My five day adventure has sadly come to an end, but it’s good to be back home.
I visited five cities (Osoyoos, Oliver, Peachland, Princeton, Williams Lake), participated in four parades (the one in Oliver is in two weeks), spent at least a full 24 hours driving to get to and from all of the places I had to get to, and spent my time with the B.C. Ambassador girls, Lytton, Oliver and Lower Nicola ambassadors, and royalty from Osoyoos and Vernon.
It’s hard to sum up the experience in a post: what made the trip so enjoyable were the inside jokes, goofy dance moves and the little moments shared with the friends I’ve made throughout B.C.
My fellow B.C. Ambassadors didn’t attend the Osoyoos and Princeton pageants with me, nor were they in three of the four parades.
I missed them dearly, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to have travelled alone: the experience pushed me to meet new people and socialize, and I only had myself to rely on to make sure I was where I needed to be and on time.
This trip was by far one of my favourites out of two years of travel.
Next stop, Kamloops from July 9-11. (I’m spending more time on the road than at home!)
Today was the first day of my five day adventure: three pageants, three parades and a whole lot of dinners, socials and driving.
I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and left White Rock around 6:30 a.m. to catch what should have been the 7:25 a.m. Greyhound leaving from Langley to Osoyoos.
But the bus was late. And when I reached my transfer station in Chiliwack, my second bus was delayed because it broke down.
I didn’t mind the bus ride as much as I thought I would (the drivers handled my designer suitcase with care and my three gowns got to sit in their own window seat).
And it was neat getting to see the towns of Princeton and Hedley along the drive.
After nine long hours, I finally arrived in Osoyoos with half an hour to get ready for the dinner.
Now, at most pageant dinners or luncheons, Grace is usually said before the meal.
So it wasn’t unusual that the ambassadors and chaperones had to wait for someone to bless the meal before helping themselves to the dinner buffet.
As I was waiting patiently, chatting with royalty I hadn’t seen in a while, I heard the chaperone table calling me over.
Confused, I walked over, and the Osoyoos coordinator asked me if I would like to say Grace, and that I had 30 seconds to think of what to say.
I was mortified: not only have I never said Grace, I had no idea what I was supposed to say.
So I treated the awkward situation like an impromptu question (I have answered two, for the Miss White Rock and B.C. Ambassador pageants respectively).
In front of the crowded hall I stood, eyes closed, head bowed, hands crossed.
I thanked God for the food, and for the friends, family and loved ones to share it with. I’m pretty sure I mumbled something else about joyous occasions, but I can’t quite remember.
Nobody knew about my pre-Grace anxiety, and I was actually complimented on what is now being called my Impromptu Grace.
Next was the pageant, which included some public speaking on my part as well as some watery eyes as Osoyoos Princess Chelsea spoke on stage about how much our friendship has meant to her.
And after the crowning, a DQ stop, the evening social and a short drive to Oliver, I’m now catching up with some pageant gals.
In a couple hours I’ll be in the Osoyoos Canada Day parade; time to get some sleep.