Trop-Rockin’ with Balmy Palms

Palm TreesBorder

Balmy, breezy palms are my photo obsession.

You don’t have to read very many of my posts to figure out what an island girl I am.  I mean, really, I named my blog “Somewhere in the Sand.”  How much more of a clue do you need? Give me a swaying hammock, a shady palm tree and some nice, soft sand beneath my (bare) feet and I’m all set.

You’ll probably also notice what a big Jimmy Buffett fan I am (islands … Buffett … palm trees and soft sand … I’m noticing a pattern here).  The sound of steel drums and island tunes is, well, music to my ears.

Besides being a writer and promoter of prose, I’ve always had a secret desire to be a songwriter…not necessarily a singer, per se.  I’ve been told by my wise nine-year-old that I was not “made for singing” so we will just leave it at that.  But the writing, now that would interest me.

That brings me to the topic of this post (you’ll also notice I can be a bit long-winded…).  I just received a very cool press release from the tropical lifestyle brand Balmy Palms.  If you’ve never heard of them, you should really check them out.  They’re right here on the good old world wide web-o-sphere at

The "pop of trop rock" Jimmy Buffett - Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Virginia, 2010

The “pop of trop rock” Jimmy Buffett – Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, Virginia, 2010

The fine folks at Balmy Palms are on the search for an original trop-rock song to represent the brand on its website, radio and other media outlets.  Balmy Palms is inviting up-and-coming singers/songwriters to submit an original song for consideration.  The ideal song will give off the laid-back image of a stress-free island lifestyle as well as the company’s tagline “No worries, no qualms … just Balmy Palms.”  They want to put listeners into a “Balmy Palms state of mind.”  Hey, I like that philosophy.

With roots in the ‘60s, trop rock, or tropical rock, is a blend of country, Caribbean, reggae and rock with the use of island instruments and tropical themes.  Jimmy Buffett, Jack Johnson, the Zac Brown Band and Kenny Chesney (all favorites of mine) are a few of the big-time trop rock crossover artists.  Buffett is often called the “pop of trop rock.”  Other trop rock singers/songwriters include John Frinzi, Sunny Jim White, Dave McKenney and Keith Sykes, as well as the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, A1A.

The selected song will receive airplay on the trop rock internet radio station, BeachFront Radio.  BeachFront Radio has won the number one “Trop Rock Station of the Year” title several times at the annual Trop Rock Music Awards.  I have recently started listening to BeachFront Radio and it is quite good.  I go back and forth between it and Radio Margaritaville.

In addition to radio play, the artist of the winning song will receive $400 and select Balmy Palms apparel.  They will also receive publicity by way of the Balmy Palms website and press releases.

Balmy Palms plans to enlist the public’s help in the song selection process (Yippeee!), but the final selection will be made by the staff at Stratosphere Media Group, along with input from the DJs at BeachFront Radio.  Even if a song is not selected, this is an excellent opportunity for exposure (radio exposure that is, not…other kinds of exposure), as all of the songs will be listened to and considered for eligibility.

Kara Benson, Balmy Palms Marketing Director, says

“This is a great opportunity for an aspiring musician to receive valuable publicity for his/her talents.”

All music and lyrics must be original as well as written and performed by the submitting artist.  Songs must be submitted in an MP3 audio file format, and be ready for radio play.  The date for songs to be submitted in the Balmy Palms songwriting contest is June 30, 2013.  Submissions can be made at

Please visit for a complete list of rules and regulations.  I wouldn’t want to waste any virtual ink by posting them all here since you have to hop on over there anyway.

So, all of you talented trop rockers out there, pull out those steel drums, congas and marimbas and get the inspiration rolling.  I’m expecting some great things.


Photo: Balmy Palms



Far-Out and Fab on Florida’s Gulf Coast – Frenchy’s Oasis Motel

Groovy, cool, neat-o and any other ‘60s saying you might surmise aptly describe the space that makes up Frenchy’s Oasis Motel.  A classic motor lodge with a courtyard-style pool and back “yard” marina, Frenchy’s is located just a walk away … Continue reading


Little Big Town had me at “Boondocks” and they’ll be keeping me for a long time with their latest song “Pontoon.”  We owned a pontoon boat for several years.  As a matter of fact, here it is…..

