This morning I had the realization that I leave in less than one month for Fresno to give up my title... It really is so difficult to believe one year has passed.
Well, enough of that for now, on to the fun stuff!
On Friday I sprinted and thankfully caught my train to San Diego where I was greeted by Vangie Burt Regan and Chelle! Vangie's house served as the "host family" house for 19 former Miss Californias!! It was SUCH a neat experience to be able to stay with her and her wonderful husband Jim for the weekend and to get a taste of what it used to be like when all of the women whom I admire and look up to lived there. I slept in the "Miss California room" and walked down the famous hallway lined with headshots of former Miss Californias. It was so fun! On Friday I met four local title holders at Rady's Children's Hospital for the last of my CMN hospital visits. I was joined by Miss Northern CA Regional, Marina Inserra, Miss San Diego Cities, Saundra Combs, Miss East San Diego County, Katie Martin and Miss Blythe, Justine St John. They were absolutely wonderful and it was fun to be able to experience their first CMN hospital visit with them! We also accidentally all matched :) I had the privilege of touring the hospital with Justine St John, Miss Blythe and was so touched when she was able to burst out into a Hannah Montana song (with adorable dance moves) in a young girl's room upon request. What a touching moment to see a little girl smile because Justine brought music into her hospital room!
From L-R Miss East San Diego, Miss Blythe, me, Miss Northern CA Reg., Miss San Diego Cities
Friday night, Vangie, Jim, Chelle and I all went to the Padres game and had wonderful seats! Unfortunately, they lost the game... but we still had a great time! Saturday morning, we went to Sea World for a few hours and I fed the dolphins (something I have always wanted to do) and we watched the Shamu show then headed back to get ready for the evening.
Vangie and I in the "Miss California Room"
Feeding "gracie" the dolphin! She was smiling too!
Saturday evening I was invited to attend the American Freedom Foundation's fundraiser aboard the U.S.S. Midway! It was a perfect night and the weather was just beautiful as we boarded the giant ship. I presented certificates to the donors and took pictures with the VIPs and other patrons and veterans. The American Freedom Foundation raises money to aid in veteran programs locally across the United States. The money they give away stays within the community they are in, which is wonderful. In fact, they have given away over $600,000 since their beginnings! I was unbelievably honored to be escorted by Captain Glenn Jensen for the evening. He was quite the gentleman and enhanced my experience tremendously as he shared his experiences with me about being a marine. The evening ended with a concert by the legendary Ronnie Milsap (I am a HUGE country fan, so I loved this!), a two-step lesson and then a VIP reception where the Nashville songwriters sang the songs that they had composed. It was such a perfect evening! (Oh, and I forgot to mention there was red velvet COOKIES! Delicious!)
With Captain Glenn Jensen from the USMC
Vangie and Jim Regan, aboard the U.S.S. Midway
On the flightdeck of the U.S.S. Midway
This week is filled with more events with Veterans. Today I visited the Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles for a special BBQ. I spoke to the Veterans, danced for them and signed autographs and took pictures. They all are so unique and filled with so many interesting stories! It is truly remarkable to be able to look them in their eyes and personally say "thank you" for the service they have given to our country. I am quite proud to be an American :)
More appearances the rest of this week with Miss America so stay tuned for updates and pictures!
Countdown till I leave for Miss CA 2010: 28 days
Quote of the week: "Freedom isn't free."