A Journal, with Pictures


Thanksgiving 2018

by on Nov.23, 2018, under Family

Spring Island from the Cottage

The family started gathering at the Chechessee cottage on the Monday before Thanksgiving with Jennifer, Mike, and Alexandra arriving from Florida. Tuesday Caitlin and Kinsey arrived with Gil and Joyce and Heidi, Gary and Brenn completed the gathering Thanksgiving morning. Thanksgiving day was typical with lots of activities, starting with some working out at Spring Island, games, cooking, eating, additional games, football watching, more eating, more games, talking, relaxing, more eating, more cooking, giving Thanks and then feasting. It was a great Thanksgiving day surrounded by several days of family fun.

Black Friday activities started with exercise for everybody with some heading to the gym and others entering the 5K at Spring Island. Once that was done we resumed the eating, games, football watching Missouri won big, and there was some shopping. Gary left to coach his football team, who are in the playoffs. All but Gary went to the Oyster Roast at Spring Island for dinner.


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Christmas 2017

by on Dec.29, 2017, under Family

Christmas weekend started with Caitlin and Kinsey coming to Hilton Head on Thursday, with Heidi having outpatient surgery done Friday. Friday Jennifer, Mike and Alexandra arrived in the evening from Florida. Saturday morning Jennifer organized the traditional gingerbread house baking and construction and there as lots of other holiday baking. Kinsey declared that her gingerbread house was hit by hurricane Mathew, Caitlin’s was sturdy and nice but the prize went to Alexandra for prettiest house (pictured below).  Early Saturday afternoon we all traveled to the Chechessee cottage and to our surprise Heidi was there recovering. Gary and Brenn arrived Christmas eve morning. Christmas eve was spent playing games, watching college football, enjoying each others company, capped off by a fine dinner.

Christmas morning the excitement was high and yes Santa had delivered lots of gifts. There was lots of happines, but the highlight was Brenn shedding tears of joy when he opened his tickets to the Collage Football National Championship game. We all teared up and it capped off a great morning. We then had a big Christmas brunch then everyone enjoyed their gifts and socialized. In the afternoon we watched the San Francisco 49ers pull off an impressive win over the Jaguars who were favored. We then enjoyed a traditional prime rib Christmas dinner. We spent Boxing day doing more family things, with some shopping, working out and playing with new toys, before Gary and Mike arrived with Barbecue dinner. The Prado’s went back to Savannah on Wednesday and Montgomery’s to Fort Lauderdale on Thursday. It was a great family Christmas.

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Thanksgiving 2017

by on Nov.29, 2017, under Family

Joyce and I flew to Fort Lauderdale the day before Thanksgiving. Great flight and then time for Jen and Joyce to spring into action preparing for tomorrows feast. Dinner out a fun Italian restaurant, eat light so you are ready for turkey? Thanksgiving day was great, with the traditional dinner and quality time with family. Alexandra was in charge of the official picture and did a fine job.

Friday after Thanksgiving we drove into Miami to the Wynwood Walls area to me Dennis and Jill Haber and Dennis’s sister Arlene for lunch. We had a great lunch and a great visit. We then toured the area visiting a neat little car museum and taking in the incredible street art.

We then returned to Jen and Mikes home, and Jen did some shopping (Black Friday) and Mike and Gil went to the shooting range. Dinner at home and Saturday we flew back to Hilton Head another great flight. Another super Thanksgiving with family.

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Weddings in Oregon

by on Aug.03, 2017, under Family

We flew to Oregon for two joyous events, the weddings of Brian Littlefield (nephew) to Lynda Mathews and my brother Mike Williamson to Laticia Stryker. We stayed in Bend, Oregon, where my brother lives, then traveled to Salem the site of the rehearsal dinner and wedding. We stayed in Salem at the beautiful Oregon gardens.

Oregon Gardens

Rehearsal Dinner

The wedding was outdoors in a beautiful setting, followed by dinner.

Brian and Lynda’s wedding

We traveled back to Bend stopping at the Willamette Valley vineyard to taste wine and have lunch with Mike, Laticia and cousin Kayle. We liked the Pinot, and sent a case back to South Carolina.

Oregon Wine Country

On Monday we traveled to Camp Sherman, Oregon for Mike and Laticia’s wedding in a beautiful wooded setting, followed by dinner. Laticia had a fabulous photographer who did not want competition so these images were taken with my spy camera. It was a wonderful wedding enjoyed by the whole family.

