Sunday, May 2, 2010

Forgotten Lighthouse Challenge!

Such a cool weekend! It was non-stop from Thursday evening until Monday morning. I began my weekend Thursday night as Kim Antos and I traveled to Tampa to attend the Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. Before we got very far, we made a pit stop in Kissimmee to visit Give Kids The World. I had a $500 check for GKTW that was made by the wonderful people who attended my Central Florida Send Off Party. We raised a total $1500 for charity in which there are 3 beneficiaries.
Anyway, being that the families that visit GKTW stay for exactly 7 days, GKTW is able to plan weekly celebrations like morning visits from Disney Characters, Wednesday night Village Idol, and the Friday night Pirates and Princess Party. Every Thursday Mayor Clayton Celebrates Christmas which I should mention that Mayor Clayton is a very handsome 6 foot tall bunny rabbit who happens to be the Mayor of Kids Village. His wife, Merry, loves celebrating Christmas by having an evening Christmas parade. Now, I intended to be in the parade, but I never left the Gingerbread house (this is where all meals are served). I spent a couple hours mingling with the families and signing autographs. Before you knew it, it was 8:10pm and I had missed the parade! It is ok though…the families appreciate me being in the Gingerbread house with them especially since many of the families were leaving the next day to go back to their home.
Kim and I stayed in Tampa that night and planned our schedules for the next day. With only one car, there was figuring out of who gets the car when. I slept in (YAY) while Kim spent the morning training clients in Ocala. When she returned, she was able to take a nap while I headed to Tampa as I had a new family member to meet! Ella Lynn Darrey was born on the morning of Wednesday April 21st weighing 6 lbs 11 oz.

She is absolutely beautiful!!! I told Ella how much I love her and that she was my good luck charm at Miss USA…I promised to make her proud :) It was so nice to be able to spend a few hours with my cousins…I wish I could have stayed longer!

From there I scooped up Kim and we were off to Dade City for the 2010 Miss Florida's Oustanding Teen Pageant.

Kim, me and David at pageant. David emceed with Galen.

Rachel Strever after preliminary competition. She was awesome!

Both Kim and I worked with girls who were competing so we were there for moral support. The teens were fabulous and very talented. My dad met us out in Dade City so I went home to Orlando with him while Kim stayed for Saturday night finals. I believe we got home around 1:30am. I barely closed my eyes and next thing I knew, I was back in the car for a 4 hour trip to St Mark’s to begin my Forgotten Lighthouse Challenge!!!

I could go on and on about the various lighthouses, but I realize that 6 lighthouses and 1 festival later this blog would be massive. So I am going to post a few pictures with comments instead:)

Saturday April 24th: Florida Lighthouse Day
St Mark’s Lighthouse

First Lighthouse of the weekend!
Posing on the beach with titleholders Morgan Mount Miss Northwest Florida, Natalie Martinez Miss Alachua Cty Teen USA and Cassi McFarland Miss Emerald Coast Teen USA.

20th Anniversary of the River Front Festival in Carrabelle
Natalie and I were posing with an iguana which I need to mention that he is a heavy little guy. Holy cow, that was my workout for the day. Anyway, Mr iguana was posing nicely until his owner said 'you should kiss him'. As soon as Mr iguana heard the word 'kiss', he turned really fast and tried to lick us! He was cute :)

Crooked River Lighthouse
2nd Lighthouse of the weekend!
Signing autographs for those in line :)

St George Lighthouse
Inside of the 3d Lighthouse of the day!
My dad, Cassi's mom and Cassi at the top of the St George Lighthouse. You can see behind me little beach homes in the background. That is where I stayed for the evening. They were the most adorable skinny houses with the most gorgeous views!

Low Country Boil (St George Lighthouse Fundraiser)
BIG JUMBO Shrimp....yum!
The two bookends are Terry and Jim Kemp. They were so wonderful to set up this appearance for me and to find a home for me to stay. Thank you Terry and two are awesome :)

Sunday April 25th
Cape San Blas
Interviewed by Panhandle Outdoors at the Cape San Blas Lighthouse
Titleholders at the base of our 4th lighthouse. Jami Lynn Daniels is the reigning Miss Emerald Coast USA. as well as the director of the Miss Northwest Florida Pageant. She brought her girls as well as her USA lil sis Cassi McFarland. Together they presented me a good luck gift with handmade cards. It was so sweet!

Port St Joe
Port St Joe was my favorite lighthouse because it was converted into a home. It is a private lighthouse for that very reason. Pictured above is the owner Danny. We are standing next to the stairs to the top of the lighthouse. That room is only 5'7" in height since that was the average height of a lighthouse keeper in the 1800's.

Signing the lighthouse keepers diary. Cassi and I each posted a diary blog about our visit and then signed it. Now we are apart of the Port St Joe Lighthouse History :)

Warm welcome by confederate soldiers during the Pensacola Lighthouse Visit.

Miss Pensacola USA 2011, Chelsea Cooper and myself. In the background is the Lighthouse Keepers home and the Pensacola Lighthouse.

Inside the lighthouse in the dark tunnel leading tothe Keeper's Room. The captain just finished telling us about the infamous Pensacola Lighthouse Ghost Stories! This lighthouse was featured on a special lightouse episode of Ghost Hunters.

Artist of the Pelican. He autographed a minature pelican for me :)

As you can see, it was quite the weekend! By 6pm CT, it was time to begin our journey back to Orlando. Around midnight ET, I noticed my dad nodding off at the wheel so I spent the remaining 3 ½ hours driving us home. Not sure how, but I was wide awake! Must have been all the cat naps betweens lighthouses :) The drive home was rather therapeutic. 1100 miles later, we just looked at one another and reflected on how much fun we had in the last 72 hours. It was an awesome weekend!

Now, it is time to pack for Miss USA. This entire week will be filled with fittings, appointments, workouts, and hopefully sleep….but I am not going to count on it :) Next time I talk I will probably be on the plane. Wish me luck and I will see YOU in VEGAS!!!!!!

Until Next Time!
Megan Clementi
Miss Florida USA 2010

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