A Journal, with Pictures

Family

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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Thanksgiving 2014

by on Nov.30, 2014, under Family

The traditional family gathering for Thanksgiving happened in Hilton Head in 2014. The festivities really started Monday when Mom started the shopping, and cooking that went on almost non-stop through Wednesday morning. Jen, Mike and Alexandra drove up in less than ideal weather on Wednesday but arrived safe and sound for a well deserved glass of wine and dinner. Thanksgiving day dawned clear and cool with the Prado’s, Heidi, Gary, Brenn, Caitlin and Kinsey driving over from Savannah. Kids played both in doors and outdoors, there was the usual kitchen kibitzing and football watching. We were join by our good friends Gordon and Marilyn in the afternoon in time for a cocktail, more socializing in preparation for the feast. Mom as usual out did herself with dinner, however a highlight of the day was Brenn’s saying the grace before dinner. He is growing up, and growing up well. It was a jolly dinner enjoyed by all with the kids at their table and the adults enjoying the noise reduction and conversation.

 

A perfect day, except the beloved 49ers didn’t play well, but in the overall scheme of things still a perfect day, with family and friends.

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Post Thanksgiving

by on Nov.30, 2014, under Family

Friday after Thanksgiving was time to hang out together and give Mom a much needed rest from cooking. We all went over to Shelter Cove to get out in the sun and get a photo taken with a very cool Santa. A little boat viewing, bounce house and craft watching and it was back home. We hung out together at home and watched Missouri come from behind to win, making Heidi and Brenn very happy. It was a big barbecue ribs dinner (take out) then all the kids slept over.

Saturday the family, as is the tradition, traveled out to Spring Island for the annual, owners market, kids fun activity, lunch, dog show and general great to be alive as a family day. The girls loved the petting zoo, all enjoyed the crafts and face painting, shopping produced some great bargains, enjoyed a bigggg lunch and all watched as Jen, Mike and Alexandra s golden retrievers sister competed in the dog show.

Alexandra had a Sunday Gymnastics meet in Florida so we all left for our separate homes from Spring Island after the dog show. It was a great Thanksgiving family get together

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Best Family 4th of July Ever

by on Jul.20, 2014, under Family

The Williamson, Montgomery and Prado families get together for the fourth of July every year at Spring Island, this year was special. For one thing there was the sports camp Sunday and Monday, in which Brenn and Alexandra participated. Mike, Jennifer and Alexandra drove up from Fort Lauderdale on Saturday and picked up Brenn on their way to the Chechessee cottage. Joyce and I flew in from Dayton to Hilton Head. We had several projects in Hilton Head so we went back and forth until Wednesday. Kinsey and Caitlin joined Brenn and Alexandra for Camp Spring Island (nature camp) on Tuesday and stayed in a house on Callawassie Island. Gary brought his boat from Savannah on Wednesday. Besides dinner and socializing our first all family activity was a boat trip from Chechessee over to Hilton Head Island and back. It was great fun with beautiful scenery, a giant school of dolphins past by the boat while we observed and in general everyone had a good time.

Captain Gary

Captain Gary

Dolphin

Dolphin

Gratitude

Gratitude

Deck hand Mike

Deck hand Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joyce and I enjoyed a round of golf at Chechessee on Thursday and the everyone met a the Spring Island pool which was the gathering spot. So the family hung out together, enjoyed the great weather and all of the amenities of Spring Island.

Caitlin and Grandma

Caitlin and Grandma

Alexandra and Grandpa

Alexandra and Grandpa

Alexandra and Grandma

Alexandra and Grandma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The big day is the fourth of July, with a decorating horses, bikes and golf carts, a parade, a big picnic lunch, and after lunch tons of activities. This year the big hit, was a water slide, bouncy house, and dunk tank, that occupied the kids for hours after lunch. It was a perfect day that everyone enjoyed.

Brenn decorating

Brenn decorating

Decorating horses

Decorating horses

Parade begins

Parade begins

Decorated golf cart

Decorated golf cart

Kids of all ages

Kids of all ages

Prado kids in parade

Prado kids in parade

Alexandra in the parade

Alexandra in the parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the things that makes Spring Island so special is the staff and this event was no exception with the magnificent staff doing a fabulous job. The lunch was spectacular, the service great and nothing was overlooked in making it a great day for everyone.

Magnificent servers

Magnificent servers

Brenn burger

Brenn burger

Fourth picnic

Fourth picnic

Kinsey's desert

Kinsey’s desert

Jen relax's

Jen relax’s

Brenn is full

Brenn is full

Fourth cake

Fourth cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Fun!

Water Fun!

Dunk tank

Dunk tank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening, we packed a picnic dinner and headed to Hilton Head to watch the fireworks from the water in Skull Creek. We saw a great sun set them a spectacular fireworks display.

Sunset on the fourth

Sunset on the fourth

Bang!

Bang!

Boom!

Boom!

Fireworks finale

Fireworks finale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone agreed this was the best family fourth of July ever.

Family Fourth of July

Family Fourth of July

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COPA Jekyll Island Fly-In Saturday May 17

by on May.18, 2014, under Family

NOTE: Click twice on thumb nails to enlarge images.

Some came in on Friday, but the majority of the fly-in attendees arrived on Saturday May 17th.The weather was perfect clear skies, light winds, and warm dry temps, welcome to the grand strand islands. Everyone was on their own to explore the island and enjoy the ambiance of Jekyll Island, there was lot to see and do, or you could just relax. One of the nice amenities available on the island is rental of the unique red bug electric cars, which many did. So exploring before and after lunch was in order. The natural beauty with live oak forest, marsh land, a gorgeous golf course, great beaches,andwaterways, historic ruins, and the historic Jekyll Island Club property with surrounding buildings gave everyone plenty to see.

Jekyll MarshHorton HouseJekyll BeachJekyll cottageJekyll Island Club

There were many choices for lunch. We chose the wharf right in front of the hotel, where there was music and indoor as well as outdoor dining on local seafood favorites.

Beach MusicSaturday Lunch

After lunch it was more exploring or as our organizers Jim and Jackie Dout decided, just relax by the pool.

Jim and Jackie

We all met for cocktails in the COPA private room off the main dining room. There were 36 COPA members and guests for dinner. We had time to socialize in the grandeur of the great historic hotel.   Saturday CocktailsSaturday before dinnerSaturday chattingSaturday drinksSaturday receptionSaturday Group

We then ordered dinner from the Grand Dining Room Menu and enjoyed COPA fellowship and a great meal.

Saturday DinnerSaturday SocializingSaturday after dinner coffee

After dinner the conversations continued and some left for the outdoor bar at the pool, on an absolutely perfect evening. The socializing went on with everyone knowing tomorrows brunch didn’t start until 11:30. It was a great evening, perfectly organized withe everyone expressing their appreciation for the great job that Jim and Jackie Dout did putting the event together.

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