This One is For Her

I don't remember a time where someone said to me, no, you can't do that job. But I have clear memories of thinking that some things were just for boys, or that if I did this, or tried that, I'd have to be the first. While there is plenty to be said about being the first, let's be honest, it's never easy.

So this is big. Tonight is big.

Because tonight, for the first time in United States history, a woman has been nominated by a major political party to run for the highest office in the country. For the first time in history, literal generations of women are validated in their idea that yes, you can be anything you want to be. Tonight, women who have fought tooth and nail for decades of their lives just to see this moment come to fruition can sit and watch in amazement.

Even women like me, 24 years-old, can sit and watch history being made.

This one isn't about me though.

See, I've got my goals, my dreams, and my career path. I grew up hearing you can be whatever you want to be. I spent years in school knowing that I had the right to work towards any job in this country. I could get my driver's license. I could register to vote. I could go to college. I could buy a house. And frankly, I never once felt like there were limitations on me - in those areas - because I also happen to be female.

So this isn't about me.

This is about her. This is about the little girl that I get to raise. This is about the girl that I'm dropping off at kindergarten. The little girl that I'm teaching to make cookies. The girl for which I'll proofread essays on Hemingway. The girl that I will tell, you can be anything you want to be. The girl that gets to  grow up in a world knowing her whole life that there is not a single limit for how high she can go.

She gets to know, from day one, that a woman can be a Presidential candidate in the United States.

Just like I knew that I could go to law school. I could vote at 18. I wasn't going to need to fight my way out of an arranged marriage. My education was never going to be a battle. And...well, we're still working on equal pay. We'll get there, girl. 

This is about all the daughters that come after this. This isn't about the 20 somethings that get to say, I was part of that history being made. This is about all the little girls that don't have to day-dream the image of a woman in the highest office of this country.

See, that's the thing. I knew I could be anything I wanted. It's a millennial thing, right? You know you can. But when you've never seen it before, when there is no one to show that it can be done, it becomes inherently much harder to envision. It isn't a simple reality - you can drive, you can vote, you can go to college. It is a distant reality. It's an idea, touted around like jet packs and flying cars.

There was a story recently (I think it was on Fresh Air, but it was NPR nonetheless) and a principal was explaining how when he - as a grown black man in a suit, who had been speaking to a room of adults - came as such a surprise to group of young students, that they were convinced he must have been President Obama. They thought, in a split second that a man, commanding attention, respect, and emanating power, was the President.

You see what that is, right? That there are so few strong black role models - in this case - in political positions that these kids only knew to think of President Obama.

This is what that was 8 years ago. The start of a new era.

Where little girls have someone to point to and say, she did it. Where it no longer is the figment of someone's imagination to be on the direct path to the Presidency of the United States. Where it actually is possible to be anything you want to be. Where after all this time finally as the "greatest country in the world," we may finally be on par with so many others.

Tonight is big. This is big.

Because one day some 17-year-old is going to be sitting in APUSH and she's going to be so unimpressed that we were so thrilled to see a woman nominated to become the President of the United States. Because why couldn't a woman be elected President, right?

Side note: Seriously, who you vote for is your right, and your business, but for the love of all that is good and holy, please vote. Please use this privilege that has - in many cases, 'cause I assume a lot of y'all are women - was bitterly fought for. For you. Don't. Not. Vote.

Greenville to the Hill: Miss America Orientation

Okay, unless you've been casually hibernating in the last week and half, you've probably seen that I've been busy with big things. I mean, Miss America big.

Right, so last weekly update, I mentioned that I was headed to South Carolina, and then bouncing over to D.C. for Miss America Orientation. Well that's exactly what I did - but it was so much more than I could have ever anticipated.

Let's start with going to Greenville. You guys. What a dream, I'm not kidding, I probably said three dozen times how much I loved it, how I wanted to move there, and on and on.

Southern hospitality is alive and well, and Greenville will be the first to show you. Every where we went, everyone we talked to was so incredibly kind, complimentary, and genuinely interested in why we were visiting Greenville, and how we liked it, and where we were from. (I say we, because I had a stellar traveling companion who genuinely made this trip 45,000 times better.)

The food...oh, the food. First of all, shouts to Katie for her perfectly on point recommendations. From BBQ, to brunch, to the best cake I've ever had in my life - she helped us find all sorts of places we might have otherwise missed. Hi Katie, do you read this? Probably not, that's cool. But huge thanks. 

