Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Start spreadin' the newsss, I'm leaving todayyy...I wanna be a part of it--New York, New York!!"

New York, New York
~FEBRUARY 4-9th~

(I LOVE peanut M&M's!)

(The view from my hotel room)

Hello everyone! I apologize for being a bit “MIA” for the past few months.  I have been traveling like crazy and haven’t had a chance to update. Since the last post, I've been to Tulsa, Houston, Dallas twice, Kansas City twice, New York City twice, LA and many other exciting destinations!  With all the speaking engagements, appearances, and photo shoots I’ve been doing, I feel like I’m already living the life of Miss USA. It can be exhausting, but the best kind of exhausting! ;) I am grateful for every second of the journey. 

The first week of February, I spent nearly a week in New York City.  I can't describe in words how much I enjoyed my visit, even walking miles in the cold. ;) --You should of seen me. I was like a real “New Yorker,” speed walking throughout the busy city!  There is something incredibly empowering about NYC.  The atmosphere makes you come alive.  There is so much to take in... the sounds, the smells, the people, the voices, the cultures, the foods... it's really incredible.

Yep, there is nothing quite like the big apple…. Worlds away from my home in Moore, Oklahoma. ;)

(wink, wink!)

I traveled to the city that never sleeps with my mother alongside me, who ADORES NYC, and for good reason.  My mom is a born and raised New Yorker believe it or not. (Although upstate) …She is a physical therapist and lived and worked in the New York City Baptist Hospital in her 20s.

- On a side note, she packed up and moved there all on her own without knowing a soul.  Not only New York City, but many other fascinating places, like Venezuela!

I too, have this identical spirit that she had as a young woman. I long to travel all over the world and embark on a similar great adventure of my own. My entire life I have had an deep fascination for other countries and cultures. Whatever I end up doing in life, I do hope it allows me the ability to travel, experience new things, see new places, and meet new faces.

Because of this great love to explore new places and experience new environments, winning Miss USA would be a dream job. (And even more so, Miss Universe)  It embodies everything that I am and everything that I love in life. – Meeting new people, inspiring others daily, being a role model, a public speaker, a model, a diplomat, and of course, being an ambassador of love and strength and beauty –inside and out.


(Modeling the awesome hats at the M&M store, lol)

Anyway, back to my trip to the city. So, naturally, even though we’ve been to New York, my mom and I had to visit the typical tourist spots. We had quite a time making our way through the three-stories of the M & M store. And being the chocoholic that I am, I couldn't forget to make my stop at the Hershey’s store. On our way back to the hotel, we also decided to graze through the massive Time Square “Toys R Us” for my niece and nephew. My brother in law, Matt, is an Oklahoma City police officer so we made sure that baby Luke had NYPD onesies when we got home ;) The last stop we made was my favorite, the ESPN Zone, of course! I got some great shirts for rehearsals at Miss USA.


The day of my photo shoot with Fadil we ordered in a big room service breakfast.  It was deeeelicious!  Wrapping up the shoot, it could not have gone any better. The staff I worked with were not only incredibly talented, which we all are aware of, but they were genuinely wonderful people as well. I also shot briefly with a male model originally from Slovenia named Yuri. He was a gifted model and had worked for many huge names, including Gucci.  Yuro also had recently finished shooting a lady gaga music video. Amazing! (I felt like I was rubbing elbows with the rich and famous ;)) The craziest part about meeting Yuri however, was that as it turns out, he played college basketball in Oklahoma at one point in his life, no more than thirty minutes from my hometown. What an amazingly small world we live in. 

I also met an amazing young woman named Yuko at the shoot. She did my hair and makeup.  Yuko is one of those staff members I mentioned earlier-- not only is she a talented creative manager, but she is a phenomenal person.  We had so much in common and I consider her a dear friend now.  Hopefully I will see her again soon.

Afterward, Fadil suggested we go to a steakhouse located under his studio. It turned out to be the most exceptional steak I have ever had! Also joining us during the shoot and for dinner, was Ashley Bickford, Miss Connecticut USA. It was a pleasure meeting her.  I loved hearing about her triple crown accomplishments.

