How the Abacos Changed My Life

Summer is over but the tropical fun continues!

As I think back to the inspiration behind Chasing the Sun, I remember my trip to the Abacos where I first discovered the music of Jimmy Parrish and the wheels were set in motion for making tropical cinematic stories.

I was exploring a small local gift shop and over the loudspeaker, I heard Jimmy Parrish’s song “Ocean Waves.” I asked the shopkeeper who it was, and she not only introduced me to Jimmy, but she offered two of his CDs for sale. I spent much of that trip drinking Kalik beer, reading Jimmy Buffett novels, and listing to those two Jimmy Parrish albums on repeat. I’d been brainstorming what my next film could be, trying to find a built-in audience for it, and finally the idea hit me: I should make a tropical film for fans of this lifestyle. 

I would have never imagined that years later not only would Jimmy Parrish appear in the film but that very song “Ocean Waves” which started me on this cinematic tropical journey would be the opening song in my film. 

Jimmy’s music tells stories of the fishing, tequila, and living on Island Time. I’ve had the chance to watch (and film) many of his performances and he puts on quite a show. We used five of his songs in the film. While I am a fan of all his songs, it is his contemplative, introspective song “The Promenade” which is the key turning point in the film. When Bob, our main character, watches the famous sunset from Mallory square, it is that song which plays as he makes his most important decision: whether to stay in Key West and follow his passions or live the life which is expected of him. 

Jimmy is not only a fantastic songwriter and entertainer, he’s also a great guy. He still occasionally organizes trips to the Abacos. When the islands are fully recovered from Hurricane Dorian, I hope he does another trip there in the future…I’d love to join him there someday. See more about Jimmy here.

What I’m Drinking: Margaritaville Margarita
Not a summer party or tailgate goes by without the trusty Margaritaville tiki bar, and I always have the blender. After trying many recipes the simplest and frankly best one is the one from the man from Margaritaville himself. Buffett’s recipe is the perfect blend. Not too sweet, not too strong, just the perfect mix to create a margarita afternoon.

What I’m Reading – Chip Bell
Chip wrote a massive series of books in the Jake Sullivan series. I met Chip at last year’s Meeting of the Minds where he was selling his books. His tropiaction-adventure stories are the perfect companion to your vacation. Jake’s adventures take him through many tropical climates, thrilling encounters, and situations. I’ve since read many of Chip’s books while on the plane traveling south, and they are the perfect way for me to decompress as I make the shift to 3/4 time.