A Journal, with Pictures


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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Chiefs Camp, Thursday July 18th.

by on Jul.31, 2019, under Family

Thursday was our last full day at Chief’s camp and it turned out to be a full one which includes, a Hyena family and Rhino photo op in the morning along with some other interesting species.

When it was time to return to camp for lunch we had a surprise. The chef and staff had set up a stir fry to order lunch, of course with a bar, in the bush.

Tomorrow we will fly on to Singita.

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