The weather...if you've been to South Carolina, you know about the weather. I have been before, many times. In fact my first plane ride, at six weeks old, was to Myrtle Beach. I continued trips down there, sometimes twice a year, for the next 14 years - so I'm good with the unreal heat and humidity. And y'all, it filled my soul. I'm not kidding, it was 100° out with, I don't know, maybe 80% humidity, and I could not have been happier. Even walking out of Belk (which, wait, Belk guys, has a huge Lilly section and I nearly cried when I saw it) out of the blasting A.C. and into July in the South, I was absolutely 

Finally, why were we really there? To work with Gregory Ellenburg. The Gregory Ellenburg, and his beyond sweet assistant Rachel, and team of amazing seamstresses. See, some years ago Greg met Miss Vermont 2009 and generously offered to sponsor her evening gown for Miss America. And by the grace of God, and a man with a big heart, he has continued this honorable sponsorship ever since.

If you haven't met Greg, but you know someone who has, all they can say is how amazing he is. How kind he is. How wonderful it is to work with him. How he truly makes you feel like you are Miss America.

It's true. It's all true.

And when I left South Carolina last Sunday, I left with a full heart, thanks to Greg, Rachel, and everyone at Gregory Ellenburg. I left prepared not only to take on orientation with confidence and gusto, but to continue on this journey to Miss America with as much vigor as I had when I went into Miss Vermont week this year.

Well, then it was off to D.C.! Now, this is a place I have been only in terms of flight layovers, which, not ideal. I'm also all about historical landmarks, memorials, museums, and tours. I eat that stuff up. To say then that I was excited to finally get to spend quality time in our nation's capital might have been an understatement.

Even better? I was about to do it with 51 new Miss America sisters. fact about me I pretty much wear every emotion right on my face. Not really new information. But I was feeling frustrated the morning of flying to D.C. - for dumb reasons that mostly end with I was overreacting. Let me tell you though, so many people sent me wonderfully encouraging and kind texts, and snaps, and various messages, that by the time we landed I was downright pumped to hit the ground running.

Which we did.

Quick breakdown via pictures because these few days were legitimately so packed that I can only keep track of them when I look at the pictures in order.

Night One: Dinner at L'Hommage, delirious and excited.

Day Two: Arlington National Cemetery, smiling oddly largely following a massively humbling and emotional ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Day Two, Afternoon: National Harbor, warmly welcomed with this sign, followed by a slightly terrifying ride on the Capital Wheel. Then, lunch at Rosa Mexicana - hands down the best guac...and amazing enchiladas...and aggressively delicious churros. 

Day Two, Late Afternoon: Post-brand-new-barre-style-class, which had us all saying, I'm sweating off my makeup! Which is legitimately only a concern when you have five minutes to get camera ready. 

Day Two, Evening: Dinner at RPM - the new restaurant by Giuliana and Bill Rancic. And I don't want to be weird, but guys, she lol'd at my tweet. So basically I'll be on the red carpet this year for the Oscars with G. This evening, dinner was followed by an experience that is really like no other. Together we went to the Lincoln Memorial, and on the steps, in the clear night, we read the Gettysburg Address.

Day Three, Morning: White. House. The White House. I died, went to Heaven, came back, fainted, and then went on a tour of The White House. Where I met the first dogs. And went behind the ropes.

Day Three, Lunch: Fig & Olive was exactly as cute and delicious as it sounds. And I have nothing more to say except that I'll never eat another piece of fish so amazing in my life. 

Day Three, Afternoon: I'm sorry, but have you ever asked yourself what it would be like to get a private tour of the United States Capital building by an intern who works for the Speaker of the House, after you step out on to said Speaker's personal balcony and take a breath of freedom and unity? Because I did. Just before all that happened, and yeah, it is as bizarrely amazing as you would think. 

Day Three, Later Afternoon: A brief moment of peace while I waited for Representative Peter Welch to cast his vote on the House floor, charge my phone, rest my tired toes...oh, and officially take part in my first active shooter lockdown while in a federal building. And then...listen to Senator John McCain speak to our class, and die laughing, because you guys? He's so funny.

Day Three, Evening: Dinner was eaten in flat shoes, with big laughs, at Carmine's. Which everyone told us was so good. (They were right.) 

