Talent Presentation at the Miss America Pageant

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blogging from San Francisco Airport

Hello everyone! Well it has been a few weeks since I have updated all of you so settle in and here goes!

The first weekend of March I drove to Tulare County with Kathi Baldwin for the Miss Tulare County pageant. We had a great time! Everyone was so very sweet and hospitable and I stayed with the Smiths which was too fun! The pageant was wonderful and I had so much fun with the contestants at rehearsals and during interviews! And I had an incredible dinner before the pageant with the judges... complete with creme brulee! Yum! Congratulations to Anne Baker, Miss Tulare County 2010!photo.php.jpg

The next morning Kathi and I left bright and early and headed down to Malibu for Isabella's birthday party. It was a great day and the girls had their own sashes, had a chance to show their talents and had fun learning about the different phases of competition. Happy Birthday Isabella and thank you for inviting me to your party!

The birthday girl!
After two days at home, it was off to Roanoke, Virginia for Miss America's homecoming!! I arrived very late on Thursday night and my tutu made it safely too :) The next morning Caressa Cameron (Miss America 2010), Chinah Helmandollar (Miss Virginia 2009) and I made a quick appearance and visited some children for a CMN fundraiser then we went to the CMN hospital in Roanoke. We toured the hospital and met a few patients which was great! Then we had a wonderful lunch with the Board of Directors of the Miss VA Org. and with a CMN family. I am excited to add that hospital to my list of CMN hospitals that I have been to this year!

After the hospital we changed clothes and headed to the Dye's house which is situated up on a hill in Roanoke and has a beautiful view of the city! It was pouring rain and we drove up a one way street to the top of the hill... Miss Kentucky and I were in the back seat holding on for dear life! On the way down the mountain we had a little trek down the road in our heels with umbrellas.. it was a nice little adventure! From there we went to the Taubman Museum of Art for a public appearance where Caressa and several other former Miss Virginia's sang and entertained.

On Saturday, the top 5 (except Miss Tennessee who was at orientation) went to a brunch. It was wonderful and we had the opportunity to meet so many girls who were and still are involved with the Miss VA Org. It is so fun for me to meet young women who are just starting out their journey through the pageants and it will be fun now to keep up with their state competition to see who becomes Miss VA 2010!

After brunch, we had an autograph signing and then rehearsed for the gala that evening. That evening we got all dressed up and had a wonderful dinner and a great night of festivities. Two former Miss America's Nicole Johnson and Kylene Barker who were also Miss Virginia were the hosts and it was fun to get to meet them! Quite a few former Miss Virginia's performed as well as myself, Miss Kentucky and Miss Louisiana. It was a fantastic evening and I was honored to be invited and included in the festivities. Thank you again to everyone at the Miss Virginia Org for such a lovely trip!

Me, Miss VA 2007, and Miss Kentucky at the Dye's house
Miss Louisiana, Miss VA 2009, Elaine, me, Miss Kentucky and Wendi after the brunch
At the autograph signing..
The gala on Saturday night

On my way home I had two flight delays, one lost bag and one long sprint to the terminal where I barely made my flight! Quite the adventure but at least I got in a small workout :) I was home for one day and then headed off to Arizona to visit my brother at Spring Training in Tempe, AZ with the Angels. My mom and I drove and we had such a great time! It was so relaxing! We got to tour the stadium, meet the players, see the clubhouse, etc. and I even did an interview with the Japanese media! (They were there covering Matsui)

On Saturday evening I was asked to MC the Arvella Schuller Scholarship Concert. This is a scholarship concert that is put on by my former elementary, middle and high school that awards scholarships to the students at the school in various disciplines of performing arts and allows the students to use the funds to train outside of school. When I attended the school I received several scholarships in drama and dance and was able to pay for many many dance classes through the scholarship program! Needless to say, I was thrilled to MC and Nick Coleman (also a graduate of the school and Dr. Schuller's grandson) also hosted with me. We dressed up as Dr. and Mrs. Schuller, news anchors, jr. high school students, etc. and had so much fun! They also asked me to dance "The Swan" which was fun and I thought of Jackie the entire time! Much to my surprise, they presented me with a special award for promoting Christian values in the media and gave me a beautiful engraved crystal award. Congratulations to all of the scholarship recipients!

Bright and early the next morning, Chelle arrived at my house and we were off to San Francisco! We arrived and were picked up by Zim who was just wonderful! We had a great time finding Starbucks and then we went straight to the pageant! The pageant was great and Miss Hawaii 2009, Raeceen Woolford was there too! It was so fun to be reunited again with her! We were good friends in Las Vegas and she is one of the sweetest most gracious and funniest girls I have ever met! We had too much fun together this weekend! A very big congratulations to Miss San Francisco 2010, Nicole Honaker!! After the pageant we went to a Thai restaurant for dinner... there was sooo much food! It was so fun to hang out with Bob, Chelle, Vera, Connie, Stacy, Steve, Zim, Raeceen, Larry, Winny, Heidi and the rest of the crew at dinner and just laugh and relax after the pageant festivities!

On Monday we had the opportunity to take a tour through Napa which was just beautiful! Raeceen and I had some fun taking silly pictures! All in all, it was a wonderful trip! The southwest lady on the phone last night led us astray so Chelle and I are trying to kill four hours in the airport terminal...! Anyways, it is almost time for Miss California orientation... just about a month away! Good luck to the rest of the girls who are still competing and to all of the current titleholders, I can't wait to see you all in a few weeks!

Congrats Nicole!!
Raeceen and me in Napa

The whole gang!

- Gary Ryan Blair