Monday, September 21, 2009

...and then I reached over and yelled "President Obama!!!"


WARNING: THIS WILL BE A LONG POST, but I will try to include a lot of pictures!

Let's begin with Saturday, Sept 12.
Woke up to get my hair done at 9am, then headed straight over to the Kennedy Center to dress in costume with my sister Lisa for the KC Open House. I had so much fun at the KC.

Answered so many silly questions ("Are you George Washington?"... No- I was Cherubino from Marriage of Figaro. Which is why I'm standing outside the opera house next to my sister who is dressed as Madame Butterfly.) The Education Department was doing a kids performance about opera using arias from Barber of Seville. So cute!!! I love watching little kids hear opera for the first time.

Around 4:00, Lisa and I changed out of costume and left and I headed over to Nationals Stadium for Washington National Opera and Target's Free Live Simulcast of Barber of Seville. I was going to be signing autographs. Over 19,000 people came out to drink a beer, eat a hotdog, sit on the field and watch opera. I signed over 300 autographs including one to the cutest boy alive!

He asked me if I babysit and when I said no he asked me for my phone number. <3

After the show (which was so fab! best opera I've seen), I changed into a gown and headed over to the opening night gala. I kind of stuck out a bit in my hot pink gown since everyone else chose to wear black that night. oh well... seems to be my life... sticking out. Got to meet Placido's wife. Such a sweet lady. I also got to meet the entire cast including Simone Alberghini who played Figaro. What a nice guy and a total gentleman.

Got back home at 2am, only to wake back up at 7:30 to head to Arlington for taping for a project I'm working on with Goodwill. Of course I never got there because DC decided it was totally a good idea to shut down the Key Bridge, Chain Bridge and ALL exits to get out of the city on the south side. Good one DC. But can't say I'm shocked. Since we were trapped in the city, mom and I did some shopping for my apartment. Thank God for mommy. I'd still be living out of boxes and sleeping on my mattress with no sheets if she didn't come. :) thanks mommy!

**Let's keep in mind while reading this that I work a full time job and every second that I wasn't at these appearances I was at work for the opera. I didn't go home for days and was changing in bathrooms/my car/at Teri's. Also- many of these mornings I met my trainer at 6 or 7am before the day started ***

At work we had an All Staff meeting with Placido Domingo (our Exec Director) who is back from Europe. This was the first time I'd seen him since I won. When he found out about Miss DC he was so excited for me and was telling the people around us that he wants to come to Miss America in January. haha. I know he really won't be able to come, but if he did I think I might die.

Sneaker Ball and Mimi, Miss Puerto Rico, came to town!
The Sneaker Ball is a gala that honors all of the DC sports teams (Redskins, Nats, Caps, Mystics, DC United... etc.) So they were all there.

I was invited to sing the National Anthem and totally rocked it, if I don't say so myself. And I can say that because the next day I was contacted by 3 separate orgs asking me to sing, including the Caps asking if I'll perform at opening night! I'll be out of town, but I'll probably be singing the week after. :) Speaking of the Caps, Mimi and I made friends with Ovechkin and Brooks Laich. Both of them were so nice and Brooks hung out with us all night. I met so many people at this event it's hard to name them all.... I'll just say it was one of my fav events so far.

Woke up early to go to the CHCI breakfast with the Hispanas in Congress. So fun! We met Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA).

This night Mimi and I were invited to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Gala. SO FUN!!!

We got to walk the red carpet and attend the gala with people like President and Mrs. Obama, Marc Anthony and JLo, Justice Sotomayor and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Of course they had added security around their table, but Mimi and I didn't. And if anyone knows anything about Latinos, it's that they LOVE pageant girls. And boyyyyy did they love us! We were the last ones to leave the 4000 attendee gala because we were taking so many pictures! I also got to use a little bit of my spanish, "Mucho gusto" and "Me encantada." I also said "si" a lot since a few people thought I spoke spanish and had entire conversations with me where I had no idea what they were saying so I just answered "si, si." oops. Obama spoke and it was like the time Claire and I went to the Inaugural Concert all over again.

I was just frozen in place and filled with so much emotion just watching him.