Day Four, Actually Orientation: We had the privilege to hear from Miss America, Betty Cantrell; Executive Chairman and CEO, Sam Haskell; Chairwoman of the Board, Lynn Weidner; VP of Field Operations, Marc Angeli; Producers, Tony and Lauren Eaton; COO, Josh Randle; and Board Member, Dan Meyers. We also had the privilege of being freezing cold, but that's kind of our fault for wearing dresses in a hotel conference room.

Day Four, Lunch: The much-anticipated Joseph Ribkoff lunch, where we receive our special Parade of States, opening number dresses. And say our goodbyes, well, until Orlando in two weeks. 

Day Four, Evening: I took a deep breath, packed my things, and went for a run around the city. I needed that time to be just Rylee after being exclusively Miss Vermont for almost nine days. And it was perfect. I saw things that we had seen as a class, and things we hadn't. I visited memorials on my own, stopped and took pictures without rushing to stay in line. And I just...ran.

I could not have asked for a better first experience with this class of new sisters. D.C. was exactly where we should have been - and I honestly cannot wait to hear what next year's class thinks of it. That's how much I loved it. 

I'm still recouping on lost sleep. I'm still responding to emails I missed. I think I could stand to do one more load of laundry. But dang if that wasn't an amazing two trips. This job, y'all. It is so good.

The Benefits Outweigh The Bagels

One of the things that has been most constant while being Miss Vermont is the questions. People ask me questions every where I go. I love answering them, and telling them more about who I am, and why I'm there, and what I'm all about. But if we're being super honest, I get about the same 10-15 questions everywhere I go. Which, is totally fine. The one I get most?

Why did you want to be Miss Vermont?

Really, I think this stems from the fact that a lot of people still don't get why girls my age are involved in pageants. There is still a really dated idea that we are somehow putting ourselves in a bad situation, something that we might later resent or regret, by doing pageants. Often the implication is more, 'why would you do that to yourself?'

Oh, let me list the ways.

1. It is hard, challenging, rewarding work for you.

I actually first decided to compete when I was an overweight, unhappy, bored sophomore in college. I did it as a challenge to myself. I knew I wasn't pushing myself in any department. I wasn't lifting anything other than bagels from The Rot. I wasn't practicing anything other than my ability to sleep way more than necessary. And I certainly wasn't finding ways to make myself better.

I needed the Miss Vermont Organization more than I knew. And within two Development Days (that year I was a preliminary titleholder, Miss Washington County,) I was hooked. I was so scared that I wasn't measuring up to everyone I was meeting - and simultaneously so inspired by each of the women that were involved in the program. It forced me in to a state of growth without my even realizing it. It forced me to work harder, and smarter, to make the person I wanted to be.

2. There really is a network of women that become your people.

I'm the older sister to one brother. I never had sisters before I became part of the Miss America Organization. I now have three classes of Miss Vermont sisters, one class of Miss New Hampshire sisters, and a whole class of Miss America sisters. Is that not the wildest thing ever?

These are women that have goals like mine, they have passions like mine, they have big dreams, and ideas. They are women who want to change their communities. They are women with loud independent voices that know what they want to say. They are my kind of sisters.

Beyond all of that - these are the women that know your life, they know your struggles, they know your successes, and they have been there for your failures.

And they are some of the most understanding, generous, and downright kind women you will ever meet.

3. You win even without a crown.

The beauty of this program is compounded by one simple word: scholarships. You get scholarship dollars, every time you place. And no one is going to tell you that that is some big horrible thing that you'll regret.

But beyond that, you get out of this program 10 fold what you put into it. Even if you never place, even if you never win, you will be a better person for being involved with a Miss America Organization affiliate (local or state, contestant or volunteer.) This program fosters growth, regardless of where you land.

Of course, I could talk for days about the good things these programs have given me. But the proof is in the pudding, y'all. I truly attribute my success as a human in large part to the skills and opportunities I have had because of my involvement with the Miss America Organization.

I know, without a doubt, that I am where I am today, because I took a leap and said, "You know, I think I'm going to compete for Miss Vermont this summer." 

Week Five & Six

When I first started on this wild journey, I knew that summer was going to bring an onslaught of adventures. Guys, these last two weeks were no exception.

Week Five:

Is it getting old to say I'm incredibly busy but having the time of my life? Hope not.

This week I attended the Catamount Ultra Marathon, which was at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. Now, I've been part of a handful of races, and I've run some 5ks. But I have never witnessed anything like this. First of all, this is an ultra marathon. That means it's a 50k. Fifty.

