Staying up all night several years ago used to be something that wasn't much of a problem. I used to study all night in college, sleep maybe an hour and then go start my day. I know why that part of my life was important back then! The past few weeks have taken me back to the days where I was so busy with whatever life threw at me. In case you haven't figured it out, I haven't slept a lot to lately! But, that's okay because I have been having fun traveling from one end of the United States to the other!
Two weeks ago I worked a rodeo in Evans, GA and then got an hour of sleep and headed to Atlanta. I drove around for a good 45 minutes trying to find my way to the right parking, then I finally made it to the terminal to catch my flight to Oklahoma. After arriving, I caught my first Uber to Norman, OK. Coming from a small town in Kentucky, Uber isn't very popular there. My driver dropped me off to meet Melanie, a hair sponsor of Miss Rodeo USA. I was so excited to meet Melanie and get my hair done while we became friends! Melanie did a wonderful job and made my hair look like new again!! I highly recommend her to anyone that is in the area!
After my hair appointment, Allie, a member of the Pauls Valley Rotary Club picked me up and took me to our next destination. It was nice to be in Oklahoma where my director, pageant director, and clinic director are located! I spent the week with the rotary club promoting Thunder in the Valley, a bull riding event. I completed 10 school visits during the week, visited a veterans center, attended the rotary meeting, toured Field's Pies, tried my first Arbuckle Fried Pies, and toured the Cultural Center. How could I forget to mention that Allie taught me how to dance one night at a local center. Once a week members met for a full two hours of country dancing. I of course, can not dance to save my life. But don't worry, Allie made sure I knew how to dance! In fact, at our visit of the famous Arbuckle Fried Pies, we were waiting on our order and I'm standing there and Allie starts teaching me the basic moves to the two step. I definitely wasn't prepared to dance in the middle of the store! However, I learned a few steps and then enjoyed my fried apple pie!
On Wednesday, May 3rd, was an exciting day for me! Not only did I get to spend the week in Oklahoma, but I spent my one and only 25th birthday as Miss Rodeo USA with a few of the rotary members. We all had dinner complete with a birthday slice of cheesecake with a wonderful battery operated candle (courtesy of Allie!) I arrived back to my "home" for the week with our pageant director to chocolate cake, flowers, and balloons! Thanks to everyone that made my day special!
There were many sponsor visits in between all the other events I took part in. I really enjoy being a part of the community in the different towns that I visit. It's great to see how the rodeo, or in this case, bull riding, impacts the community. I love to get the kids involved and mutton busting was a great activity available for them! Thunder in the Valley had a 2 go round competition with the winner receiving $200! I can imagine that the 5 -7 year old kid that won must have been super excited!
During my time in Paul's Valley, I had time to stop by and visit Norton's Jewelry. It was so nice to meet the Norton's, a long time sponsor of a diamond horse shoe ring for Miss Rodeo USA! The couple was so sweet and I enjoyed the surprise visit, and of course the diamond ring! Another local sponsor, 5 Star Quarter Horses, provided me with a top of the line horse to carry the American flag on Saturday night. It was great to meet up with Faith and Patrick and their family! I haven't seen them since the pageant in January, so it was wonderful to spend the evening with them! I can't thank them enough for providing me a beautiful horse! If you're ever in the area, I recommend stopping by to check out all the great horses they have!
Once again after the Thunder in the Valley event, I slept close to two hours and was up and ready to fly out of Oklahoma City Airport. I finally made it back to Kentucky later on that day and couldn't wait to see my dogs! I had a few days at home before I flew out to Las Vegas! I have never been to Las Vegas and was so excited to travel west and see the country! I also couldn't wait to meet Judy and Terry Wright for a photo shoot! But before I made it out to the photo shoot, my mom and I took a tour downtown on Las Vegas Blvd. There was so much to see but we made it to the Venetian, Caesar’s Palace, The Mirage, and MGM. We took a short tour of the wildlife center which included watching the dolphins play underwater and have a training session with their individual trainers. We then moved on to viewing the tigers. It was a neat experience for an animal lover like me! We walked for what seemed like forever and made it to the David Copperfield show at MGM. This was a magic show that was unlike anything else that I have ever seen! He made motorcycles, cars, and spaceships appear from out of nowhere! Not to mention the paper rose he made out of a tissue and then turned into a real rose! However he works his magic, I'm not certain, but I do know his show was very cool and fun! After the show was over, we couldn't leave without visiting the Hershey place nearby! You already know I love cookies, so I found the perfect one! A chocolate chip cookie with peanut butter buttercream icing and a Reese on top! A perfect ending to a long day of traveling and then walking 10 miles!
Saturday brought the day of the photo shoot with the Wright's! We spent a few hours with makeup and hair and then visited Lake Las Vegas for a fun afternoon of photos! Miss Macie boots is a sponsor that I was excited to include in the shoot as well! I can't wait to share with you all the great photos that they produce! I know they put a lot of hard work and effort into each and every photo shoot! It was a fun evening and I'm so thankful I was able to come to Vegas for this opportunity!
We made it back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep before mom and I left at 3:30am for the airport. As I write this, I am waiting for my flight to take me to Nashville, Tn and then to drive home to Kentucky! It's also Mother's Day and it wonderful that I was able to spend a weekend with my mom in Vegas! I'm thankful to have such a supportive and awesome Mom who is always there for me! Thanks mom for all that you do!