**Mimi and I watching Obama!**

After his speech people started gathering at the base of the stage to shake his hand. I took a look around and decided this was an appropriate time to use the fact that I was 6'5" in my crown and heels, blonde, and absolutely stuck out like a sore thumb at the Hispanic Gala, to meet Obama. I ran up to the stage (hiking my gown up to run) and snuck in behind a group of secret service who were making their way through the crowd to reach over and yell "President Obama!" He looked up and (since we're the same height) we made eye contact and he said "Ahh, Miss DC!" and came over and shook my hand. I attempted to take a picture of this situation of myself as this was happening, but instead got a 2 second video of the seconds after he shook my hand.

Teri and Michael wanted to go to the after party, but Mimi and I were so tired that we wanted to go to bed! haha.

Had a work meeting at Duke Ellington in the afternoon. Those kids are so talented. Also met Miss Teen DC USA. She was in the class I was taping for a work thing. Pageant world is so small.
Grabbed lunch at Cafe Milano with Teri and Mimi and then went back to her house to do work and get ready for that night's activities.

We headed over to the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs office. We met Daniel who was so nice and looked out for us. They were having a little get together in Mimi's honor for her being here in DC. Mimi even got to meet the daughter of the first Miss Puerto Rico!

We then headed over to a party for Mitt Romney where we were asked to scoop ice cream.

So fun! We got to meet Kerri Strugg too!

Mimi was pretty excited about that one. Afterwards I met up with a friend for a quick drink and then walked back to Teri's to sleep for a few hours.

After work I had to head down to the Riverside Center in Ward 7 for a work project. It's such a cool project. We recorded stories of community members of the ward who have lived, worked, and gone to school there. We then turned the stories over to local artists who created works of art based on the stories and it was going to be presented on Saturday. Friday was our dress rehearsal. The opera's project was we had people write music and lyrics and had a quartet perform the piece. So awesome.

After that I headed over to Teri's to grab Mimi. We had been invited to grab dinner and go out with some of the Caps guys that we had met at the Sneaker Ball. They were so nice the whole night, even the ones we hadn't met at the ball. We had a great time. Mimi and I stuck to lots of water at the club... we were so tired from the week that we needed to make sure we were hydrated!

I had to be up early AGAIN to get my hair (Jacob Broadstreet) and makeup (Erwin) done for the day at Erwin Gomez Salon. I knew it was going to be a LONG day and I had NO time to change/do makeup that would last all day/look presentable. I headed over to Ward 7 again for our presentation. It went really well. So moving for the few people who came. We will be doing it again at THEARC on November 17th. Stay tuned for details. I then headed over to Teri's to go with them to the National Mall for the Capital Polo Match.

Another fun day of shmoozing. We took a ton of pictures and posed for the Real Housewives of DC film crew. My dream of being on that show is finally coming true! haha See! And I didn't even need to be a wife nor did I need to own a house! Score!

After I presented awards to the winners of the match, I ran over to the Kennedy Center to see the final evening performance of Barber of Seville. I was only 10 mins late. Not too bad. The ticket that was left for me was actually a ticket to sit in a box seat. During intermission and the lights came up I realized I was sitting behind SuperNanny! It also made me start thinking.... 3 years ago I had been in that theater in the very last row watching my very first opera thinking about how excited I was to be there. Now three years later, I'm working for the company, sitting in a box seat, seeing the production for the 3rd time in 2 weeks, and getting ready to go back stage after the performance to go out to dinner with one of the cast members. Oh how far I've come in 3 years.

Once again, woke up early. I was doing the make up taping with Goodwill, but this time at their South Dakota office. I met the most amazing people while I was there that Goodwill has changed their lives. I'm not going to tell their stories here because I'm hoping they will be included in the video project we're doing.

THEN I FINALLY GOT A BREAK! I went to Starbucks, ordered a Venti Pumpkin Spiced Latte (my fav) and sat. that's it. that's all I wanted to do. Then I also finally got to have some friend time with some of my very best friends that I've been neglecting. I have the best friends in the world. The understand the importance of the fact that sometimes I just want to sit in my football jersey, ripped jeans, flip flops, no makeup, have a beer, eat some pizza/wings/ice cream/whatever I shouldn't eat, laugh and most importantly... just be Jen.

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