Well, it’s high tide I sat down and updated you all on what this new blog’s all about (and I promise it has nothing to do with Kenny Chesney being in town either–hmmm, wait a minute?). It’s been some time since I’ve actually written anything, and that’s right, all it took was a little island inspiration and a “local” celebrity to kick my butt back into gear.
So, you guessed it, here I am, back in the sunny south–my island home, Key West. In fact, this is the third time I’ve returned since my last blog post in May, with visits in July and October, along with one quick trip to Miami in November, too. I signed off on that last blog post not knowing exactly when I’d be returning to Key West and what adventures would lie ahead, patiently awaiting to be embraced by its magic and reunited with this tiny island once again. But, here I am to let you know, I’m back!–fingers to keypad, and feeling the magic in the place my soul is so deeply connected to.
Spending some time this week with my lovely friend, Lou, we made our way to Mallory Square to stroll through the ever famous sunset celebrations. Here, we ran into my sweet friend, Linda, selling her beautiful personalized seashells among all of the buskers and entertainment. A few days prior, there were rumblings that Kenny Chesney was in town (if you didn’t know, Key West is one of Kenny’s common stomping grounds), but, while chatting away, Linda had shared with me that he rode past her earlier that day on the bike her son sold him, with a sweet customized paint job, so this wasn’t just another rumour passed down the coconut telegraph.
So what does any of this have to do with my blog, you ask? It all goes back to a balcony in St. Thomas, USVI in March of 2016, and one of those cable stations that plays music on the TV. On a return trip to the Virgin Islands, I was relaxing on the balcony of my condo after a long day in the sun when I overheard someone singing about “Sherri living in paradise…” The lyrics immediately piqued my interest and I moved into the condo only to hear Kenny Chesney pretty much highlighting my obsession with island life as a girl from the North and this incredible pull I had to search for something, that even then, I didn’t exactly know of (you can listen to the full version of “Sherry’s Living in Paradise” here). So, ya, I was a little blown away. I confess, I don’t listen to a lot of country music, so I wasn’t familiar with this song at all.
Sherry’s living in paradise
Somehow the salty air, it soothes her soul
Says it makes her whole…
The next day, I hopped into the shuttle van of my most awesome driver and friend, Yisrael, who happens to be a big country fan. He’s even performed on the CMAs and in the video “Painkiller” as a professional moko jumbo dancer for Little Big Town. Of course, Yisrael was playing Kenny, because Kenny also has a home there in St. John, having many fans in the local islanders. When I told him about the song I had heard, he just had to play it for me and said, “That’s you!…Sherri in Paradise!”…and, well, the name just stuck. Yisrael began calling me “Sherri in Paradise” and I started using the hashtag on my own personal Facebook page with this cute little red-haired bitmoji girl in a beach fedora. At that time, I had no idea how I was actually branding myself for this blog. Funny how that works, isn’t it? 😉
Fast forward a couple of years to this summer, August 2018. My brain is ticking with ideas on what to name my new blog after having written several years for a magazine in the Florida Keys. I was super excited to be branching out on my own and decided to run a few possible names across my island writing friends and colleagues–“Sherri in Paradise” being the one that called to me the most. That same afternoon I made a quick post of the bitmoji I had been using for more than a couple of years now on my personal Facebook page, taking roll call for a big event we have in my hometown, to see who would be attending. Well, surely the Universe was doing me a solid with my ever so indecisive Libran brain when, later that night, a woman I know saw me and hollered out in the beer tent, “SHERRI IN PARADIIIIISE!!!” I told Tina she had no idea how synchronistic it was for her to call out to me like that–and when she started asking me about places to stay and helping to book and plan some trips to Key West, it was surely a done deal that I’d be launching this blog as “Sherri in Paradise.”I’m thrilled to be able to share this space with you and, even more so, humbled that people are choosing to come along with me virtually on all of my travels. I hope to inspire all of you in search of your own paradise as I share my journey to create my own paradise here at home (Southern Ontario), everywhere I travel (Key West holds a special place in my soul), and, above all, within (You know, the place that’s the cheapest to travel to, but you’re often too busy to book the time to really “go there”?).
So, Mr. Chesney, if you’re still in town and want to share a slice of key lime pie at Kermit’s with a real-life, “Sherri in Paradise”, I can thank you in person for the inspiration. But, let’s be real, neither one of us is sharing…unless, of course, it’s the whole damn pie!