It seems as though every week just becomes more full of experiences to write about! I start out with a few paragraphs and end up with a short story by the time I’m done with my week! My holiday weekend started out in the exciting city Seattle to perform and watch the ladies in Washington compete for their spot at Miss America. Dad and I decided to take a last minute road trip to drive over and stay with some family friends and do a little sight seeing and shopping to see what Seattle had to offer.
But what would the road trip be without the typical dad and daughter moment if we didn’t take a goofy pic to remember the trip by! It was so nice to take a quick little vacation to enjoy some time with friends and the Miss America Organization.
Pike’s Market was one of the best people watching places I’ve been to! There were streets filled with vendors with all sorts of products. Being the fruit lover I am, I was drawn to the colorful array of produce lined up and the most gorgeous flower arrangements. Some stands even sold chocolate dipped pasta! We stopped to watch a little girl as she danced to a man playing a pink guitar on the street with crazy hair and fun glasses. She would sway back and forth, clapping her hands and laughing at the funny faces he made. The crowd couldn’t help but to join in their laughter and clap along.
That night we went to Safeco Field to watch the Seattle Mariners play against the San Diego Padres. We got to watch as Ichiro Suzuki was awarded for breaking records with his 400th base stolen that evening and a win of 6-0 against the Padres. What a night!
On Saturday we made our way to Renton, Washington to watch the Miss Washington pageant. They had an amazing top 8 set of girls which made it enjoyable to sit back in the audience and actually be able to watch a pageant and relax for once! A good friend of mine from Sweethearts made the top 8 and played her fiddle to an Irish tune which was absolutely fabulous! I enjoyed the other pianists, dancers, and singers as well. Each were incredibly entertaining and had their own style which made it a truly unique and enjoyable experience and also hard to follow up when I went to perform my talent after intermission!
One of the benefits of competing for the last 5 years in the Miss America Organization is that no matter what state you go to, you will most likely know at least one person there either from having them as a judge, competing at a national pageant with them, or meeting them at another function through the system. I was fortunate to be able to run into 3 of my previous judges this past weekend! Breann Parriott Jones, my judge from this year and a previous Miss Washington, Nick Latham, a judge from a couple years ago, as well as Darrin Emerick who was my judge during my first year that I won as a teen. I was so happy to see all of them and play catch up with everything that has been going on. I also had a reunion with Miss Washington’s Outstanding Teen 2006 Steffi Range. We hadn’t seen each other in 5 years and she was even more sweet and beautiful than I remembered. She opened up the night by singing a beautiful remedy of “The Star Spangled Banner” which brought tears to my eyes by how moving she was.
During the night, I was escorted by one of the most funny and sassy ladies I have met! I can’t imagine what my night would have been like if I hadn’t sat next to her, let’s just say it definitely would not have been as entertaining and I wouldn’t have left with a new friend who I hope to stay in touch with over the years. Marie had been involved in the Miss Seattle organization where she would help prepare the women to compete for Miss Washington and often house them if need be. The whole night we went back and forth, feeding off of each other’s dry sense of humor as she just dished out more jokes than I could keep up with as she shared her Snicker’s and M&M’s with me. She even snuck me into the back to see what kind of sweets and goodies we could sneak into our mouth’s during intermission. Definitely ate well that night! What an absolute delight she was to be with and I can’t wait until I get to see her again.
The cherry on top of an already wonderful evening was to watch my sweetheart sister, Brittney Henry, make it into the top 5 and watch her crowning moment as Miss Washington 2011. I nearly fell out of my seat as I jumped up from excitement knowing that she was going to be the absolute best representative this year. I could tell all the contestants felt the same way as well as they literally ran to embrace her with hugs and congrats. One of the other best parts about that, we get to be roommates in Orlando for the Miss America Outstanding Teen pageant!
After a little more shopping that Sunday, we made our long drive back to Boise getting in around 2:00 am Monday morning only to wake up at 6:00 am to get ready for the Melba 4th of July Parade. It’s a tradition to go every 4th of July for the last few years and is one of the best parades I’ve been able to participate in! I met up with my Miss Idaho little sister Hannah and we walked around to mingle with Rodeo Queens, drivers who were proud of their beautiful classic cars, military affiliates, and others involved in the parade. This time during the parade, we remembered the candy and enjoyed tossing it out the crowd from our car since most parades don’t allow it anymore!
Since we were at the beginning, I was able to go up and help emcee with a couple of other men from the Melba area. Were they ever a riot together and boy did they know their old cars! I was able to joke and laugh as we introduced each parade entry and poked fun at each other.
When the parade was over, I went down to the carnival to sign autographs and take pictures. It was so much fun to be able to see some familiar faces from previous appearances including a little girl named Eva who was 3 years old and such a sweetheart! She immediately came over to give me a hug as she placed her hand in mine to play with my fingers and talk about her full name which she was so proud of! I also was able to make a few new friends including a boy who had me sign his cast as he talked with such enthusiasm about how his brother’s “Boston Red Sox” hat started with the same letter as his brother’s name. Gotta love a Boston fan!
This time, instead of being proposed to, I was asked if I had a date to homecoming by a teenage boy. I just can’t get in my age frame now can I! He was slightly disappointed when I told him I don’t think they would even allow me into homecoming, but there were plenty of other sweet gals in Melba!
I couldn’t complete the trip with out taking a picture in front of one of my favorite towns in Idaho.
That next night, I was able to make a mark in history. I had previously been approached by editor Rich Binsacca who is working on a book on the history of Idaho compared to now. He has found pictures from Boise from decades ago and has re framed the moment to what the image looks like today. One of the pictures he found was of Miss Idaho 1962 Irene Ammons sitting on a rock in front of the State Capitol. He wanted to make a similar replica (a lilac bush and memorial now stands where the picture was taken but I think we ended up getting a pretty great shot!) to add to his book Boise Double Take which he is shooting to have out around Thanksgiving time. So keep your eye open for that because the shots he has so far look absolutely incredible! It was fun to see how much has changed over the years but how Boise has still stayed a beautiful community with fascinating people.
The rest of the week has consisted of a busy schedule full of house sitting, working, and finishing my paperwork for Miss America! I can hardly believe that nearly a month has gone by since my crowning moment and all that has happened since. Next week will be another busy week with giving my “Free To Be Me” self-esteem workshops at Girl Scout Camp, up in Twin Falls during Miss Magic Valley, and emceeing the Special Olympics on my birthday! I could not ask for a better way to spend that day and feel so lucky to be able to be part of such a great event.
Goals for this week?
1. Already started up with hot yoga at Sumit’s Yoga of Boise and so happy to be back! Now my goal is to start going every other day and remember to bring an extra nalgene of water to class! One just isn’t cutting it in the summer time!
2. Remember to keep breathing (this seems to be quite the recurring one, as if I could ever forget right?!) and savor every moment!
3. Have paperwork fully edited by tomorrow night, then celebrate with a nice long run with Sunni (my handsome golden retriever!) and share a little watermelon sorbet and gummy bears together!
hugs and love,