A Rainy Day in Rockford

FacebookTwitterPinterestShare

conservatory-4So what do you do when your long anticipated down-time with friends comes around on a rainy day?  Well if you’re like our little group, you make lemonade from lemons, and head indoors to the wonderful Nicholas Conservatory and GardensContinue reading

Birmingham Guidebook Highlights Accessible Walks

FiveStar_Hikes_BirminghamWhen I was researching our visit to De Soto State Park in Northern Alabama, I happened across the guidebook, Five-Star Trails Birmingham. Even though I wasn’t visiting the city proper, the subtitle of the book – Your Guide to the Area’s Most Beautiful Hikes – definitely caught my attention. And I was even more pleased after I cracked the cover and discovered that “wheelchair-access” was noted on each and every hike. Granted it didn’t include  the level of access details that I usually  note in my publications, but it’s certainly enough to decide if each walk will or won’t work for you. Continue reading

Beware the Everglades Vultures — Or Not?

12976923_10209026225443546_5324216423253001197_o

Black Vultures can pose problems for unsuspecting visitors in the Everglades

When I first began to plan this road trip I actually laughed out loud when I read reports about the vultures that were eating the rubber off of cars in the Everglades. I thought that someone was pranking me, even though there was a huge warning about the mischievous birds on the official National Park Service website. So I did what I usually do when I need the most accurate information – I went local. And indeed several of my Florida hiker friends indicated that this was a big problem, and more than a few folks shared their tales of woe with me about having to replace their windshield wiper blades after an Everglades day trip. Continue reading

Florida State Parks Offers Great Deal for Veterans

Charles with his Florida StatePar Pass

Charles with his Florida StatePar Pass

If a trip to Florida is in your future and you are an honorably discharged veteran, then the good folks at Florida State Parks have a money-saving deal for you. All veterans – no matter when they served – get a 25% discount on a Florida State Parks Individual Annual Pass or a Family Annual Pass; while veterans with a service-connected disability are eligible to receive a free lifetime Military Entrance Pass (which offers the same benefits as the Family Annual Pass). Continue reading

Power Beach Wheelchairs Available on Alabama Beaches

beach-chair-1

Power Beach Wheelchair Available for Rent in Gulf Shores, AL

I first discovered power beach wheelchairs in my home state of California, and immediately I thought they were super cool. These motorized chairs with balloon tires allow wheelchair-users independent access to the beach, and independence is a very good thing if you’re a wheelchair-user. After all wouldn’t you rather navigate the coastline on your own, instead of being pushed around by somebody else? Suffice it to say I was very impressed with the whole concept. Continue reading

Free Parking for Disabled Vets at Florida Airports

Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law last week that gives disabled veterans free parking at all Florida airports. This is actually the second go round at this legislation, as a similar bill was adopted in 2015; however it only granted free parking to veterans that drive adapted vehicles. Continue reading

Cruisers Beware – Access Varies From Line to Line

adventure-of-the-seas-1By now, you’ve probably heard the story of wheelchair-user Ann Fisher, who was denied passage from Liverpool on the Fred Olsen liner Boudicca. The problem is, Liverpool doesn’t have any overhead boarding bridges or sloped gangways, so passengers have to board vessels by climbing up stepped gangways. And if they can’t do this with “minimal assistance” they won’t be allowed to cruise. Continue reading

Size Matters — Especially on Small Planes

We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole”, and in a sense that’s exactly what Air France tried to do. Earlier this year, wheelchair-user Gordon Aikman tried to fly from Edinburgh to Paris with his husband for their honeymoon. Unfortunately his plans were quashed two days before departure when Air France informed Aikman that they could not transport his power wheelchair because it was too tall to fit into the hold. Continue reading