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April 20, 2014

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Miss America’s hectic first week includes Super Bowl XLIV, stars

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Tom Donoghue/www.donoghuephotography.com

2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron attends Super Bowl XLIV festivities in Miami, and our photographer Tom Donoghue is with her in Florida. Caressa is pictured here with legendary NFL coach Mike Ditka.

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See complete coverage of the 2010 Miss America Pageant.

2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron @Super Bowl XLIV

2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron attends Super Bowl XLIV festivities in Miami, and our photographer Tom Donoghue is with her in Florida. Caressa is pictured here with Carrie Underwood, who is performing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. Launch slideshow »
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2010 Miss America Caressa Cameron attends Super Bowl XLIV festivities in Miami, and our photographer Tom Donoghue is with her in Florida. Caressa is pictured here with the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy.

“My feet are still off the ground,” laughed new Miss America Caressa Cameron from Super Bowl XLIV activities in Miami when I spoke to her over the weekend. “It’s not a blur because I’m jotting down notes every spare moment for a diary, but it sure is flying by.”

The 22-year-old beauty said she still couldn’t believe that it’s only been one week since she was in Las Vegas and crowned 2010 Miss America at Planet Hollywood. Caressa told me: “One week down. Just 51 more weeks to go. Talk about a whirlwind.”

When she left Las Vegas, she had two jam-packed days of TV show interviews, including with former Miss America Gretchen Carlson on Fox News and a drop-in surprise on The Wendy Williams Show. “It’s an awesome schedule. It really is from very early morning to very late at night. To say I’m very busy would still be an understatement. I’m taking multivitamins to keep going,” she laughed.

Then Caressa flew to Miami for the Super Bowl events, including the annual Taste of the NFL charity fundraiser, where she met stars including Carrie Underwood, Jamie Foxx , Floyd Mayweather Jr. and legendary NFL heroes.

We’ll have the full photo gallery tomorrow right here at Vegas DeLuxe when contributing photographer Tom Donoghue lands safely back in Las Vegas this evening. His son, Marine Sgt. Edward Donoghue, volunteered his at-home leave from Iraq to escort Caressa to her Super Bowl events.

The highlight for both of them was being invited yesterday to watch The Big Game from Rush Limbaugh’s VIP box. He was a judge at this year’s pageant in the Theater for the Performing Arts.

“It’s an incredible experience” Caressa told me. “I am so excited being at the Super Bowl. I did pick the Saints quietly to win. People here have been wonderful to me. We had 2,200 show up for the Taste of NFL charity with chefs from all over the country. For some of the time, I wasn’t wearing my crown, just the sash occasionally, and people who’d watched the pageant on TLC still recognized me and came to say congratulations. That’s when I kind of realized I am now Miss America and no longer Miss Virginia.”

I asked with one week under her crown if she’d forgotten to pack anything in the one suitcase for her year of travels that she had to bring to Las Vegas. “Oh, yes” she confessed. “I had to text my mother to send out a care package overnight. I’d forgotten tweezers, a special shampoo and a couple of other things. I’ve been text messaging home every day so far, so thanks to modern technology, I’m in contact with my parents daily, although we haven’t actually spoken since we left each other in Las Vegas.”

Caressa expects to return to her hometown of Fredericksburg, Va., in five weeks for the first family reunion. Our full photo galleries of Caressa with the Hollywood and sports stars at Super Bowl XLIV will be posted tomorrow here at Vegas DeLuxe.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.