Marfa Detour

Marfa Prada store, near Valentine, Texas

Part of the fun of a road trip is stopping at quirky roadside attractions along the way; which is why we made it a point to seek out the Marfa Prada store yesterday, while we were traveling through west Texas. To be clear, this eclectic attraction is located some 35 miles from Marfa, about a mile or so north of Valentine, on Highway 90. Trust me, you can’t miss it, as it’s the only building for miles. Continue reading

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Drury Gets Access Right

I have to admit that I love Drury properties for the little extras they provide – the popcorn and soda snacks, the Kickback happy hours and the full hot breakfasts. But beyond that, they also seem to have a good handle on access needs; and by that I mean they remember the little things that are often overlooked by other hotel chains. The Drury Suites in McAllen, Texas is a prime example of that, and here are a few of the sometimes forgotten access features that they nailed. Continue reading

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Abita Springs Revisited

The Abita Mystery House -- formerly the UCM Museum

Sometimes it’s fun to revisit a place you haven’t seen in a while. Such is the case with Abita Springs, a small town on Lake Pontchartrain’s north shore, just a short causeway ride from New Orleans. I last visited Abita Springs some 15 years ago, and upon my return I was happy to find that one of my favorite attractions hadn’t changed, and another had added some access upgrades. Continue reading

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It’s Duckmaster Time!

That's me - Honorary Duckmaster

I simply love Memphis, so it doesn’t take much to get me to visit the birthplace of rock and roll. And although my latest stopover had little to do with music, it had everything to do with the famous Peabody ducks. Quite frankly, when I was invited to be Honorary Duckmaster at this Memphis institution, I just couldn’t resist. Continue reading

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Symphony in the Flint Hills – an Impressive and Accessible Event

Cowboy along the trail to the concert site

I first learned about the Symphony in the Flint Hills 10 years ago as I was passing through Kansas. My schedule was packed so I couldn’t hang around for the inaugural event, but I was impressed with the thought that the organizers were putting into access and inclusion. I vowed I would return for the concert someday. Fast forward 10 years, and that “someday” finally came to pass last Saturday. Continue reading

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Off the Beaten Path in Kansas

Hot and Cold Water Towers in Pratt, Kansas

One of the great things about a road trip is that you can hop off the interstate at a moment’s notice and explore the road less traveled. And that’s exactly what we did yesterday when we drove from Dodge City to Wichita. Instead of taking Interstate 50 most of the way, we planned a little detour with a stop in Pratt, Kansas. And I have to admit, it wasn’t the day we planned, but in this case, that was a very good thing. Continue reading

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A Tasty Surprise at La Posada

Arizona Green Chile Eggs atLa Posada's Turquoise Room

Since I’m writing an article about access at the remaining Harvey Houses of the west, a stop at La Posada in Winslow, Arizona was a must-do on my itinerary. As expected I was simply wowed by the architecture, historic photos and large collection of southwestern art at this grand old gem; however I also came away with an added bonus – an excellent breakfast at the hotel’s Turquoise Room. Continue reading

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Temecula Wine Tasting

Temecula vineyards

Although I’m a native Californian, I’ve never been to Temecula – that was until yesterday. Since we had an early morning call to check out a wheelchair-accessible balloon on Monday, we decided to come in a day early and enjoy a little Sunday afternoon vino tasting. Since all the wineries charge for their tastings I chose very carefully, and in the end ended up at Bel Vino Winery. And I wasn’t disappointed — with the access or the quality of their wine.

First things first – the access at Bel Vino is top-drawer. Although the parking area is pretty expansive (and crowded on weekends) there was plenty of accessible parking available right next to the tasting room. And if you don’t have a placard, but can’t do the slight hill up to the tasting room, there’s a shuttle available. There is level access to the tasting room, gift shop and bistro, and a large level grassy area with tables outside. Accessible restrooms are also available in the tasting room.

Bel Vino gets top marks all the way around!

As for the tasting, well we opted for the “signature” tasting which was a selection of six one-ounce pours of their premium wines. The price is $15.95 on the weekends or $12.95 on weekdays. I also have to add that Charles and I shared a tasting, which was a good idea because their pours are quite generous. They also have a budget tasting option for $6.95, but I figured we may as well go for the good stuff.

We started with a Chardonnay which was nice, and then followed it with a Viognier which was sweeter than we’re used to, so we decided to pass on the Riesling and move on to the reds. And boy were they ever a treat. The Sangiovese was very well done, but the Tempranillo was excellent. I liked their Merlot, but my absolute favorite was their Long Valley Red. This Bordeaux blend is apparently their first attempt at a varietal, and boy did they ever hit a home run. It’s largely Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with just the right combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot mixed in. I liked it so much that I went home with a bottle. I also couldn’t resist the Tempranillo.

As an added bonus, they also have musical entertainment out on the lawn on weekends. And in my book, that’s the icing on an already tasty – and very accessible – cake.

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Mono Lake Access Update

Mono Lake

Winters are hard in the rugged Eastern Sierras, and with the spring thaw Mother Nature always leaves a few surprises in her wake. With that in mind I made a weekend visit to one of my favorite Eastern Sierra haunts — Mono Lake — to check out how the accessible features had survived the winter. Continue reading

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It’s Here!!

Resting Easy in the US; Unique Lodging Options for Wheelers and Slow Walkers

Resting Easy in the US; Unique Lodging Options for Wheelers and Slow Walkers is finally here!!

I always get excited when I release a new book, but I have to say that my newest baby is by far one of my most ambitious projects. But it’s finally complete and now I can breathe a heavy sigh of relief.

So what makes this book so different?

Well like all of my books, it is meticulously researched. Resting Easy in the US includes accurate access descriptions and detailed photographs of over 90 properties across the US. From B&Bs, guest ranches and lakeside cottages, to boutique hotels, rustic cabins and deluxe yurts, variety is the key word in content. And although access varies from property to property, each one possesses a unique attribute – be it the location, the owner, the room, or maybe even the entire lodging concept.

So if you’re looking for something beyond that cookie-cutter chain hotel, this book is for you.

But a picture is worth a thousand words – especially where access is concerned – so lots of great access shots are included.

And since everyone’s access needs are different, I also included my “take” on who it will — and won’t – work best for.

But what good is an accessible property if there’s nothing to do around it? Well I considered that too, so I also included a section with each property about accessible things to see and do nearby.

And at nearly 400 pages, it’s chocked full of useful information. In short, it’s a great resource for seniors, parents with stroller-aged children, Baby Boomers, folks who need to take things a little slower, and anybody who uses a cane, walker, wheelchair or scooter.

So surf on by and check it out. And tell a friend!




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