This update comes to you from Las Vegas!!! I have been traveling like crazy for work (I'm working tradeshows for Ford Commercial Trucks), and the most recent shows have brought me to this crazy city. It just so happened that the World of Concrete show was happening at the same time as Miss America, so my trip out here was covered by work. I arrived on Monday and worked the rest of the week, while attending the Miss America preliminaries. Anyone who attended Thursday's preliminaries can attest to the fact that I was exhausted by day three. Actually, my feet were killing me after only one day of work, but that didn't stop me from wearing painfully fabulous shoes to prelims. By Friday afternoon, I was so tired that I took a four hour nap at my mom's place and then slept in on Saturday. I'm spending the weekend off the strip with my family before starting another show tomorrow night. I will finish my ten day business/Miss A trip on Thursday, arriving in Detroit at 1:00am. Needless to say, life on the road is not as glamorous as one might imagine.
Since I was able to see all of the prelims, I feel justified in commenting on the turnout of Miss America. To be fair, I did miss a few performances due to trips to the bathroom, but I pretty much saw every girl compete in every phase of competition. I'll start by saying that I felt so proud to be wearing Octavia's button and telling everyone that I was cheering for Miss Michigan. She looked amazing, and she was so gracious at visitation. It really makes no difference to me whether our girl places first or last so long as she appreciates the experience, and Octavia did just that. I watched last night as the other contestants greeted her and said their goodbyes, and it is obvious that she was well-liked and respected, which truly comes as no surprise to me. She has so much to look forward to, both as Miss Michigan and afterward. I'm grateful that she will be representing us overseas next year. If you ask me, we need people like her to help boost our reputation.
After every pageant, there is always talk of who won, who should have won, etc. In general, I was pleased with the outcome. I was impressed with Miss Texas and thought she should have made Top 5, and I wanted North Dakota to make Top 10 just because I liked her. Plus, she's from a state that doesn't make it that often, and I like rooting for the underdog. I think Octavia could have easily been in Top 10, along with about 12 others who didn't make it. It was such a strong group this year that it was hard to single out 10. There were also a few great talents that were not shown on national television, namely
Arkansas and South Carolina, both singers. Next year, I suggest CMT skip the Miss America party bit, but other than that, I thought they did a great job with the telecast. I'm anxious to hear how the ratings turned out. As always, I enjoyed seeing several members of our Miss Michigan family, and especially enjoyed meeting former Miss Wayne and Miss Michigan, Audrie Chernaukas (please forgive my spelling).
I am writing to you from a cold marble floor in the Orange County airport. It's the only space near an outlet, and I want to save my battery power to watch Bend it Like Beckham on the ride home. I have been on vacation for the past week, enjoying my newfound freedom from academia (until I go back for my Masters, of course). I went to Las Vegas first to hang out with my family and actually managed to read a book for pleasure. Then my sister, Christina, and her boyfriend, Greg, picked me up and took me back to California to celebrate the New Year. I have been enjoying the warmer weather and mental break.
There's something about a new year that makes me sappy and nostalgic. I like thinking back over the year and everything that has happened. To be honest, I have had better years than 2005, but still, so many great things have happened to me this year. Winning the title of Miss Wayne ranks up there with my trips to Costa Rica and London. I like the idea of the New Year bringing a fresh start, and I am ready to start my new life as a working adult/Miss America hopeful. I am comfortable that I am exactly where I need to be right now, and that's a great feeling.
It has been a while since I have written, and I need to backtrack a little. A lot has happened since Thanksgiving!!! I have been extremely busy with finishing school, preparing for graduation, and the usual hustle and bustle of the holidays, and I am grateful that my duties as Miss Wayne subsided for the season. Actually, I was supposed to light the Christmas tree for the city of Livonia, but an evening MBA course took precedence. Alas, the nightmare of finals, papers, and projects has ended, and I am officially a college graduate.