Once we finished our cheesecakeand chocolate mousse cake for dessert, we shared a taxi to her bus stop to make sure she made it safely. Our taxi driver was a HOOT. He was an 80-year-old Vietnam Veteran with such a vibrant, lively personality.  (I hope I have that much spunk at 80!)  I made sure to thank him for his service to our country before we parted.


Saturday was the most brutally cold day of the trip. The piercing west winds still didn’t stop me from walking all over New York, though. Mother and I walked to Time Square and then to Columbus Circle to do some shopping. Although, while we were expecting to purchase some clothing, the only thing we ended up buying all day was food! Haha…And the only thing we got on our stop into Columbus Circle was a bag full of Godiva chocolate ;) …After Columbus Circle we fought our way to 5th Avenue facing the strong winds head on. After gazing upon the shops with one thousand dollar shoes and extravagant jewelry that would make me go bankrupt, we decided to have lunch at the Rockefeller Center. We had lunch in a location underground where we could watch the ice skaters. My favorite part about the Rockefeller was the flags circling around that rink that represented countries from all over the world. They flew proudly in the air.

…On our way home, (Or back to our hotel, that is. –I’m already calling NYC my home. LOL) we made a short stop at the NBC store, and then, naturally, made our way to Magnolias once again for cupcakes. When we arrived back at the hotel, we watched the OU/Texas basketball game. We ended up pulling the upset and beating Texas, which was a huge win for the Oklahoma Sooners! woohoo!!  Later, we headed out for dinner.

We were supposed to fly home on Sunday, but our flight from Baltimore was cancelled and rescheduled for Monday. Then, on Sunday night we received a call saying our flight was cancelled for a second time, except this time out of New York. Haha…( I chose to see this a sign that I was clearly supposed to stay in New York!!! ;) )


Moving along, since we had a few extra days in my future home, we decided to really get the "New York experience." We found a great pizza place for lunch and later enjoyed a wonderful off-broadway show. We chose on a whim to see the Fantasticks. It’s been performed for over 50 years so I figured that it must be worth seeing. Off-broadway was fascinating as I could literally reach out and touch the performers. I loved the intimacy of the stage production.

When we got home, we cleaned up for dinner and actually took a taxi this time. We enjoyed the lovely ambiance at Tao restaurant. They did a grand job with lighting and décor, not to mention outstanding service. Five stars for Tao!

Speaking of Tao, my food consumption in NYC  was OFF THE CHARTS! Haha... I had pretty much everything you can imagine.  And just to show you how phenomenal of a memory I have, haha... I will name off some of the outrageous foods I got to indulge in!!!......Chips and salsa, steak, shrimp, pork, chicken fajitas, corn mix, guacamole, bacon, eggs, oatmeal with brown sugar and strawberries and raisins, breakfast potatoes, pineapple, cantaloupe, STEAK, broccoli, cheesecake, chocolate mousse cakes, teddy grahams, trail mix, nutri-grain bar, cheez its, Nabisco cookies, Magnolia’s, 4 chocolate cupcakes, pineapple cupcakes, peanut butter and brown sugar cookies, bagel and cream cheese, egg bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich on English muffin, several cappuccino’s, a handful of hot chocolates, pepper jack cheeseburger and fries, a bundle of breads and muffins, GODIVA – chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry/banana shish-ka-bob, dark chocolate covered blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, empanadas with avocado, Caesar salad, 21 layer crepe with berries, a large half pepperoni/sausage and bruchetta pizza, Snapple, edamami, hot and sour soup, shrimp toast, onion rings, filet, orange chicken, rice, molten lava cake, chocolate chopsticks, chocolate fortune cookie, vanilla bean icecream, strawberries, French toast with powdered sugar and maple syrup, scrambled eggs, everything bagel with cream cheese, more pizza and dessert….among other things of course. Haha…

 mmmm...mmmm...mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ;)

(Yes, I attempted to taste test all 18,000 restaurants in NYC within a week, haha…but was unsuccessful. Hopefully I burnt a few calories here and there from all the walking I did. ;))

Well, I hope you enjoyed hearing about my trip to New York City! That was pretty much it in a nutshell ;)

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1 comment:

  1. Love this post! Did you actually go ice skating or not so much? Reading this really makes me wanna go to NY... especially that cupcakes place! lol Glad you had such a fun-filled trip. Oh, and I love the "wink, wink" picture too. ;)