Yes, I STILL Wanna Be an Island Girl!

People ask me, “with all the devastation caused by Irma and Maria, do you still want to be an island girl”? “HELL yeah!”, I respond every time. Now more than ever.

Yes, it will be hard. I know that. But the islands hit by these Cat 5 hurricanes need us more than ever.

We’ll be heading down to Jost later this season to help our friends where we can. This little island of roughly 300 people was devastated. Completely. And they still struggle to get the materials they need to rebuild. But these are strong and spirited (and amazing) people. They’ll make it.

The USVI and BVI islands have really pulled together to help one another. The weekly “flotillas” to Jost show this amazing spirit. Each Sunday, boats from all over merge to visit and support the beach bars of Jost. Coco Locos, Soggy Dollar, One Love, Ivan’s, and the BeeLine have all had flotillas. Tarps replace roofs, fire grills replace kitchens. But beer and painkillers are floating as freely as the smiles of the people there.

I’m writing this blog as we’re driving across Florida to Tallahassee for the ‘Trying to Reason Hurricane Relief’ Concert. Yes it’s selfishly an amazing way me to see all my favorite artists on one stage – Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, Toby Keith and Jake Owen. Plus the Coral Reefer Band. But it also is a fundraiser to support the islands. There have been some amazing and selfless work done by Kenny Chesney and others. Warms my heart and soul.

So, if you happen to be seeing live feed of the concert, watch for me. I’ll be the one screaming “I’m a WANNABEISLANDGIRL!!”

#islandstrong #jvdstrong #loveforlovecity #kennychesney #bluechairbay #jimmybuffett #margaritaville

Do You ‘Sea Grapes’?

Lounging on my favorite beach chair in front of the One Love in Jost Van Dyke, I notice tons and tons of these green fruity bunches hanging from the tree above me. Sure, I’ve seen them before but I’d never seen the bountiful bunches of grapes quite like this  — since we usually don’t travel to the islands in the summer.

Curious to learn more about them, I began doing a little research and learned a lot. The fancy name for the sea grape is Coccoloba Uvifera and is a species of flowering plant that is native to coastal beaches throughout tropical America and the Caribbean.

In the summer months, the sea grape bears green fruit in large, grape-like clusters. The fruit gradually ripens to a purplish color. Each contains a large pit that constitutes most of the fruit. They’re wind resistant and moderately tolerant of shade. They’re highly tolerant to salt, so they’re often planted to stabilize beach edges. When ripened to a deep purple color, the fruit is very tasty, and can be used for jam or even eaten directly from the tree. It can also be fermented for a tasty fermented wine. (I love wine, so this makes me happy!).

I haven’t tried making this yet, but here is a yummy sea grape jelly recipe from the folks at Edible Palm Beach.


2 cups sea grapes

1 cup water

2 lemons or limes (preferably Key limes)


4. 5 cups of sugar

Wash and then boil the sea grapes in a ratio of 2 cups sea grapes to 1 cup water for 25-30 minutes, crushing occasionally, until they are soft and palatable. Drain the juice through a jelly bag into a container (without squeezing).

Pour the juice into a pot and stir in the lemon or lime juice with a wooden spoon, and then add the pectin. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and add the sugar. After it returns to a boil, let it remain boiling for one minute, always stirring.

After removing from heat, skim foam if necessary. Sterilize jars in a 5-minute boil bath. Pour juice into the jars, leaving a quarter-inch of space at the top of the jar.

Chill, and enjoy!

A note of caution, sea grapes may look tempting at the beach, but don’t harvest them there. Sea grapes are often protected because their purpose is to help prevent sand erosion and give protection to native birds and sea turtles. 


Welcome to Wanna Be Island Girl


Hi, I’m Sheryl.  Welcome to my blog, WANNA BE ISLAND GIRL.

When the New Year hits, most people make similar types of New Years resolutions – lose weight, eat healthier, work out more.  But not me! (Well, to be truthful, I want those too).  BUT my main resolution for this year is to plan my escape to the islands forever – because I’m a WANNA BE ISLAND GIRL.

My husband and I have been going to the islands at least twice a year – for as long as we possibly can  – for just about as long as I can remember. We’ve made a lot of friends over the years, had a lot of fun, but mostly just relaxed and enjoyed the island lifestyle.  We travel mostly to the BVI’s and USVI’s – nothing beats the amazing beaches and the friendly people.

Easy dream, you say?  Well, not quite so easy. The realities of moving to an Island are quite difficult.  Where do I work?  Where do we live?  Do we take a leap without jobs? How do I transition my many years in the advertising world in the islands?  Will my dog Ziggy be attacked by one of those gigantic island lizards?  Ok, I admit that one might be a little irrational – and he’ll love chasing the little geckos – but he’s only 9 pounds and one of those big guys might eat him!

So, about a month ago, I heard about a possible job in my field that set this all into action.  I was beyond thrilled and pretty much had my bags packed and was ready for us to all move and go.  Ziggy was SO ready to be an island dog.  Visions of my husband and I walking Zig down the beach every day were already running in my head.  But when the job suddenly “disappeared”, I was beyond devastated. It really crushed me to my core.  So my wonderful hubby said, “well, you should make it happen another way”.

So here it goes…


I hope that you join me on my journey to move to the islands permanently. It’s quite a goal – but I know I’ll find a way. The reward is just too amazing.

If you are a WANNA BE ISLAND GIRL too…please share your story. Let’s make this a community of island dreamers. Share your story, your pictures, and your dreams.

With Love,