The past two weeks have been much different than the last two! Previously, I mentioned that I had been preparing to head to the Dallas Market Center in Texas! But before we get to that event, lets talk about Bowie, Texas! I got to spend a night in Decatur Texas with a previous Miss Rodeo USA and her family, Katie Woods-Boggeman. I met her super sweet in-laws and enjoyed waking up to the view of cattle right outside my window. I then headed to Bowie, Texas to tour American Hat Company, an amazing hat sponsor of Miss Rodeo USA! It was quite the experience getting to watch a hat made from start to finish! Most of the machines used are very old, but have worked for many years. Each hat is hand crafted and made with so much talent. After getting to see how both straw and felt hats are made, I truly understand the quality of product that American Hat Company produces. I love my American hat and recommend to everyone to purchase the best hat you will ever own from them! My next stop with sponsor Janet Woods, was to visit a luncheon restaurant in downtown Bowie. The waitress informed us that we needed to visit the Bowie Knife! After a few minutes of searching for it, we found the statue and of course had to take a photo with it!
Dallas Market was my next big adventure in Texas and I loved it! If you have never been to the market center, it is really something to see! There are 15 floors of businesses throughout the center, but our main focus was with the western trade market. Most Miss Rodeo USA Sponsors have booths at this place and it was such a pleasure meeting them! Amber with Gypsy Tails was absolutely wonderful and so fun to be around! I would like to thank her for all that she does! Amber teamed up with Tammy at Double T Sales and helped showcase some of the newest styles of the season! I can’t wait to show you all what they have sponsored! I would like to welcome a few new sponsors as well! Minxx, Miss Macie Boots, and Annette’s Touch of Class are just a few names that I will be showcasing their amazing lines! Most importantly, I would like to thank each and every sponsor for donating their time and products to help this organization grow. Without their support, the association would not be where it is today!
Next stop, Brunswick, Georgia for the Rodeo at the Beach! I left directly out of DFW and flew into Jacksonville, Florida around 1 am Sunday morning. Just in time to make it to the airshow taking place in Brunswick! This airshow featured the Blue Angels, Aeroshell Acrobatic Team, the Raptor, Wild Blue, and many other top of the line acts! I enjoyed the day walking around visiting different booths and advertising for the rodeo coming up! I ran into many old military birds and then some modern airplanes, like President Trumps jet! Thank you to John and Charlene Franklin for being my tour guides for the day!
During the week, I visited many sponsors for the rodeo and met even more wonderful people! I learned that while in South Georgia, they are known for their sand gnats and sweet shrimp, two of which I had no idea about! It didn’t take me long to meet the state bird.. the evil sand gnat! I quickly replaced my bottle of hairspray for bugspray in my purse! As far as the seafood goes, I hear everyone loves it there, except maybe the Kentucky girl. The Exchange club made sure that I did not go home without trying at least one of their famous shrimp. So I did, and with the help of honey mustard, it was okay!
The Exchange Club of Brunswick was a very interesting organization to learn about. It was wonderful to hear that they support so many local charities and help to provide to the community in everyway possible. Last year alone, the club provided over 90 bicycles to the local children to have for Christmas. Its organizations like these that I feel blessed to have met the whole club! They also worked very hard to put on such a great rodeo! Thanks to Hedrick Rodeo Company for making sure that Rodeo at the Beach was a success!
As for the down time I had during my stay in Brunswick, I always found something to do! Everyone kept telling me that I needed to visit Jekyll Island! Because I am a Kentucky girl and there are no beaches or palm trees in my neck of the woods, I jumped right on to finding the island! I even found a few sand dollars while walking on the beach! While on Jekyll Island I wanted to go find frozen yogurt. One of the guys in the club had said there was a place located in Brunswick. I start driving to find it and before I know it, I have discovered another island, Saint Simons! I visited the downtown area and indeed located the frozen yogurt! I took a walk on the pier to enjoy the sunset on the island.
After the rodeo was over and my time in Brunswick had come to an end, I rode back to Jacksonville, Florida to catch my plane into Nashville late Sunday night. I am getting used to spending a lot of time of time in airports and the fun that comes with meeting so many new people. As I walk to my gate, I get a lot of “congratulations!” and “did you just come from a pageant?” A new trend that happens everytime I am at an airport is when strangers come up to me and ask, “Oh! Are you getting married?!” When I answer “no, I am Miss Rodeo USA” I see their eyes start to read the crown. No, I am not a bachelorette, but indeed travel with a crown and sash to promote the western image and the IPRA.
On the subject of airport stories, I have to tell you my most recent conversation at DFW airport. While I have been waiting for close to three hours for my flight time, I had my backpack and hat can sitting next to me while working on social media. I had been in the same spot with several other people for at least an hour. Finally, I guess the curiosity got the best of a few people and this gentleman came over to ask what was in the black box. Of course, I had to have a little fun and played a guessing game with the guy on what he thought was in the box. I noticed other people near me all started to pay attention because apparently they too secretly wanted to know what was in the box. The guy gave a few answers and then said, “well it just can’t be a hat that fits in that box.” He indeed was correct and it was entertaining to see what answers that they came up with!
I left my last blog off with a hint about a really neat bag made by the talented, Sherry Smith! I mentioned that I had told Sherry that I really wanted something so that I could take my cheesesticks, water, and other cold goods with me while on the road. She pulled through and made the coolest cooler pocket you have ever seen inside of my purse! I know, that’s definitely an unusual request, but it is working perfectly for me!
Overall, the last two weeks I have made so many new memories and look forward to what is to come! There is seriously never a dull moment and that’s what I love about this life! The places I will go and opportunities that are placed in front of me will forever be remembered by this year in my life. Thanks again to all of my sponsors that work hard to make this year possible for me!
Miss Rodeo USA
Follow the adventures of Miss Rodeo USA 2017 Brittany Howard as she travels the country representing the IPRA. Check back often for updates and new blogs!