Mike and Laticia’s wedding

We returned to Bend with my sister Patty and her husband Lenny and the next day had lunch with Mike and Laticia. During the week end we had the occasion to reunite with our family in Oregon including my three sisters (Suzy, Patty and Tina) and their husbands and children as well as of course Mike. We decided it was time to have a family reunion and include all of the east coast contingent next year. Patty is in charge so we know it will happen. Joyce and I got up very early Wednesday and flew back to South Carolina. It was a great weekend which we will be reminded of as we sip the very nice Oregon, Pinot Nior that is on its way.



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Christmas 2016

by on Dec.28, 2016, under Family

Joyce and I flew to Ft. Lauderdale to spend Christmas with Jen, Mike and Alexandra. We left a day early due to weather, arriving on Thursday. We enjoyed Thursday afternoon and Friday in the Montgomery construction zone as Jen and Mike are in the middle of a renovation project and the progress is impressive, with more to come. Some shopping, Mike and Gil visited the Wings over Miami aviation museum Friday, but mostly relaxing and enjoying family. Oh did I mention eating, yes eating is our strong suit, lots of food all the time, with a great Christmas eve dinner, then another feast on Christmas day. Back on the diet next week. Christmas morning was great with everyone enjoying the gift exchange and of course Alexandra was the epicenter of the gift giving storm. She loved it in a very mature and Christian way.  We talked on the phone with Heidi who was with the Prado branch of the family in Myrtle Beach this year, and all was well.

Joyce and I flew back to Hilton Head on Monday to prepare for the New Year. It was a great Christmas, we are so blessed as a family.

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2016 a great family Thanksgiving

by on Nov.27, 2016, under Family

This was the first Thanksgiving celebrated at the Chechessee cottage by our family and it was a great one. Jennifer, Mike and Alexandra arrived late afternoon on Wednesday and Heidi, Gary, Brenn, Caitlin and Kinsey on Thursday morning. Gary and Brenn launched their boat and caught a bunch of sea trout, the rest played games, watched football and enjoyed each others company. Joyce, Jen and Heidi were at work in the kitchen preparing the dinner. We all sat down and gave thanks for our many blessings then enjoyed an incredible feast. After dinner more games and football plus pumpkin pie to top off a wonderful day.

Friday was filled with activities for everyone, more fishing for Gary and Brenn, then they joined Alexandra and Caitlin in a fishing tournament. At the same time Heidi and Kinsey participated in a 5K fun run. Gil worked out and played photographer, then after lunch watched football, Ohio State vs Michigan, what a game. There was a young persons fun night at Spring Island and the adults had dinner a Chechessee Creek Club. Saturday there were more activities at Spring Island with the owners market, various kids activities such as face painting, barbecue lunch, a presentation of raptors by a visiting naturalist, as well as a dog show. Alexandra’s dog, Autumn’s brother was in the show so he got lots of cheers from us.  Again, it was a perfect fall day and everyone had a great time.

Jennifer, Mike and Alexandra left for Fort Lauderdale Saturday evening to beat the traffic and the rest of us enjoyed a  fresh caught sea trout fish fry at the cottage then watched a little more football. Sunday morning we watched another great sunrise over the Chechessee river, had breakfast then reluctantly left to go home. This was truly one of the best Thanksgiving ever at a very special place for our family.


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Fourth of July 2016

by on Jul.13, 2016, under Family


The family tradition continued with Joyce and I flying to Hilton Head on June 30th, Jennifer, Alexandra and Mike driving from Fort Lauderdale and Heidi, Brenn, Caitlin, Kinsey and Gary arriving from Savannah over the next two days. The first kids activity was the Spring Island Sports Camp Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The camp was mostly in the morning ending with the kids in the pool in the afternoon, which was good because it was HOT. The adults enjoyed a break from the kids and everyone gathered for dinner at the cottage. Gary brought the boat over on Sunday in preparation for the cruise Monday night.

Monday the fourth, we all participated in the Spring Island festivities. The kids were out early to decorate the horses for the parade. The parade seemed to be bigger and more elaborate this year with Tom Cameron again Grand Marshall. There were games, Brenn being a tug of war star, then a incredibly barbque lunch, then more games and swimming for the kids. There was entertainment with the weather warm but what the fourth in the south is expected to be. This is truely what a small community fourth of July celibration should be.

