Friday, November 20, 2009

...and then I got too busy to post?

So I’ve been slacking on the posts. But I can promise you, I have NOT been slacking on life. Miss DC has kept me busy this past month and now I am in full swing preparing for Miss America!

After meeting Obama, not much else can compare, but here are some appearance highlights:

MEXICO: Not an appearance, but I did get to sneak away for a few days down to Monterrey, Mexico to visit some good friends. This only motivated me more to spend some time in a foreign country to learn Spanish. I took Spanish in school, but never seriously studied it. Every person I met there spoke at least Spanish and English and all very well! I want that! Hmmmm …. Can I use my Miss DC scholarship money abroad??

CAPS/RANGERS: On October 8th, I was invited to sing the National Anthem at the Caps/Rangers game. This had to be one of my favorite singing experiences. Growing up in NY, my dad raised us to be diehard Ranger fans. He is a 27-year season ticket holder and when I was growing up you could find little 7-year old me sitting on the couch with my daddy on game night in my Ranger jersey screaming at the TV. He taught me that hockey is hands down the best sport ever. One of my favorite sports memories was getting to go to Mark Messier’s retirement game. He is my all-time favorite athlete. Now that I’m in DC, I can get my hockey fix with the Capitals, who happen to be awesome. I love going to games and cheering on my home team. So it was such a thrill to have the Rangers here in DC and being allowed to sing for them. While I did root for my Caps, my mom sat next to me cheering for the Rangers so I think we evened it out. ;) Just don’t tell my dad I’m a Caps fan. hehe

USMC MARATHON WEEKEND: Kicked off the weekend on Friday morning by singing the National Anthem at the Convention Center (at 8am!!!).

That night I attended a banquet for the USMC Marathon and met some fun people like Montel Williams! I also got my first coin! I didn’t know what it meant, but after receiving 3 that weekend, I now understand what an honor it is to receive one. Saturday morning was the Healthy Kids Fun Run. I think they said something like 4000 kids came through to run their one-mile race. Even though it was cold and raining, not a single kid seemed to notice. I had a great time taking pictures with the kids at the CNN booth and high-fiving every single kid as they crossed the finish line (even though I desperately craved hand sanitizer after high-fiving 4000 kids… haha) That night I was asked to sing at American University’s Alumni Dinner where they announced that the school will be holding a Miss America viewing party for the students! I never went to bed that night because I thought it was a good idea to spend some time with my friends and I had to be at the real Marine Corp Marathon at 5 am. Oops. Luckily my mom was in town to get me down there! The marathon was an unbelievable sight. It took them 21 minutes to just cross the starting line! I got to see my friend, Andy Baldwin from The Bachelor, before the race, but couldn’t find my bff/pretend boyfriend Jon-Michael Eclar. There were THOUSANDS of people just in the race, let alone all the supporters there cheering each other on. What an amazing thing to experience. Miss DC 2008, Kate Marie Grinold, was there too running the 10K. She inspired me to want to do it next year! Who’s with me!?

MISS AMERICA COMES TO DC: Later that same day as the marathon, Miss America, Katie Stam, arrived in DC for a fabulous fundraiser we were hosting at the Embassy of Uzbekistan. We both got to spend some time with the Ambassador of Uzbekistan along with his wife and we got a tour of their BEAUTIFUL embassy. The embassy was the former Canadian Embassy and was designed by an architect that died on the Titanic! Katie and I had a great time taking pictures and performing for everyone there. And believe me, we took A LOT of pictures.

LESLIE SANCHEZ: At the Miss America party, Leslie Sanchez approached me to ask if I would speak at her book release party that was later that week. Her book, We’ve Come a Long Way, Maybe, was just released and she’s been all over CNN and Fox and even The District Dish! ( Her party was held at our fabulous friend Don Patron’s apartment at the Ritz. (I want to live at the Ritz) I love this man so much. He even thought ahead enough to hide cupcakes in his walk-in closet so I could go hide and eat a cupcake without every reporter capturing a picture of me chowing down on a chocolate cupcake! LOVE HIM. I also love Leslie. She is such an inspiration to women of all ages. I look to her to gain inspiration on how to carry myself, especially in the public eye. It is hard to balance the idea of coming across as a strong and powerful independent woman, and coming across as a b*tch. When Leslie walks into a room, you can tell she’s somebody… and that she is just filled with self-confidence. But never once does she make those around her feel that they are less than her. She inspires all to seek their inner confidence and let is shineee. I love that.

CMN TORCH WALK: On October 30th, I had the opportunity to work with my favorite organization, Children’s Miracle Network, and participate in their Torch Relay Walk. They invited me to sing the National Anthem and come with them to help carry the torch on their 3.1 mile walk. Met the cutest kids ever at this event and got some good pictures of us bonding.

GREEN AND BLUE PHOTOSHOOT: I also got to do a photoshoot for my sponsor Green and Blue which is on Connecticut Ave in Dupont. Sonya Gavankar, Miss DC producer, was the photographer.

VOICES FOR AMERICA’S CHILDREN: I was asked to perform at the organization’s gala in front of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Congressman Patrick Kennedy who was accepting an award on behalf of his father. Both Secretary Sebelius and Congressman Kennedy gave moving speeches about the importance of providing affordable healthcare to not only all Americans, but especially all American children.

APPALACHIAN TRAIL: Finally some family time! My dad flew down for the weekend and we drove out to James Madison to visit my sister who is a junior there. We spent the weekend catching up, family tailgating, going to my first college football game (thanks AU), and hiking the Appalachian Trail! 6.5 miles. Up hill. Both ways. I thought I was in good shape. But I was dead! Luckily dad treated us to McDonald’s fries and shakes after our 5-hour hike. It is impossible to describe how unbelievable the views are from the mountaintop. No matter how much I talk about wanting to travel the world and experience other countries, this is why I know I will come home. America the Beautiful.

I had to update my facebook status once we reached the top!

DC CENTRAL KITCHEN: This was one of my most favorite events so far. All of my Vanna White dreams came true and became the official bell girl for the Iron Chef competitions with all the Food Network Stars! I finally got to meet Carla and Anthony Bourdain and Ted Allen from Queer Eye even went out of his way to introduce himself to me! Love them!! My favorite part was to see all of the graduates of the DC Central Kitchen program come on stage looking so proud of what then have become. So many of them went from being homeless to gaining a real skill and getting real jobs!

GOODWILL SPEECH: Last Friday I was invited to be the speaker at Goodwill’s graduation of their Green Construction Program. What a humbling experience. You will be able to see most of it when my Goodwill project is aired online. There was one great moment when one of the women graduating asked if she could share a poem she wrote. I don’t want to spoil it yet, but she gave everyone in the room the chills and we all teared up. What a great organization to support! Love them!

EVENT AT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: This week was both National Opera Week AND National Recycle America Day. I was invited to work with the Department of Health on a recycling project going on at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building downtown. I had such a great time talking with people about my platform. We also collected suggestions on easy and innovative ways to recycle and posted them on a board for others to see as they walked by. I’m all about innovative fun ways to recycle! Not everyone is going to love separating their cans, glass, and paper the way I do. ☺


  1. MY GOODNESS. While this all looks fun I know you have been working hard too! I am so proud of you for doing all the right things and listening to everyone's two cents and finding the truth within that.
    Your going to be great at the "big time"!

  2. You did a great job at Dept of HHS for America Recycles Day! It was super nice to see you again! :)