This was a true example of what it means to persevere, and really, how to maintain a level of unreal endurance while you run through the mountain trails. Needless to say I was super impressed by all of the participants. And, I'll admit, inspired to give it a shot. Though, maybe not until June of '18.

The rest of the week has been "normal." Which of course just means I spent it working my tail off. Between work, Pure Barre, and Miss America prep - normal is just a new word for "still busy as all get out, but it's fine because this is awesome."

Week Six:

Fourth of July week! Yaass.

I have been unsubtly extremely excited for this weekend since my crowning, because to put it simply, I love the 3rd in Montpelier. And yes, it is the 3rd. 

Starting off this week with - what will hands down be one of the coolest things I've ever done - Vermont Day at Fenway. Truly this was an amazing experience* for which I had no preconceived ideas, and that really did make it all the better. *Read with jazz hands.

From arriving at Fenway and being swept away - being able to check out left field from under the stadium, to meeting everyone that came to represent Vermont, to walking down to home plate, to standing on the field with all of the mascots welcoming each guest to the game, to taking a whole half hour to get to our seats simply because I had to stop every few seconds to take photos, to loving every minute of a game that was actually really horrible.

I cannot say enough good things about the kindness and hospitality of the Fenway staff, and every single person that said, "What?! Miss Vermont?! Can I get a picture?" 

I also went a little crazy at In The Pink, but who's surprised?

The next morning we hiked back up to Montpelier for the 3rd of July parade. My board will tell you, this is the first appearance I requested following my crowning. This is how I spotted my first Miss Vermont. This is how I spent my 3rd of July every year as a kid - watching the parade from somewhere on State. Waving, and grabbing candy, and seeing everyone and their mama.

Of course it was nothing short of amazing, and tradition-filled, and yeah, a favorite.

Which isn't to say the next day - the 4th - was not equally awesome. I was invited to the Stowe Independence Day celebration, to which I had never been, and holy moly - that was amazing. See, following the parade I had a tent amongst the rest of the vendors. And I got to meet dozens of kids, and parents, and just local Vermonters. It absolutely the best way to blow through a stack of my shiny new autograph cards.

So, what's next?

Ooooh you guys, so much. I'm headed to South Carolina tomorrow morning to meet the infamous Gregory Ellenburg who has so generously sponsored an evening gown for Miss Vermont, since our sweet 2009 met him in Orlando. I am beside myself excited. To meet Greg, to create something amazing to be worn on the Miss America stage, to be in the sweltering heat, and to eat Chick-fil-A.

And then, straight from South Carolina, it's off to D.C. for Miss America Orientation where I will meet my 51 new sisters, and tour our nation's capital for the first time!

The Cold Always Bothered Me Anyway

Alright, so I tried to write something last week about leaving people behind, and what that really is, and why that matters. Really what I was trying to say is that it is okay. Sometimes people no longer bring you joy, or worse, they make you sad. Sometimes people aren't meant to stay in your life, and it is okay to recognize that, and walk away. Well, the post didn't come out right, the words just weren't working. And I think I might have figured out why...

You know what the converse of thinking about leaving people behind is?

Thinking about the people that you can't let go.

I realized this weekend (as I drove to down Boston, then back to Montpelier, then home to South Burlington, then back to Stowe, and back home one more time - you know I love those long drive contemplation sessions,) that the complete opposite of what I had been feeling last week, was sitting on my heart. What about all the people that I can't seem to leave behind? Even if that relationship no longer serves to make me better?

I'm sure there are a hundred reasons that I can't let go of the idea of certain people. I think it's a lot like having a picture-perfect idea of what it's like to travel through Greece, or live in Atlanta, or work at Disney World. There are these things that we hold in our hearts, and we make them out to be so big, and so wonderful, and of course we don't want to let them go.

When those things are people though, of course it's different.

Because as much as we don't want to always admit it, people can make us or break us.

I'm not going to sit here and try to say that other people don't have the power to smash my heart to bits. It's a nice idea though, to think that we all have this impenetrable wall, that no one can hurt us so long as we know our own worth, and stay true to who we are, and yada yada yada.

Look, that's not real. People can hurt you, that's real.

And sometimes, those are the same people that you can't bear to leave behind.

What I still can't figure out is why. And maybe no one knows why. But that's the weight on my heart this week, why can't I just let them go too?

