Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I would be remiss if I let one more day go by without pausing to reflect on my time spent at Fenway Park on Sunday. It was a true diva day.

My day began with a 5:45am wake-up. I gathered my bags and slumbered, tired-eyed, and in PJ's out to the driveway where my parent's motorhome was waiting to roll out. My first diva moment of the day came when it dawned on me that I could simply retreat to bedroom at the rear of the motorhome (dubbed "tour bus" for the day/rest of my life) and go back to bed!

At 8:00am Mom woke me, as the tour bus was half way to Boston, to start getting dressed and made-up. I stepped out of the tour bus bedroom to find my mom, dad (tour bus driver extraordinaire), grandmother, two uncles, one aunt, and two cousins smiling back at me from their seats on the couch of the tour bus.

Now, getting ready in a tour bus is not as glamorous as one might think. In fact, voluntarily placing a 450 degree flat iron one centimeter from one's skull quickly became the stupidest thing I have done in a long time. Hence, the reason you will see my hair pulled back in Fenway photos.

My second diva moment of the day came when I pulled my perfectly pressed and printed MISS VERMONT 08 Red Sox Jersey from the tour bus closet where my amazing parents had so brilliantly hung it as to not forget it or get it wrinkled. (spoiled? maybe a little?)

10am brought sound check. My mom, dad, and I were escorted into an empty Fenway Park. The only people in the park were grounds crew, Mr. Remy, and players. In fact, Dustin Pedroia stepped out of the dugout as I did my sound check and let me tell you, that was hard to look at ;). Sound check was a breeze. I am glad I practiced however because there is intense echo in Fenway and hearing my own voice after I finished a note could have thrown me off live. There is a great feeling entering the historic Fenway Park, and to enter it nearly empty and walk on the field was truly special.

After a quick lunch break with the family, at 11:45am I returned to Gate D on Yawkee Way to tape the NESN lineup. THAT WAS FUN! Dad and I were again escorted into the park, this time to find it filled with batting practice, fans, and a lot of press. We were escorted past barricades, onto the field, and into the Red Sox dugout (OMG!). I set on the bench and practiced the lineup. After a run through I was ready to get in front of the camera.

From that point until the 7th Inning Stretch (when I was set to sing God Bless America) I signed autographs and took photos with fellow Red Sox fans and many fellow Vermonters as it was VT DAY at Fenway. I was able to watch several innings of the game until two Red Sox officials came to my seats at the top of the 6th Inning to take me to the field. I sat just off 1st base waiting for the 3rd out of the top of the 7th. It is hard to believe but I was not nervous at all. I knew there were 38,000 people watching and the prospect of more watching on NESN but I was ready to sing! Soon enough the 3rd out came and I was directed onto the field. A camera was placed right in my face and I quickly decided to look past it. I faced home plate and looked up to the American flag waving in the breeze atop the green edifice with the placard which reads "FENWAY PARK". I was lost in the moment at never thought of the eyes watching and ears listening. I thought of America and Vermont and the what the words of the song meant to me.

What a thrill! Baseball...the great American pastime. The Boston Red Sox...the greatest baseball team in the world. Vermont Day...the greatest state in the nation being honored. What a day!

This post's shout out goes to the friends and family that made it to Fenway Park on Sunday (Amanda...all the way from Block Island! xo). It made the day all the more special to share it with you. Wheeler fam & FBQB2... you're the best!

This week I am traveling the state again. Monday I was in Montpelier to meet with the Secretary of States office. The meeting was a great success and I now have permission to use Secretary Markowitz slogan "Your Vote is Your Voice" as my platform name. While in the state capital I threw out the first pitch and did a meet and greet at the Vermont Mountaineers baseball game.

Yesterday I was in St. Albans for my first Rotary speech. Who knew Rotary meetings were so light hearted and fun? The St. Alban's Rotary starts out with jokes and something called happy/sad dollars (their comical version of announcements). I incorporated my experience at Fenway into my speech and my platform. As I arrived at the "one vote truly makes a difference" pitch, I got the overwhelming feeling I was preaching to the choir. As I continued, Rotary members began to point and chuckle. One of their members won a town selectman seat by one vote! Case and point!

I hope this week finds everyone healthy and happy. Please visit to watch the posting of my God Bless America at Fenway. If anyone is in Lyndonville on Saturday I will be riding and singing in the Stars and Stripes Parade and registering voters in the Bandstand Park immediately following.

Love and Blessings,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Every year I put my Martina McBride CD in the player (if its not in already) to listen to "Independence Day" on the 4th of July. I just realized I did not do that this year. I am not sure why because I had plenty of time in the car on July 4th...and 3rd...and 5th...but oh well, next year I will pick up the tradition again.

This past weekend was fun fun! July 3rd I kicked off Independence weekend by registering voters and speaking on the importance of voting to a group of a few hundred young engineers at a youth engineering conference at UVM. Now, you might be asking yourself how and why I spoke to engineers about politics. The right and privledge to vote can be fused together with literally anything! Pick a hobby. Say for instance (in honor of my best friend who is currently out west working with grasshoppers) your hobby or life's work has to do with grasshoppers. Well, some of the money used to fund grasshopper research comes from the government. Case and point. Back to engineering...these young engineers will soon hold the key to our roads, power, and just about every other facet of public infastructure in the palm of their hands. So why not encourage them to go into public service? Why not encourage them to use their specialized knowledge to better the world for the rest of us?

Later on the 3rd I rode in the Independence Day Parade in downtown Montpelier with Miss Vermont's Outstanding Teen, Blaize Hall. The parade was good. I am just thankful that the man in the santa suit saw governor Douglas before he saw me. I am not sure I could have taken a pie to the face with so much composure.

The 4th of July brought me to Morristown. I rode with Mr. Manosh in the parade and then wandered the festival at People's Academy, singing the anthem at the Fiddle Contest and youth concert. Morristown was a wonderful Vermont town to spend Independence Day in. The people were very kind and enthusiastic to have me there.

July 5th was spent in Lyndonville with a stop at the Burklyn Arts Council craft fair where I performed God Bless America, Anyway, and The Prayer. And just when I thought I was free and clear for an evening of peace I was called to Burlington to sing the Anthem at the Lake Monsters baseball game. I am a lucky girl having my mother on my side pushing me to do everything and anything I can to be the best Miss Vermont I can be. She was willing and enthusistic to drive me to Burlington and back that night. I kept thinking, gosh, this is only one year. I only get one 4th of July to be Miss Vermont, so I want to do everything and be everywhere I can.

And now...2 pieces of exciting news!
1. Sunday I will be singing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch at Fenway Park as the Red Sox host the Orioles. Sunday is Vermont Day at Fenway. I am beside myself with excitement about this event. There is a special feeling inside the historic Fenway Park. To be part of the day's festivities is an honor for me.
2. I learned this week that the TLC reality show "Miss America Reality Check: Becoming Miss America" will be 8 and possibly 9 episodes this year. I will be in LA for a whole month to shoot it! It will be quite an adventure!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend. Tune into NESN and/or TBS at 1:05pm on Sunday as the Red Sox beat the Orioles and I sing to 36,000 fans and national television!

Love and Blessings,