Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Recent Forensic Nurse Rendevous at the Cliffs at Shell Beach, CA

Our CA Sexual Assault Investigators Association holds an annual spring training at the Cliffs Hotel, a beautiful spot on the central CA coast at Shell Beach.  The setting gives us a nice respite from the days spent engaged in classes related to the serious work that we do in our specialties.  It is also a occasion for us to get together and renew friendships.

The conference started this year on St. Patrick's Day.  The largest number of nurses ever attended this event but I was happiest to see my old friends, the "queens," as we call ourselves.
We had dinner Wednesday night at the Cliffs and I invited Katie ( the girlfriend of my son, Jeremy ).  She is a senior at Cal Poly.  In years past, when he was also a student there, the two of them would usually join our group for dinner ( poor starving college kids, always glad to get
treated to a free meal! ).

The pool at the Cliffs looks out on the Pacific Ocean, a spectacular setting

The restaurant and some of the rooms look out on this view

The bar and St. Patrick's Day festivities were already in full swing by the time I arrived from the San Francisco area at 7PM.  I had thoroughly enjoyed my 3-1/2 hour drive down the California coast.  The hills were a beautiful green, quite fitting for the day, after all the winter rains and, in some places, fruit trees were already blooming.  It was just spectacular.  I kept wanting to stop and take pictures but kept myself focused on the task at hand - partying with my colleagues!!

Sherry and Diane, fellow queens.,

Sherry and I went to Japan together twice, once to see our jazz singer friend, Sony Holland, and again as guests of Japanese forensic colleagues to do presentations on forensic nursing and child forensic interviewing.  She and I have also done several cruises together, one transatlantic and another from Ensenada to Honolulu, in addition to assorted smaller jaunts here and there.  Sherry, is sort of the "mother" of all the original California sexual assault nurse examiners having taught the SART courses in the very beginning of our education.  We owe her a great deal.

Diane has been actively involved in the sexual assault field as well and is a dear friend and cruising buddy.  She and my friend, Jeannie, did a Mediterranean cruise with me for my birthday year before last. 

Wendy and Claire

Wendy is a RN with a miles of alphabet soup after her name.  She is a doctor of nursing science who has taught in such exotic places as Abu Dabhi and Hong Kong and has been involved in projects for the World Health Organization.  She tried to talk Jeremy into going on after Cal Poly and becoming a nurse practitioner.  Claire runs a sexual assault examiner program in the San Diego area and is one of the original queens.  We have shared many cruises and wonderful times together.

Queen Madeline, as you can see by the pin on her jacket

Queen Madeline is the funniest, most delightful person and SANE. I first met her at a training and I have not stopped laughing yet at the comment she made then ( it's been ten years, I think! ). 

Jeannie and Sandra

Jeannie is a native of Los Angeles and we've been friends since we met at our annual forensic nursing conference many years ago in Irvine, Calfornia.  We don't spend as much time together as I like because she is an avid sunbather and, Southern belle that I am, I do not lie in the sun!!  She is a brilliant SART nurse and one of my treasured cruising buddies.   Sandra, along with Sherry, is the "other mother" of the original California SANES.  They taught us well and really instilled the passion for forensic nursing in our hearts.

Katie with her three "birthday" desserts  (  I couldn't decide what to order ) - she'll be 23 on Sunday!

Katie, blowing out the candle on her birthday wine!

Claire, Katie and Carmen
Our Irish group!

The restaurant at the Cliffs with the seagull sentinel on top

Standing guard

Drooping flowers

Beautiful weather

Diane and Jeannie, working on their tans


  1. Anonymous8:25 PM

    Hey Carm, it looks like you all had a blast! I am happy that you are able to keep up with current info in the ever changing world of Forensic Nursing. When and where is your next cruise? Elaine

  2. What a gorgeous spot and I can see all the fun you guys had :) Love that seagull shot too, nice capture, Carmen.

  3. I loved where you were, absolutely beautiful. I can tell you all had a wonderful time which usually happens when good friends get together.

  4. You've got quite a group of colleagues and are fortunate to call them friends:)
    Thank you for sharing your good times.
    Happy belated, dear Katie!

  5. What a great time was obviously had by all. Your photos are a lot of fun.

  6. I miss the sun; I miss the sun; I miss the sun!
    This is one of my favorite places. Thanks for the pictures. I see you've got a young one to train.

  7. Anonymous1:40 PM

    I remember Shell Beach and I couldn't think of a better place to be on St. Patti's day with the original Queens! Everyone looks wonderful... Best wishes to all! pms

  8. What a beautiful group of friends you have.I am wishing you all jolly times!

  9. Carmen-- You're the most beautiful amongst all the "queens" .. :) And I LOVVVVE that green eyeshadow on you! Seriously! :)

  10. What fun! How lovely for you all. Thanks for sharing.