And it is a "too" - I don't know about y'all, but there's not a person in my heart that I can't let go, that hasn't already ditched me six ways to Sunday. That's maybe part of the problem, right? We know they already let us go. We know they already said, for whatever reason, this no longer serves to make me better, or bring me joy, or whatever. And yet we still hold them in our hearts.

I think of that hold kind of like matter. Remember? Matter occupies a physical space, and it cannot be destroyed. Whatever is here is here, and it must stay. It can be redistributed though. So even though we have people that settle in us - I don't care if we're talking about lost friends, or grandparents, or exes - there are people that we hold in our hearts.

We don't always get to shut those down. Your feeling cells don't automatically reassign that love, or adoration, or kinship. They hold it. They pit it away in you, where it aches in the back of your throat, and burns just behind the pit of your stomach. Where you can feel your heart actually sinking just a little with the weight of it. And you can't stop it. You can't stop caring.

Because it's settled in you, and I think even two, or ten, or 25 years from now, it might still be sitting in you. And it will stay with you, they will stay with you. And you'll just have to move it around, knowing sometimes it will hurt, knowing that it won't leave you.

Do you think that's a thing?

That we'll always hold certain people with us? Even if they don't want to be our friend anymore, or they left this world, or left us behind?

I don't know that that is the best-case scenario. But I don't know that it is the worst either. You know? It might be okay to feel this big, and just recognize that certain people will stay with us. I guess this could be a wear-your-mushy-confetti-heart-on-your-sleeve kind of thing too. This could be a feel all things really largely kind of a thing. Those are usually my things.

But I have to imagine, even if it is - even if the weight of this is just a little dramatically large on my heart - someone else feels that too, right? Someone else knows what it means when I say I can't let them go.

Girl, me too.

Thank You For Not Ruining My Day

So I might as well get this out of the way, and say, it's weird that I share part of my identity with Miss Vermont now. Not in general, you know. At work I'm still just Rylee. At the studio I'm still just Rylee.  Because at my core, I'm still just Rylee. But when I'm on the internet - like right here - I am also Miss Vermont. My words are also the words of a titleholder. And that is okay. I'm actually totally fine with that. I think though, there may be things I say, and things I think, that people don't traditionally expect titleholders to post about.

Not because they are bad.

But because they are personal. There is plenty of personal thoughts and conflicts, and dreams, and big  ideas on here. And I am fine to share all of them on the internet, obviously. But before we get too many months into this, I have to say it right here, Rylee doesn't change because she shares part of her identity with Miss Vermont. My struggles, my victories, my fears, and my hopes, are still my own. And I am still totally fine with sharing them.

What I am really saying is, I hope you're totally fine with it too.

That being said... I've been thinking a lot about being grateful for the hard parts of life.

I've talked before about how it's hard for me to be grateful when I'm in the thick of it. When I feel like things aren't going my way, or keep getting in my way. I really struggle with recognizing the blessing in there. You know, that things are happening at all. Or when work is stressful, that I have a job. Or when I feel overwhelmed, that I have so many great opportunities. Or when I feel too busy, that I have so many things to give my attention too.

That is hard.

And I have been working on it. Trust me, I have been giving as much effort as I can to being consciously grateful through everyday.

Wow it's early, I don't want to get up. But I'm thankful that my alarm went off on time.

Cool, more traffic definitely going to make me late for work. But I'm thankful to get there safely.

I've only gotten 4 things off of this 15 page to-do list done. But I'm thankful I can accomplish that.

It seems so small. It sounds so minor. I hear that - because I thought so too. But y'all. It helps. It helps me stop, pause, take a second to look at why I am about to complain, or get frustrated, or start to worry. And it gives me the second I need to say, okay wait. 

Living in a state of gratitude isn't easy. And I wouldn't even say I'm there yet, I'd say I'm working on it. I think though, this state of gratitude is something that (well a. I'll obviously need it all year as Miss Vermont. But b.,) just forces you into honestly looking at what you're calling hard.

I mean, getting up at 4 A.M., isn't fun. But is it hard? Not really. Traffic is annoying, but is waiting in my perfectly good car, with a working radio hard? No. And really, being busy, having things to do, that's just life.

What I'm saying is it can get so easy to say, this is hard. This is stressful. This is frustrating. This is exhausting. This is annoying. This is difficult.

I know, trust me.

But giving myself the extra second to say, well it is but, changes everything.

