing until around 5:00 PM when the ther­mome­ter said the cen­ter­piece was done and we gath­ered and final prepa­ra­tions were com­plet­ed, includ­ing carv­ing the roast. It was a great Christ­mas feast and after the bless­ing was said we indulged. After din­ner, there was Apple and Mince pie and more Christ­mas fun.

The day after Christ­mas, there was some shop­ping by a few brave soles, Brenn and Gary went fish­ing, the gym got heavy good use, there were trips to Spring Island and some read­ing and relax­ing. Brenn, Gary and­Mike sight­ed in Bren­n’s new pel­let gun behind the cot­tage, Mike, Alexan­dra, and Gil went to the shoot­ing range and sharp­ened their pis­tol shoot­ing eye. In the evening, Gary went out and brought the fam­i­ly bar­beque from one of the favorite local restau­rants and we again had more than enough to eat and drink. After din­ner more fam­i­ly social­iz­ing. Fri­day the Mont­gomerys and Prado’s head­ed home. Joyce and Gil had a qui­et din­ner of left­over roast, fresh veg­eta­bles from the Spring Island farm, and the last of the mince pie. The tree came down and great mem­o­ries were all that was left as we head­ed back to Hilton Head. What a great fam­i­ly hol­i­day week!

 

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Thanksgiving 2019

by on Dec.03, 2019, under Family

Joyce and I flew to Fort Laud­erdale Flori­da for Thanks­giv­ing. A beau­ti­ful day and a per­fect flight. By the time we had unloaded and put the cov­er on the air­plane, Jen­nifer was there to pick us up and take us to Casa Mont­gomery a lux­u­ry resort in South West Ranch­es. We stopped for lunch and got set­tled and it was time for cock­tails and a bar­beque in Jen­nifer and Mikes’s new­ly redone out­door kitchen.

Wednes­day was a day of relax­ing, some shop­ping, and ear­ly prepa­ra­tion for tomor­row’s feast. Weath­er was great so we enjoyed the day which fin­ished with din­ner out­side on a per­fect Flori­da evening. Thanks­giv­ing day saw the seri­ous meal prepa­ra­tion get start­ed, some foot­ball view­ing, more relax­ing and a mid-day snack. Alexan­dra showed off her Christ­mas dec­o­rat­ed room and we hung out until it was time. Jen­nifer cooked the turkey in their out­door kitchen, and Mike did the carv­ing. It was a great way to give thanks and enjoy our fam­i­ly over a great din­ner. We enjoyed pump­kin pie, then Alexan­dra enter­tained on the piano. Real­ly, a great fam­i­ly day.

Black Fri­day saw a lit­tle bit of shop­ping and Alexan­dra did some rid­ing, but the main activ­i­ty was enjoy­ing fam­i­ly and relax­ing. The cooks got the night off and we did Asian at a near­by restaurant.

Sat­ur­day after break­fast we left Fort Laud­erdale Exec­u­tive air­port on anoth­er per­fect day for the two and a half hour flight back to Hilton Head. Anoth­er great flight and by twelve-thir­ty we were hav­ing lunch at our favorite Mex­i­can restau­rant on the Island. Anoth­er great Thanks­giv­ing with min­i­mum stress and max­i­mum fam­i­ly fun.

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Patty, Suzy and Tina’s visit to the Low Country

by on Nov.11, 2019, under Family

My three sis­ters from Ore­gon came to South Car­oli­na at the end of Octo­ber for a short vis­it. We did a lot of tour­ing includ­ing Hilton Head Island, Savan­nah, the cot­tage at Chechessee Creek, Spring Island, Beau­fort and Bluffton. The Pra­do fam­i­ly joined us while we were at the Chechessee Creek cot­tage and treat­ed our vis­i­tors to a boat tour of the riv­er and marsh­land sur­round­ing Spring Island. We did a trol­ly tour of Savan­nah includ­ing a tour of the Mer­cer House famous from the book and movie, Mid­night in the land of good and evil. They also toured Beau­fort by car­riage as well as dip­ping their toes in the Atlantic ocean ” I can’t believe the water is so warm”.  We also did a lot of eat­ing of local dish­es and even saw a Man­a­tee at the dock where we had lunch on Hilton Head Island. What fol­lows are some pic­tures from the visit:

Hilton Head Island Touring

Tour­ing Savannah

Tour­ing Beaufort

Chechessee Creek, Spring Island

Bluffton and Hilton Head Island

The weath­er was per­fect and we caught up on fam­i­ly hap­pen­ings and were re-intro­duced to the Low Coun­try of South Car­oli­na. We thor­ough­ly enjoyed the com­pa­ny and vowed to get togeth­er soon and hope­ful­ly include more of the family.

