Posts by April M. Williams

Posts by April M. Williams, speaker, author and coach

Making it Through Winter Weather in Chicago

Chicago winters are brutal. Cold, wet, slippery, windy. When we reach winter solstice the days are so short, many of us go to work in the dark and return home without seeing daylight. The cold, dark days take a toll on us Midwesterners. Some of us are affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which impacts our mood and ability to function.

When we do catch a break and temps reach 30 and the sun comes out, I appreciate the reprieve. Winter does have beautiful moments. Enjoy a few of the scenes from my neck of the woods.

Winter Solstice Sunset in McHenry County

Winter Solstice Sunset in McHenry County

Naturally Flocked Christmas Trees in McHenry County

Naturally Flocked Christmas Trees in McHenry County

Ice Covered Scene in McHenry County

Ice Covered Scene in McHenry County

Hawaii Five-0 Television Series Returns to Hawaii

The Hawaii Five-0 television series ran from 1968 to 1980. Filmed in Hawaii, the show featured the fictional Hawaii State Police whose offices were in the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. The show drew an increase in tourists to Hawaii despite the violent crime in each show.

We have been watching the shows newly released on DVD. From the pilot show through season 7 we watched the cast and landscape of Hawaii change. Waikiki, Diamond Head and Honolulu look very different now though the Kahala Inn looks much the same.  The most fun is to see the places we visit when we are on island.

Over the years a series revival has been discussed. So far, no solid announcements have been made.

What stories do you have about the Hawaii Five-0 show, cast, crew or location? Log in a share your tales. Book ’em, Danno!

Noel Williams & Jack Lord

Noel Williams & Jack Lord

Hawaii Five-0 Book Em Chin Ho Honolulu Hawaii

We stopped by Diamond Head Memorial Park to pay our respects to Kam Fong who played Chin Ho Kelly on Hawaii Five-0. The cemetery sits at the base of Diamond Head and next to Kapiolani Community College.

The head stone appeared milky colored and hard to read as the morning dew clung to the inside of the plexiglass shield protecting the etching. The Hawaii Five-0 logo is engraved on the right side of the headstone.

While Kam Fong was perhaps best known for his appearance on Hawaii Five-0, his movie credits include “Gidget Goes Hawaiian,” “Ghost of the China Sea,” “Seven Women from Hell,” and “Diamond Head.”

We are excited to hear CBS is reviving and updating the Hawaii Five-0 series with Alex O’Loughlin as
Steve McGarrett, Scott Caan as Danny “Danno” Williams, Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly and Grace Park
as Kono Kalakaua. Book ’em, Danno!

Here is a video of our visit to Kam Fong’s grave at Diamond Head Memorial Park.

Winter Driving in Chicagoland

Winter in Chicagoland and the weather is predictably unpredictable. Snow fell for most of the last three days leaving trees dusted with a white coating. Yards and streets are blanketed with a thick layer of snow.

Not bad driving today in McHenry County. Yesterday snow fell faster than plows could clear. Spun out cars and trucks lined the roads. We shoveled multiple times before the storm let up.

Here’s what it looks like today a day after the multiple day storm.

Midwest Winter Solstice is Here

Today is the Winter Solstice in the Midwest. It’s cold and snowy here in Chicago as we get closer to year end. The sun set at 4:21 last night for the shortest day of the year. Today we start the six month journey to summer solstice when we enjoy the longest day of the year. In the Chicago area, it does not become fully dark until 9 PM in late June. That is my favorite time of year.

Until then, I’ll enjoy the few minutes of additional daylight each day. The sun rises one or two minutes earlier and sets a moment or two later each day.

Living in the moment, here is a photo of my neighbors snow yard art. Enjoy

Winter Solstice in McHenry County

Winter Solstice in McHenry County

Doris Dukes Shangra La Honolulu Hawaii

Doris Duke created Shangra La, a home on a five acre patch of ocean front property over looking Diamond Head. The home is decorated with Duke’s passion, Islamic treasures collected from around the world.

Doris Dukes Shangra La Honolulu Hawaii

Doris Dukes Shangra La Honolulu Hawaii

This is the first view we had when the front door opened.

