Thursday, August 21, 2008

..many new faces and Orlando exploration

Last week, Sue and I embarked on a trip to Orlando where we attended various meetings, enjoyed time at Sea World, but most of all, supported Mandie as she competed for the title of Miss America's Outstanding Teen.

When we arrived, Sue and I got a little bit of sleep, thankfully, since our flight arrangements got a little crazy. Not to worry though, Sue and I know just what to do when we get stuck in an airport for hours; sit in massage chairs at Brookstone, eat lunch, read, read, read.

The next day involved a lot of focus as I began the daunting, yet exciting, task of trying to remember the names and states of every Miss America contestant as I met them! I had the opportunity at least meet, if not get to know, 40 of the Miss America contestants which was so exciting! I had many great conversations and experiences with these beautiful and talented women. We appeared on the Daily Buzz show, spent a day in Magic Kingdon in Disney World, saw the Shamu show in Sea World, and watched the Teen pageant each night! The sock hop was one of my best memories of the trip. Once the auction was over and we got back out on the dance floor, we all had a BLAST! I was surrounded by teen contestants, miss contestants, the outstanding teen of 2008 and Miss America 2008! What a sight that must have been!! From Mickey Mouse to the enormouse convention center where the pageant was held, to VIP fast passes on the rides in Disney, I definitely saw a great deal of Orlando, and spent the week the best way possible!

Sue caught on to a few odd facts about me throughout the week, especially my inability to wake up to one single alarm. I usually set at least two alarms, but since I had to wake up before Sue most of the mornings, I only set one so that I wouldn't disturb her. Well, the result of that strategy was Sue having to wake me up after I subconsciously turned off my alarm and went back to bed...every..single..morning. Sorry Sue!!! I arrived early to every single meeting/trip/meal though!

Once I realized that nothing was going to change the fact that I had permanent goosebumps in FL, I began really being able to focus on the activities and events we were participating in. See, in Florida, there is no happy medium when it comes to temperature; it's either dreadfully hot and humid outside or incredibly cold inside. I must say, I was thankful to step outside whenever we had the opportunity to do so; it gave me a chance to thaw!

Sarah was one little Delawarean that was able to come to Orlando. She did such a great job on the stage as one of the princesses!! I always enjoy watching her have a ball in front of an audience! ..and she always manages to end up right on my lap =P

Of course the main reason we were all there was to support Mandie! She looked beautiful and poised on the stage and did a great job when performing her talent! I was so proud of her and certainly did my fair share of cheering when she was in the spotlight!

I had a great time on the trip and cannot wait until I get to reunite with the Miss America contestants when we arrive in L.A. for the reality show filming.

Since then, I have been pretty busy. I got my hair cut, and it turned out shorter than I anticipated, but I love it!! My hair feels so much more healthy now; it was just getting to long. On Tuesday, I attended a Dentistry for Disabilities meeting and gave a small speech to the audience. I learned quite a bit, and have a new branch of dentistry to add to my Dental Outreach focus! This morning, Carol and I went to a Making Strides for Breast Cancer Breakfast. We ate great food and listened to a handful of wonderful speakers who shared not only what the organization does, but also the milestones that the survivors have overcome. It was very inspiring to hear the survivors speak. I'm sure I will be attending more of their events in the future.

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