“Who said anything about skiing?’ – Little Big Town
That would be my dad holding the lines. Handsome fellow, isn’t he?

As fun and convenient as they are, they do not go fast.  And that’s okay.  But when you have an eight-year-old that likes to go fast, you sometimes need to upgrade.  Or side-grade, whichever the case may be.

Thank you Little Big Town for renewing my memories of my “crawling condo” and giving me the inspiration to get this written up and all of my favorite boat photos posted.  Some are way more extravagant than ours. Some might even be ours.  Most are not.

Boats really are a floating form of magic carpet, gliding and glistening across the water (pontoons even have that extra astro-turf to them).  Just like the commercials, everybody waves and wants to follow in your wake. Well, maybe not the wake of a pontoon boat but you get the idea.

Following the Wake

This serene scene was taken on a sightseeing boat ride aboard the Crystal Dawn, which leaves out of Pirate’s Cove Marina.  Oh, and I will be posting some of the yachts found in Pirate’s Cove.  I like to think that the people in the boat are waving.  I can’t really tell.  So, yeah, they are waving.

Sunset ride across Roanoke Sound in Manteo, NC.

Pirate’s Cove is full of beautiful boats and mega-yachts like this.  This shot is a favorite of mine.  I just love when those clouds cooperate.

Pirate’s Cove Marina, Manteo, NC.  This is the place to go for charter fishing trips and mega-yacht oogling.

Ta-daaaaa!  Here is one of my favorite boat scenes.  This was taken in Clearwater, Florida at Frenchy’s Oasis Motel (which I will definitely be blogging about at some point).  We spent three wonderfully fun and sunny days with this as our “backyard” view.  Pelicans and seabirds converged on the dock every morning to check out the stash of goodies and handouts at the restaurant next door.

The backyard view at Frency’s Oasis Motel in Clearwater, Florida.

This is another one of my “always-take-a-photo-no-matter-how-many-I-already-have” locations.  I just love the sparkly look of the water and the line-up of docked boats.  This is at Sturgeon Creek Marina on Lake Anna, Virginia.  The jet-ski in the foreground is ours.

Sturgeon Creek Marina at Lake Anna, Virginia.

Okay, so kayaks and canoes are not technically “motor” boats.  But these are cool and colorful and offer a peaceful glide across the water.  Both of the following photos were taken in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Colorful canoes in Roanoke Sound, Manteo, North Carolina.

And the kayaks…..

Colorful kayaks in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

You’ll notice that a lot of my photos are from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  My camera pretty much never leaves my side.  Here is another one from the harbor in Manteo.

Boats in the harbor – Manteo, North Carolina.

My favorite time of day to snap photos is all day early evening.  The light is usually softer and gives off nice shadows and reflections.  I particularly like the moss on the post in this one.

Jordan Point Yacht Haven, on the lower James River – Hopewell, Virginia.

A few years ago, some good friends of ours decided to get married on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.  It was also the year of our tenth anniversary.  What better way to celebrate two wonderful occasions than with a tropical trip.

Sailboat, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

This was also taken in Tortola.  The island is simply amazing.  I love the way the mountains come straight down to hug the water.

Small marina in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

This is what our friends sailed off on after the wedding.  I’m sorry to say that Barefoot Cruises is no longer in business.  This was an amazing boat….errr….”ship.”  Funny story….we had an opportunity to go on board and look around (and I will say that the interior is just as gorgeous as the exterior).  My husband inadvertently called the vessel a boat and was kindly reprimanded by one of the shipmates, “It’s a Ship.”  We still laugh about that.

Barefoot Cruises – Tortola, BVI.

The front…

Barefoot Cruises aboard the Mandalay – Tortola, BVI.

…and the back….

Mandalay – Tortola, BVI

Key West always offers great boat photos.

Sunset under sail – Key West, Florida.

In Florida, both birds and clouds cooperate.  How great is that?

Key West, Florida.

That concludes the Boats section of my favorite tag-line…..”boats, beaches, bridges and the islands they inhabit.”  I made it up myself.  Cool, huh?  I have written a previous post on the Bridges section and hope to soon get with it on the rest of group.