Oh, to live in Shangra La!

Operation Sweet Tooth Piece A Cake Bakery Dundee Illinois

The folks at Piece A Cake Bakery in Dundee, Illinois are cooking up something special. Roger and Diane Ahrens, both former Marines, bake delicious cookies, cakes and pies to satisfy any sweet tooth. You can visit their bakeries in East Dundee and in Gilberts, Illinois.

They also support our troops year round through Operation Sweet Tooth. For just the cost of shipping, about $20, you can send a sweet care package to a friend or loved one serving in our military overseas. The Ahrens will whip up a large box filled with cookies carefully wrapped to prevent damage and ship the package to our troops. The boxes are filled with plenty of cookies to share. The couple has donated and shipped over 10,500 cookies in 7000 boxes since they started Operation Sweet Tooth in 2004.

Click here for more information, drop by their stores or call them at 847.836.6703 (East Dundee).
Piece-A-Cake Bakery on Urbanspoon

Giuseppes La Cantina Thanksgiving Stimulus

Giuseppe’s La Cantina is a favorite place my family. We have been welcomed by the Brunetti family since 1963 when they opened their doors in Des Plaines, Illinois and our extended family gathers for dinner once a month.

We held our wedding rehearsal dinner there too. Originally started as Nicks’ La Cantina by brothers Nick and Giuseppe, the restaurant has gone through expansions, renovations and transformations through out the years. The place even rose like a phoenix after a fire closed their doors a few years back.

The family business is grateful for customers who have stayed with them through the years. We are now bringing our third generation of our family for dinners. Once again, the family is giving back to the community.

The Brunetti family knows there are those who are struggling through these challenging times and they want to help. They are offering a free, full course Thanksgiving meal for those who have been or are in danger of foreclosure. Reservations are required at (847) 824-4230.

I spoke to Mary this afternoon about the event. She said reservations must be received by Monday to allow her time to order and prepare the turkeys.

If you are in the mood for a great pizza or Italian dish any other day, drop by Guiseppe’s at 1062 Lee Street. Tell them April sent you.
Giuseppe's on Urbanspoon

Giuseppe's on Foodio54

A Handsome Devil Made Me Do It

I just got a tweet from my buddy the Travelocity Roaming Gnome who said “@AprilMWilliams: Let’s have a peek at the photos! I can only imagine I look stunningly handsome.”

Well of course the Roaming Gnome is handsome and dashing. And I have photos to prove it.

While I posted the photos on my Twitter feed and often use this photo in my presentations as an excellent example of building relationships with customers, I did not post the photo to my blog. So I am fixing this today.

On a recent trip to Hawaii Nathan Kam @NathanKam let us in on a inside scoop. We took advantage of this photo op during the gnome’s busy and adventure packed visit to Hawaii. We snapped this shot at Duke’s Waikiki Restaurant & Barefoot Bar at the Outrigger Hotel Waikiki. He has a bit of a tan from all the surfing he did the day before. Fortunately, he was slathered in maximum sun screen protection.

Here’s the Roaming Gnome and I enjoying breakfast overlooking Waikiki Beach. Aloha!

Travelocity Roaming Gnome and April M. Williams at Duke's in Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii

Travelocity Roaming Gnome and April M. Williams at Duke’s in Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii

Selling a Mansion in Glenco Illinois

I recently attended a networking event in Chicago’s north suburban Glencoe. The event was held in a mansion at 458 Lakeside in Glencoe, Illinois. This 10,000 square foot home built by Adel Tarakdjian of Tara Designer Homes is available for private events like the one I attended. The couple hundred people at the session comfortably roamed all three level plus the lower level of the home, patios and  gardens. Our host for the evening, master networker Dan Felix.

What a great way to market a home in this economy. By renting out the facility, a few hundred people a night visit the showcase home. Rental fees generate income and during our session, Adel gave a short commercial on his company and background on the home.

You can see professional photos at the website but to get a real feel for the property, you have to see it to believe. Even the mini kitchen and wine storage on the third level were spectacular.

458 Lakeside in Glencoe, Illinois

458 Lakeside in Glencoe, Illinois

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