Monday, January 23, 2012

Miss America 2012

I have hardly been home during the month of
January so I haven't gotten much blogging done.
I spent a whole week in Las Vegas for the
Miss America Competition.  Here I am with
Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan.
Theresa was the youngest ever Miss America
crowned at the age of 17.  She was also the
only contestant from Nebraska to ever win
the title of Miss America.

You couldn't meet a sweeter, nicer, more mature
young woman.  Every person I saw her engage 
with felt her warmth and sincerity.  Truly it was 
a delight to get to meet her.

I was there with our Miss Orem who
will be competing in June for Miss Utah, 
Hannah Harkness.  Hannah was one of my
Young Women and she and her family invited
me to attend Miss America with them.

Here she is meeting Teresa.

I would not say that I am someone interested
in pageants, but I have now twice had the
opportunity to attend Miss America with
young women in my neighborhood, this year
with Hannah and in 1996 with Miss Utah, 
Amanda Moody.  In both cases it was a lot
of fun to see the whole process following 
the competition all week long.

A lot of time was spent trying on formal gowns
at the trunk shows where girls can get competition
gowns at a discount.  Hannah chose a Sherri Hill
gown and got to meet Sherri, the designer.

Not a gambler, I had a lot of fun shopping
for shoes and clothes

and eating, eating and eating.

I had never heard of Hash House A Go Go!
Don't you just love that name.  Their motto is
"Twisted Farmhouse Food".  I don't know about
twisted, but exceptional and huge definitely describe
their portions.

Biscuits and gravy with mashed potatoes,

Pork tenderloin benedict with a BBQ cream sauce (absolutely killer),

Coconut and mango pancake (18 inches across),

Chicken and asparagus skillet with a biscuit that
must be 4 inches tall,

and my dish, Sage Fried Chicken and Waffles. 
I had heard and read of this Southern classic dish so
I just had to try it.  Wow!  This is a must try.  If
you are in town Hash House a Go Go was a foodie

Another recommendation would be Mon Ami Gabi
at the front of the Paris Hotel.  Outside seating will get
you front row seating to the Bellagio fountains across
the street but you have to wait for those seats and
they are crowded from the moment they open until
they close.  We ate inside.

Your meal starts with this wonderful warm bread
that comes in their signature paper bag. 

We sampled all kinds of things.  I loved these
waffle fries as an appetizer.

The famous French sandwich, Croque Monsieur - yum.

It's a good thing we walked everywhere with all of
this eating going on!

Miss Wisconsin was crowned Miss America 2012.
I had to give a loud cheer having been born and
raised in Wisconsin. 
Miss Utah won the swimsuit and physical fitness the
first night so that was fun too.

It was a treat all the way around and I was so glad to
be invited.  A big thank you to my friends, the Harkness family.

It was a very fun and educational week where
Miss Orem learned a lot about the Miss America
pageant and we had a lot of foodie and shopping fun.


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. What a special trip this was, Jackie. I am happy to meet these lovely young ladies through your blog. I am sure that you can duplicate more than a couple of those dishes at the Hash House A Go Go. Congrats to these young women. xo

  2. We were in Vegas the weekend before--just couldn't be in town with all of that competition :) Congrats to Miss WI!! Your photos are beautiful! anne

  3. What a thrill it must have been to have been there and to meet these beautiful and sweet young ladies! I love your are as pretty as the girls in the pageant!

    I had lunch at Mon Ami Gabi, too when we stayed in Vegas recently! I personally think Vegas has the best food I have ever eaten in all of my traveling in the U.S. Must be all those transplanted Americans and their influences!

    SO glad you had a great time!!


  4. What fun & excitement and heavens, WHAT FOOD!! I could swim in that gravy with the potatoes! YUM!!

  5. What a thrill to get to go! Glad to see you back Jacqueline!

  6. Wow! What a trip! And the food looks so amazing...

  7. So...we need you to recreate the BBQ cream sauce and then post your recipe!!

  8. That food looks fabulous! I am not a pageant person either, but we were very involved for several years in our last town. Hoopeston, IL hosts the Sweetheart pageant and the state pageants send the
    1st runner up to Hoopeston for a week to compete. They stay in private homes and many of them have gone back to their state pageants and are winners the next year. Several of them have gone on to be Miss America. We had them stay in our home for many years and kept in contact with some of them. One of ours did go to Miss America and we were invited, but our kids were in school and we just couldn't work it out. It is certainly an interesting life behind the scenes!

  9. What a fun and wonderful experience that must have been! And to have been there twice - Wow. It was fun to hear that a Wisconsin girl won and one who lives less than 45 minutes from here.

    Thanks for sharing the fun with us!

  10. I'm not a big pageant fan, but this does look like a lot of fun.

    Do come visit. I'm having a GIVE AWAY.

    - The Tablescaper

  11. Jacqueline, it sounds like a special experience and a fun trip. Glad you got to go with this family. ~ Sarah

  12. How wonderful Jacqueline, such gorgeous girls and the new Miss America is lovely and stunning. Good luck to her on Miss Universe.
    You also had a fabulous trip, wow, all that food and fun and shopping!!
    Tomorrow I will send you my giveaway you won, I'm so happy it's going to you. Have a terrific week.

  13. The pageants are alot of fun! I did the Mrs America pageant many years ago when I was younger and skinnier! It was alot of fun meeting the other women in the event. Looks like you had a great time! I think that is one heck of a shoe to fill you have there!

  14. Such a spectacular experience, getting to meet & greet all those beautiful, accomplished all that FOOD!! How FUN!

    You look just as beautiful as they do, Jacqueline. (pretty blouse & necklaces) I LOVED the shot of you & that shoe!!

    My DD was a contestant for the Miss Universe pageant about 20 years ago. Somewhere, I have a photo of us together, me in black & in her gorgeous white beaded gown. If I can find it, I'll scan it to share. Wonderful memories!


  15. Beautiful photos and I know you have wonderful memories of this great trip. What an honor to be invited by the family. I know that you must be a joy to be around. I also like the photo of you by the big cute!!
    Katherine S.

  16. What fun! It looks like a great time with lots of go-going. So glad you had a nice get-away with beautiful friends.

  17. Queen Jacqueline! This was the BEST vacation of the year! You are the most incredible pageant consultant! You're a natural in the pageant world! :-) The food was all delicious!
    Love you!
    Love, Miss Orem 2011

  18. How fun...the gals are so pretty and so accomplished. Looks like a really fun week, that big shoe is cool. Did I hear that they are going to allow Lesbians in now to compete? :D

  19. Looks like you had fun! Love the shoe, and the food looks AMAZING!

  20. Wow, what a great time an d adventure you had. Love all of the food shots and the ladies are gorgeous! You look stunning next to that wonderful high heel shoe. Thanks for sharing a lovely time.

  21. What a great experience, Jacqueline! Must have been so much fun and the food in Vegas is the best and best priced too!...Christine

  22. where was the BIG SHOE picture made?

  23. where was the BIG SHOE picture made?


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