And I mean that. It changes everything. Because not getting stressed, frustrated, exhausted, or annoyed with all the little challenges I face every day, means that I get to embrace every single good thing that I face. It means I am that much more excited, and prepared for an 18 hour day. It means I'm going to be just fine working every weekend for the next 48 weeks. It means, that every day I remind myself that I can do this. That this is the life that I was supposed to be doing the whole time.

Even, and especially, when it forces me to be grateful for things that are hard.

Also, it's fair to note that there are many more things in my life that are hard. And it is not always as simple as flipping my annoyance on it's head to find why I ought to be grateful. Look, I'm human. I know the feeling of why don't I make x dollars, why don't I have x sponsor, why don't I have that relationship, why don't I have that job, why don't I have that fill-in-the-dang-blank. But the ability to take the little things and flip them makes the challenge of the bigger, harder, more confusing parts of life - a little more doable. I won't say that I'm super grateful for all the things that leave me upset at the end of a hard day. But I will say that when the storm passes it is always easier to see why I should be. 

Week Three and Four

Yes, I was slacking. But no fear because I actually wrote these separately, and you just get a twofer. Enjoy, y'all!

Week Three:

By coincidence and blessing this week has been relatively "normal." Well, what I would have considered normal about a month ago, anyways. Lots of work, and lots of Pure Barre, and lots of emails, and paperwork, and settling into this craze-mazing new rhythm of life that I am in.

I keep saying that as blessed as I feel to have this job, it is so much. There is constantly so much that I feel like I need to say, and do, and finish, and catch-up on. This is has been a perfect week for that. 

A very quick run-down:

I threw a first pitch for the Montpelier NECBL team, The Mountaineers. Which is a huge part of the Montpelier summer experience. And the GM happens to be my former middle school and high school gym teacher. You guys, just about everyone had some very clear - and low - expectations of how that pitch was going to go.

Plot twist, I crushed it. I'm not kidding. I practiced in my parent's backyard for all of about 15 minutes, and went down to the field. I was understandably nervous, even though the crowd was small, even though I knew I could walk as close as I wanted to the catcher.

But nope, I got out there and stood at the end of the pitchers mound (so, no, it was a true pitch, but still,) and I just...threw the ball. All the little tips that everyone had given me in the few days beforehand swimming in my mind apparently helped. Because I made it to the catcher, and y'all, he barely even moved his mitt. I really thought we might get in to a leaping/reaching situation, but nope.

Truthfully, it felt awesome.

Then, the next day - a coveted day off - I sat down with a wonderful board member and tackled the mountain of Miss America paperwork. While it felt so good to get that all done, truly the best part was the drive to and from her home. There is nothing like a beautiful June day, and sunset, to give you some Vermonty feelings.

Week Four:

Starting with a bang - or really, a quadruple appearance weekend.

I began bright and early Saturday morning with a trip to the waterfront to help with The Run for Empowerment, put on by Women Helping Battered Women. This was such an awesome event that really spoke to the power of the Burlington community, and their support of women in Vermont.

Then it was off to North Hero! This past weekend was the LCI Father's Day Fishing Derby, and Alex and I were so lucky to be able to stop at two weigh stations for the derby. Unsurprisingly it was a gorgeous drive out to North Hero, where we saw a lot  of impressive catches come in.

Sunday, was another double-header. This time we started with the Mopar Magic Car Show at Foster Motors. Foster's is an incredibly generous fuel sponsor this year, so I could not have been happier to meet the people that are helping me travel this state. And we met a former Miss Vermont Princess, and even a few future princesses!

After seeing a lot of cars, a monster truck show, and taking a ton of pictures, we were off to the lake again. This time it was to Charlotte, and the LCI weigh station out there. Yet again, we met some outstandingly kind Vermonters, and while the heat kept the station itself pretty slow it meant we had plenty of time to chat with each of the people that stopped by.

The next few days I spent visiting the wonderful volunteers and sponsors that we have this year. I met with a mock interview panel, our dental sponsor, and our fitness sponsor. (I even met a 92 year-old former Miss Ohio when I visited a senior living community on Wednesday afternoon! Separate, but still. Guys.)

Tonight it's one more derby stop, we are lucky enough to be invited to the awards banquet, where I'm sure we'll be on raffle ticket duty!

Don't forget though, add me on Snapchat to follow along this Saturday! I'll be showing you what it's like to live a day as Miss Vermont starting from sunrise to sunset.