Today my sister and I went to Nebraska's Big Rodeo in Burwell, Nebraska. I started the day by appearing in the parade at 10:00AM. Then had a meet and greet at the fair grounds at 12:00PM and then appeared in the Grand March at 1:00PM before the rodeo started.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Posing for Nebraska Life Magazine. Photo cutisy of Jorn Olsen.
The rodeo returned to Burwell as it did in 1921 when the town's first-ever rodeo began with a wild horse race. The facilities at Nebraska's Big Rodeo are one of the largest outdoor rodeo areas in the world. Events like clown acts, dinner bell derby, a mounted flag presentation and much more may be happening at the same time as regular events take place in the arena. Many visitors return just to see what they missed last time! The rodeo and fair are held each year on a sprawling 40 acres of grounds.
It was great to return to Burwell for the rodeo. I had been there about 4 years ago. It's a great summer activity for the entire family! The rodeo hits home to me because my mom and uncle used to participate in the horse show back in the day when they were in high school.
At the Grand March Parade.
The rodeo attracts a larch crowd from all over Nebraska. The Calamus lake and recreation area are located in Burwell as well, so the town was packed! All of the hotels were filled in Burwell, as well as the surrounding towns. It was amazing to be able to talk to people from all over Nebraska. I was so humbled by the large amount of support I received from people who had watched the pageant and were cheering me on when I competed for Miss USA. That's the great thing about Nebraska; we have some of the best people living here!
Check out Nebraska's Big Rodeo here.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend,
Friday, July 30, 2010
Today I visited the Heritage Living Center in St. Paul, Nebraska. I was able to visit with all of the residents and tell them my story. I visited with each one of them and got to know them a little better. It's always great to hear people's stories, and today I got to hear a wide array of life stories from about 30 ladies and gentlemen. The residents were from all over Nebraska, and some from out of the state. I left signing autographs, taking pictures and thanking them for wonderful hospitality! It was a great afternoon spent in Central Nebraska!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
We started the day at Dolphin Cay. All I can say is this was an amazing event that I will never forget! This was a shallow water dolphin interaction. We watched Echo do lots of tricks with the slight movement of the trainers hand and the sound of a whistle. Dolphins are amazing animals and quite amazing. I felt so blessed to be able to interact with them. We got to kiss them and give them high fives, along with watching them do lots of fun tricks!
After Dolphin Cay we got the rest of the day to explore Atlantis! Miss California, Nicole Johnson, and Miss Arkansas, Adrielle Churchill, and I went down the rapids and down all of the fun slides in Atlantis. We went to the beach and pool where we ran into Miss Virginia, Samantha Casey. After laying out and soaking up the sun we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner and the final show for Miss Teen USA.
Me, Samantha Casey and Nicole Johnson at the beach.
Miss Teen USA was amazing. We all watched in suspense. I was proud of Amanda, she did an amazing job! Miss Maryland pulled off the win; and it was really cool because her little sis was in the camp with us! It was great to see Victoria's reaction as she watched her sister get crowned Miss Teen USA.
With the new Miss Teen USA!
Miss USA 2010 girls.
After the pageant we headed for bed then woke up bright and early to say our goodbyes. This was hard and very sad because after a week of being with everyone we all became really close. With some tears and lots of hugs we bid farewell to everyone. Nicole had a late flight, like I did, so we decided to hit up the pool at the Cove one last time. It was great to spend the day with someone who I now consider an amazing friend.
Nicole and I the last day in the Bahamas.
Helping out with this camp was an amazing experience I can't begin to describe. Not only did I get to bond with USA title holders on a different level, but I got to meet and help the campers grown immensely throughout the week. It was amazing to watch the campers' self confidence shoot through the roof! Working with the Miss Universe Organization was another amazing experience. It made me even more proud to wear the Miss Nebraska USA sash.
Miss Nebraska USA 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
The girls' photo shoot on the beach!
Our amazing view from the Sun Suite.
Today we got to sleep in a little bit, so we started the day at 8:00AM. Next it was a fun-filled day that the campers had been looking forward too! The girls got to have their hair and make up done, then us camp counselors helped the girls pose for their photos. They had head shots taken, then a fun picture, an evening gown photo and a swimsuit photo on the beach. The girls had an absolute blast with this!
Nicole Johnson and I at Mosaic.
Crystle Stewart giving her speech.
Then we had lunch at Mosaic in the Cove, which is a really fancy buffet. LeBron James was staying in the Cove, so we were all hoping to see him but didn't have any luck! After lunch we headed back to the Sun Suite and listened to Crystle Stewart's, Miss USA 2008, motivational speech.
After her speech we got ready for the Awards Presentation. During the week us camp counselors hand made sash's to fit each camper's personality. We had a Miss Runway Diva and a Miss Covergirl to name a few. This was such a fun presentation! The girls' had a blast, and us camp counselors were presented with engraved trophies for our work that week.
After the presentation of the awards, we headed to a private dinner that was beautifully set up. Miss USA 2010, Rima Fakih, ate with us. It was fun to be able to catch up with her!
All the girls in their sashes waiting for Miss Teen USA prelims to begin!
Next it was off to the Miss Teen USA prelims. It was amazing to watch my little sis Amanda Soltero, Miss Teen Nebraska USA, rock the stage! She did an amazing job! After the prelims show it was off to bed, we had a long day and were ready for some shut eye!
Miss NE USA
Thursday, July 22, 2010
We started the day bright and early at 7:45am with another morning workout with Josh Rogers! The girls have made a tremendous amount of process in their fitness and had a blast working out this morning! But I have to admit, everyone is pretty wiped out today. We have been going nonstop since we got here! And it's been hard to sleep with anticipating the excitement for the next day!
After breakfast it was off to presentations and questions with the State Directors. After meeting with the state directors Paula Shugart and Tricia Langa from the Miss Universe Organization gave some extremely helpful interview tips to the campers. After receiving advice from the experts they had practice interviews with a panel of judges. Then it was off to lunch!
Amanda practicing her swimsuit walk during rehearsals.
After lunch the girls met with Kent Parnham and Felicia the Miss Teen USA choreographers. They were able to learn the opening number dance that the Miss Teen USA contestants were performing. Then, one of the girls' favorite experiences, was watching the teen contestants rehearsal and then performing the dance and walking the runway in front of everyone. The campers' faces lit up and they had a blast while the counselors and Miss Teen USA contestants cheered them on!
The campers performing their opening number dance.
Next up was a nutritional seminar with Josh Rogers, gown color blocking with La Casa Hermosa, runway training with LauRen Merola and us counselors! And then.....finally.....it was time for our Sparty, also known as "spa day", at Mandara Spa. This is exactly what we needed after four days of hard work. We each got an hour of service at the spa. And let me tell you, it was AMAZING! This spa was extremely luxurious and very relaxing.
At Mandara Spa.
Alicia, Laura and I getting pedicures at the Sparty.
Everyone had a evening at the spa and then it was off to the Fantasy Suite for the girls to get wardrobe assistance for the photo shoot the following morning. Then it was lights out for all!