My Favorite 2014 Accessible Travel Memory

Accessible Huttopia Tent

Well, it’s that time of the year again, when we look back on 2014 and pick our favorite this or that in blogland. And since I write about accessible travel, I’ll share my favorite accessible travel memory of the year. Continue reading

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My Year of Giving

My year of giving all started with a random drawing. I don’t enter these things often, but this one really appealed to me. In addition to receiving a Tiffany’s gift certificate, the winners also got to designate a $100 donation to the charity of their choice. Jewelry and charity — it sounded like a winning combination to me!

And lo and behold I won. I bought a beautiful silver heart necklace, and the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative received a $100 donation on my behalf. I chose that charity because my friend Echo supports it. It’s a great organization — they help kids who are homeless, in foster care, or who are living in high poverty prepare for college.

And then the little wheels in my head began to turn. I reasoned that since I easily waste $100 a month, that money could be put to much better use if I donated it to a worthy cause. But how do I find these causes? And then it hit me — I’ll let my friends choose them. And that’s exactly what I did. Over the course of 2014, I donated $100 every month to an organization or cause that one of my friends supported or benefited from. In the end I think it worked out great.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing this to toot my own horn. Instead I’m sharing my story in hopes that some of my friends will do the same thing next year. Granted it doesn’t have to be $100 — give whatever you can afford. Or if you can’t afford to give cash, give of your time — everybody needs volunteers. And if you can’t give, then simply share my story, so others will be encouraged to give.

In any case, here’s how my donations played out on a month-by-month basis. I’m going to do the same thing in 2015, and I invite everyone to join me. We can make a difference — one person at a time. Continue reading

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Porky Denied Boarding

There was nothing out of the ordinary about the November 26th US Airways flight from Bradley International Airport. That was until one passenger walked down the aisle with what has been described as a very smelly a pig. According to passenger Jonathan Skolnik, the woman then proceeded to take her seat and tether the 50-70 pound animal to the armrest. Continue reading

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DOT Addresses Accessible Lavatories, Service Animals and Oxygen on Airplanes

Earlier this month the Department of Transportation (DOT) released a new timeline for proposed changes to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). That announcement stemmed from their request for public comments on certain access issues in 2010. At that time the DOT asked for input on the following questions:

1.Should air carriers be required to provide non-emergency medical oxygen?

2. Should 48 hours notice and medical documentation still be required for emotional support animals?

3. Should air carriers be required to provide accessible lavatories on single aisle aircraft?

4. Should airlines be required to report the number of requests they get for disability assistance to the DOT?

5. Should the scope be broadened for the types of passengers that are required to be given seats with extra leg room, and should these seats be available in all classes of service.? Continue reading

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Is That Really What Avianca Meant?

I was browsing the internet last night when I happened across a discussion about Avianca Airlines. It all centered around this statement on their “Passengers with Disabilities” section of their website:

“Please carry all necessary items to attend to your physiological needs, if you can’t use the lavatory without assistance.” Continue reading

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The Straight Poop About Flying With Your Service Animal

Lately there’s been a flurry of articles, blog posts and Facebook comments about people flying with “questionable” service animals. What exactly do I mean by questionable? In this case, I believe it’s anybody who has a service animal that doesn’t have a visible disability. Continue reading

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Accessible Camping at South Lake Tahoe

Zephyr Cove Campground

Although accessible campgrounds come in all shapes and sizes, Zephyr Cove Campground goes one step further as far as access is concerned.

Sure they have an accessible office where you can pick out one of seven accessible RV spaces, but they go well beyond that. Not only are the accessible spaces flat, but they also have easy access to the utility hook-ups. And even better, they have easy-to-use accessible water connections.

Standard water outlets are difficult to operate

Accessible water faucets feature easy-to-use levers

On standard water connections you have to grip and pull hard in order to get the water to flow, but that’s not the case with accessible water connections. They have levers which require a minimum of pressure to operate. And that’s such a relief to anybody who has a hard time gripping things; in fact folks with arthritis will really appreciate this accessible feature.

There are also accessible shower rooms in the campground, which have roll-in showers with fold-down shower benches, hand-held showerheads, toilet and shower grab bars and roll-under sinks. And these family style shower and toilet rooms are huge. Even the largest wheelchair or scooter can easily navigate around in them.

If you’d like to pitch a tent instead, site 9 in the drive-in campground features a level pad and is close to the accessible water faucet and the accessible shower room. Sites 8 and 10 are also relatively flat and will work for many people.

Unfortunately none of the sites and the walk-in campground are technically accessible, as they are located up a hill with a steady rise. That said, they will transport folks who can’t manage the grade up to their campsites in golf carts. So although they aren’t the best choice for wheelchair-users, they may work for some slow walkers.

Best of all, the campground is located right across the street from the Zephyr Cove marina, where the MS Dixie II is docked. This paddlewheel boat features level access and offers a variety of cruises around the lake. And if you’d like to give the cook the night off, the campground is also just across the street from the Zephyr Cove Restaurant, which serves up a wide variety of family favorites all day long. They are especially known for their ample breakfasts, but even folks watching the calories will find something to suit them on the menu.

So next time you want to do a little camping — either in your rig or in a tent — check out this very accessible option in South Lake Tahoe.

 

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Earth Cooking Done Right

Geothermal ovens on porch of Icelandic "earth cooking" eatery

I have to admit that ever since I read about putrefied shark being an Icelandic delicacy, I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to experience the local cuisine. And I have to say I was rather unimpressed with the food in Reykjavik. It was overpriced, and nothing really to write home about. Continue reading

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Off to Iceland!

Some would say we are taking the scenic route to Iceland, as we are taking a road trip up through Washington and Oregon and then flying to Reykjavik from Seattle. Continue reading

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Yes Virginia, Some People That Use Airport Wheelchairs Can Walk

After reading yet another opinionated article about the legions of air travelers who just use wheelchairs to get fast-tracked through security and be first to board, I feel I have to set the record straight. Continue reading

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