Fun Times in California

My sister and me at the President's Party in Long Beach
My sister and me at the President’s Party in Long Beach

The 2015 AWHONN President’s Party was a lot of fun. As usual, the ladies in the OR Section know how to have a good time. I’m not sure how every city we go to has such an amazing band. Last night’s band was pretty good. The only thing I’m going to say about Becky and Robin is “Trading Places”. Oh how I love those ladies! Well, I’m wrapping up the convention in Long Beach and it will be bitter sweet to say farewell to my colleagues from Oregon and Oklahoma and to my sister who came out to visit me. We’ve had a great time and shared some laughs and exchanged great stories. I’ve met amazing people at the convention, seen so much improved products, and learned a few things as well. I had a chance to sit in on a great panel discussion about gender inclusiveness in nursing with Lisa Miller and Clifton Kenon, Jr., two of our most esteemed colleagues in women’s health, along with many others. It was the beginning of a much-needed dialogue. I’m looking forward to hearing more.

With all this work, I had to get in some time for play. Today, we managed to get some shopping in down at Belmont Shore in Long Beach. It was a sunny afternoon so the walk was enjoyable. Along with many local shops there were stores such as White House Black Market, GAP, Lucky Brand & Banana Republic. My favorite place, however, was the American Cancer Society thrift store. It reminded me of home (Portland/Vancouver)! I found a fabulous pair of gold Ann Klein heels that gave me an epiphany. When I was a teenager, I’d say that old people wore gold (shoes, purses, pants, etc.). The fact that I was drawn to the shoes, I actually really like them, and I bought them only means one thing: I’m must be getting old! Regardless, I’m going to rock those shoes! Just wait and see….at lease I didn’t buy the shiny gold designer hand bag next to them. Oh the things that we think when we’re teenagers…

We experienced a fantastic happy hour today at a place near the hotel called Gladstone’s. A few others had been and recommended I try it out. We sat outside in the bar area and overlooked the water. It was beautiful. There was an overhead heating unit which was good because it was a bit cool. We had an insane amount of food but it was all good: mussels, oysters on the half shell, jerk chicken wings with house made potato chips, truffle fries, blackened peel & eat shrimp and white chocolate creme brulee. All for $5 each (except the dessert). The portions were great and it was certainly dinner for the night. They make a great margarita as well. I also had a chance to taste 3 wines: Pinot gris, Riesling, and Moscato. They offer a good wine selection which is a good note for next time. It was a great dining experience so if you’re ever in the area, do stop in. Natalie was our server and she did a phenomenal job taking care of us.

I’ve been using @Uber while here. Not a ton, but a few times back and forth to places to have ridden with at least 6 drivers. I have also introduced several people to Uber while here. This has been my first time using the service in the states. I have had the most pleasant experiences using Uber while here in Long Beach. Many of the drivers are retired and drive to supplement their income. They have been very nice, great attitudes, and great cars. I’m not sure why I’m so surprised by this. One thing I have wondered though is how they fare with the gas prices. In Qatar, gas is extremely cheap so it’s not much of an expense for the drivers. Here, with gas prices still more than $3 per gallon I wonder how much they are profiting.

Anyway, as I prepare to say goodbye to folks tomorrow, I am also preparing to welcome great friends to CA. I’m looking forward to seeing them on Thursday and the fun will continue. I’ve lost track of all the things Christie has planned for us but even if we did nothing at all, we’d still have a blast. It’s restorative to be in good company. Can’t wait!

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