Journey to the Crown – Devin Grissom (April 2014)

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April was an AWESOME month for me.

Between travelling 3 weeks out of the month, taking a cross-country road trip and meeting Miss Florida, South Carolina and Oklahoma USA as well as Miss Texas Teen USA (who FYI are all so friendly, hilarious and even though it is hard to imagine, even MORE beautiful in person)—it was definitely one for the record books!

Seriously though, so many amazing things to talk about so lets get started.

Week 1 & 2: Where in the world is Devin Grissom?

I love to travel. Period. I love going to new places, seeing new things and meeting interesting people. There is something so cool about wandering around a new place where you know no one. I also really enjoy going out to dinner by myself... Am I the only weird one out there?

Anyhow, this April was the definition of my ideal month because of those very reasons! It started out with a week long trip to Las Vegas for work. And then included trips to Austin, Dallas, Jersey City, Chicago and back to Dallas again!

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I was pretty consistent while working all month. I got to go to Vegas for two big IT conventions; Dallas for the NCAA Final Four which is a dream come true for an avid sports fan like me; Austin for some really fun after-hours events (If you haven't been -- GO NOW! Rainey Street is the bomb.) After Austin, I hit up Jersey City (Mets game!) and Chicago for Barracuda Partner Conferences.

Usually, all of that travel would mean a major kick to the gut for my pageant-prep plan, but you guys will be SO proud of me! I did T25 every morning before work and ate pretty darn healthy while I was on the road this month (patting myself on the back.) Obviously no one is perfect, especially not me, but I am super stoked to know that I can actually control myself in the presence of a dessert menu. One small step at a time, y'all.

Another side note: T25 is the real deal! If you have issues with long workouts or are crunched for time in any way. This program will kick your butt in 25 minutes flat. Such a life saver for me!

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Week 3: Roadtrip to Tennessee

IM COMING HOME!!!!! That’s right ladies and gents—Dev is heading back to Tennessee. Just to clarify, California was amazing and I loved every second of my year there. But sometimes there really is no place like home. Since I do travel so much with my job, it will be nice to be able to see family and friends when I am at my apartment (not often.)

IMG_1643It just so happens my road trip happened to coincide with the NBA Playoffs? Coincidence? I think not. GO GRIZZLIES! I'm thankful that I got to go to a a playoff game-- unfortunately the Grizz ended up losing to Oklahoma City but as ALWAYS, the playoffs were tons of fun and I love cheering for my team : )

So a little griping before I continue: I put my car in the shop for “routine maintenance” before I took her on a 2,000 mile roadtrip.

OF COURSE, the auto guys found a million little things to fix—a million little things to the tune of $1,200 buckaroos, sheeesh!

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Driving through the middle of nowhere, USA

Finally though, the road trip got started! My Cali roommate and I drove through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and all the way to Tennessee in 2 & a half days! Talk about commitment.

We went through stages of fun (meteor crater in Arizona!), delirium (4 am driving into OKC) and absolute make-you-go-bananas boredom (has anyone driven through New Mexico and Northern TX? Just a tip-- don't.)

But it was aboslutely completely worth it when we crossed that Tennessee border. If you like adventures then be sure to make a road trip with a good friend -- memories to last a lifetime, trust me.

Week 4: Miss Dallas USA

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The fabulous Jordan Schultz and I

WHOA! Talk about motivation. I knew before coming to help out with the Miss Texas USA prelim that Texas is SERIOUS about their pageants. But I was still in for a shock. All of these girls were absolutely stunning -- but they also had huge shoes to fill.

Jordan Schultz (Miss Dallas USA 2013 and 1st runner up to Miss Texas USA 2014!!) has to be one of the fiercest ladies I have every met. I had the privilege of watching her walk all over the stage like she had her own personal Beyonce concert going on in her head. Not only that -- she is SO down to earth and made me completely fall in love with her in a matter of 5 minutes. She will most definitely (IMO) be Miss Texas USA 2015. And lucky me -- I get the honor of rooming with her at Miss USA in Baton Rouge next month! We are going to have a blast cheering on all of our friends and planning world domination for the 2015 pageant season : )

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Miss South Carolina USA, little ole me and Miss Florida USA!

The coolness doesn't end there, however. I was also able to get to know Miss Florida USA 2014 Brittany Oldehoff and Miss South Carolina USA 2014 Christina Zapolski -- and I must admit -- I was SO intimidated to meet. Because I mean... Look at them. They were judges for Miss Dallas USA and they definitely picked a good one. Congrats to Miss Dallas USA Lauren Kennewell and Miss Dallas Teen USA Brenna Flynn!

Me and The Pageant Guy : )

Me and The Pageant Guy : )

But it wasn't all fun and games though. I was there to help out my good friend and Miss Dallas USA director Will Henderson, aka "The Pageant Guy" and he doesn't mess around when it comes to putting together a pageant. It was my first time really working "behind the scenes" at a pageant and it opened my eyes to how much work truly goes in to it. I helped with rehearsals, running errands, and even cutting out on stage question fish for the fish bowl!

I was also able to fit in some pageant prep talk with some of the best people in the business. Thanks so much for the input Will Henderson, Beaux Wellborn, and Zac Grimaldo! Can't wait to come back to Dallas to hangout with you guys more.

Devin G.

This article was written by Devin Grissom

Devin Grissom got her start in pageants as Miss Tennessee’s Outstanding Teen 2007. Devin then competed at Miss Tennessee Teen USA 2009 placing 2nd runner up to eventual Miss Teen USA 2009, Stormi Henley. Recently, Devin placed 1st runner up at Miss Alabama USA 2013 and 3rd runner up at Miss Tennessee USA 2014. Devin is a graduate of the University of Alabama and currently resides and works in Northern California as a marketing specialist.

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