In the evening we boarded the Prado’s boat and cruised to Skull Creek for the fireworks after picnic dinner on board. It turned out there was a delay but just as we started to leave the display went off. It was a late night but the kids were up in time for Camp Spring Island (Nature Camp) the next morning. Another three days, with the kids busy with camp and the adults relaxing, going to the pool, playing a little golf and catching up on reading. At dinner we got the camp report. Did you have fun? Yes. They were pretty tired with camp and swimming afterwards. On Wedesday, Heidi volunteered to pick up the kids and the rest of the adults, cruised to Beaufort for lunch a a local favorite on the river, Plums.

Overall it was a great fourth of July week at Chechessee Creek and Spring Island. Plenty for the kids to do and the adults got to do their thing with time for the whole family together. It was a very happy 4th of July for our family.

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Christmas 2015

by on Jan.01, 2016, under Family

The Williamson, Montgomery and Prado families converged on Heidi and Gary Prado’s new home in Savannah, GA for the Christmas day celebration. The Montgomery’s drove from Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday and Joyce and Gil Christmas morning. Fog slowed us down a little so the children were more than ready for the gift exchange at around 8:30 AM. The chaos was minimal, everyone had a great time and the excitement plus squeals seemed to indicate everyone was pleased with Santa’s good work. We followed with the traditional family brunch. Then it was time to enjoy family until Christmas dinner. In all it was a great family Christmas.

As the sun set it was time for the traditional family Christmas selfie.

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Sunday August 9th.

by on Aug.12, 2015, under Family

After breakfast we explored Churchill visiting a great little museum in the train station. After lunch it was time to take a tour of the Tundra. Gerald our intrepid guide drove us out of town in the Lazy Bear school bus over wash board gravel roads. We then boarded the Lazy Bear Tundra Buggy and several of our adventures took turns driving this behemouth along dirt roads. Fog came in, which made this desolate but beautiful landscape more interesting but we were all thinking that tomorrow we fly.

The Tundra is very a unique enviroment with perma-frost just a few inches below the surface and a very short growing season. It supports the hartier species including Caribou that can survive on the lichen that grows on rocks. Gerald our guide always has his rifle handy since you never know when a bear may join our party. Churchill was the site of a Cold War airforce base and signs warn of unexploed ordinance. The First Nation people ( PC for Indians) lived off this land, which dives to minus thirty degrees in the winter, which is hard to believe. It’s a very sobering place to visit and you come away with an appreciation of both the original inhabitante and those who choose to live here now.

We return to the lodge and start looking at the weather, it looks a little iffy but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying cocktails and dinner on our last night with the whole group together. We decide to get up tomorrow and take what mother nature gives us.


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Christmas 2014

by on Dec.29, 2014, under Family

Christmas 2014 was different for Joyce and I. Both the Prado’s and Montgomery’s are moving into to new homes, so we visited them rather than having family Christmas at our home with at least one family. So the weekend before Christmas we traveled to Savannah to see Heidi and Gary’s just finished home. It’s great and we are sure that they are going to enjoy it and we felt like Santa dropping off gifts at their old home. Right after Christmas they will move in.

The plan was to fly to Florida on Tuesday before Christmas but a electrical issue with our plane and the weather conspired against us. So we watched it storm in Hilton Head and cheered our aircraft service center on. By Tuesday the plane was fixed but not flight tested because the weather continued bad and it looked like it wouldn’t be good until Christmas day. Joyce and I enjoyed a fire in the fireplace and had Christmas eve dinner together at home. It was a very nice Christmas eve and gift exchange. The next morning the weather was good enough to fly and the plan was if all worked well we would proceed to Fort Lauderdale. Except for strong headwinds the trip was good and the plane worked perfectly. We arrived around 11:00 AM in time for Christmas brunch in Jen and Mikes new home. We then exchanged gifts and had a great Christmas day together. They choose the route of buying a existing house with great potential and then redecorate and change it to fit their needs. It is going to be a great property when they get it done and furnished, but now they are in the unpacking and project mode, but enjoying it.

We had a great time and had time to have lunch with our friends Jill and Dennis Haber on Friday after Christmas, then spent time with family Friday evening and Saturday. Sunday morning we had breakfast by the pool with Alexandra, Jen and Mike, then flew back to Hilton Head to have lunch outdoors overlooking the harbor at Shelter Cove in balmy weather on the way from the airport to home. It was a different Christmas but one we enjoyed thanks to our trusty Cirrus airplane and great family.

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