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.
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!!!
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 Jim..you 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!
Miss Florida USA 2010