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Family trip to Africa 2019

by on Jul.31, 2019, under Family

We depart­ed our home air­ports on Sun­day, July 14, met in Atlanta where we board­ed our fif­teen and half hour flight to Johan­nes­burg, South Africa. We were met after clear­ing cus­toms by the Aber­crom­bie & Kent rep­re­sen­ta­tive and escort­ed across the street to the Inter­con­ti­nen­tal Hotel where we would spend the night. The next morn­ing after break­fast, we were escort­ed to our char­tered flight to Botswana, with a stop to clear cus­toms in Maun, then on to our des­ti­na­tion, Sanc­tu­ary Chief’s Camp.

We arrived at the camp and were met by the staff singing a native wel­come song. We dropped our bags in our room, had lunch on the deck, and we are off on our first game drive.

Every­one was excit­ed about our first dri­ve and we saw lots of inter­est­ing ani­mals, but there was antic­i­pa­tion to see some of the big cats and oth­er big animals.

That evening we set­tled in and then were treat­ed to a show put on by the local tribe mem­bers on the staff. Cock­tails and din­ner are excel­lent and we were off to a great start on our adventure.

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Sanctury Chief’s Camp

by on Jul.31, 2019, under Family

Sanc­tu­ary Chief’s Camp is sit­u­at­ed on the pri­vate Mom­bo Con­ces­sion with­in the More­mi Game Reserve, at the core of the Oka­van­go Delta. The area is a mix of mature wood­lands, the biggest island being Cheif’s island on which the camp is built and ver­dant flood plains that become inun­dat­ed from as ear­ly as April every year. The camp gets its name from the deceased Chief More­mi III’s wife under whose lead­er­ship in 1963 estab­lished the More­mi game reserve. It is the only offi­cial­ly pro­tect­ed area of the Oka­van­go Delta and has result­ed in an amaz­ing con­cen­tra­tion of diverse Africa species. The Sanc­tu­ary Retreats orga­ni­za­tion owns and man­ages a num­ber of high-end camps and lodges in five African countries.

The camp itself is made up of the main lodge with lux­u­ry Pavil­lion Rooms on either side of the lodge fac­ing a dried lake bed with a water­ing hole in front of a deck. Dur­ing the rainy sea­son, the lake is full, dur­ing the dry sea­son it hosts a parade of all kinds of ani­mals com­ing to drink or wallow.

We had five Pavil­lion Rooms that includ­ed a bed­room, sit­ting room, ful­ly stocked bar, deck, pool, dress­ing room and bath­room with an indoor as well as an out­door show­er. Recent­ly refur­bished every­thing was mod­ern, except the roof was thatched (wood ceil­ings in rooms). When the ear­ly morn­ing wake-up calls (knock on the door) start the baboons would jump from roof to roof mak­ing a huge racket.

The rou­tine at Chief’s camp was a six A.M. wake up call, break­fast buf­fet with served entres to order, morn­ing game dri­ve leav­ing at sev­en A.M. with a cof­fee break in the bush mid-morn­ing then return to the camp for a sit down served lunch from the menu. The after­noon game dri­ve left at three P.M. with cock­tails served in the bush around sun­down and the return to the lodge for more cock­tails and din­ner served from the menu. The food, wine, cock­tails, ser­vices were first class and the staff was extreme­ly friend­ly and well trained includ­ing the two dri­vers, track­er, guides assigned to our group.

 

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Sanctuary Chiefs Camp, July 17th.

by on Jul.31, 2019, under Family

Our first full day at Chiefs Camp starts off with an African sun­rise then an incred­i­ble leop­ard pho­to op. A male and female, thought to be broth­er and sis­ter were fin­ish­ing off their impala kill. The male was eat­ing but the female was pos­ing and what a job she did.

We then get treat­ed to an Ele­phant show, first at the water­ing hole while hav­ing lunch in camp, then lat­er out in the bush.

We enjoy view­ing a num­ber of addi­tion­al species in addi­tion to the ele­phants in the after­noon. includ­ing a Baboon perched on top of a ter­mite mound to scan for predators.

 

 

 

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