Wheelchair Accessible Beach Travel

We love beach fun…and beach wheelchairs to add mobility and adventure to our travels. New Mobility magazine features our family as well as a variety of accessible beach options in this issue. beginning on page 42. We share a favorite spot near Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Beach Wheelchair

Go to page 42…In Gulf Shores, AL with a powered beach wheelchair.

Is your beach trip planned?

We are always on the lookout for accessible travel options. Where is your favorite beach paradise? Does it have accessible features and beach wheelchairs available?

Please share!

Tahoe Loves a Trip

When we take a trip like our recent Florida family beach gathering, Tahoe’s attachment to ‘dad’ increases as Brent is in charge of late night or early morning walks if I’m in bed and has increased responsibility with Tahoe as we navigate new situations such as a trek on the beach.

…or time by the pool when I can snap a quick photo. Thank God for my iPhone.

A bench by the beach is the perfect ‘cool’ resting place and time for a snapshot of the duo.

Tahoe loves Sand Key’s Dog Park where he can run forever with his Kong. He needs an occasional break to lay in the shaded sand. I’d be there too, but sand + power wheelchair = disaster, so I stay on the paved platform and grassy areas if we aren’t sporting a beach wheelchair (available for free at the park).

Once I get into the beach wheelchair Tahoe helps by pulling it across the sand as Brent pushes.  Some areas have powered beach wheelchairs, but not here in Clearwater Beach…

Tahoe loves time with everyone – but especially mom and dad together!

Tahoe enjoys a sunset…even if birds kept swooping down toward him. One night a bird actually hit my head! Whoa!

Tahoe looks like he is a little sleepy and ready to leave his zoo of hotel towel creations. Swans, elephants, cats, dogs and flowers all visited our room.

We can’t wait for our next beach adventure…For now, Tahoe’s sticking right by me like the devoted helper he is…until our next adventure with his dad.  Hope you have summer family adventures planned, my friends.  Enjoy.

With love  -Madge

The Best Dog Park

When we go out of town we look for nearby dog parks where Tahoe can freely run and enjoy some playtime. As we rolled in to the parking lot of Nassau Humane Society Dog Park in Amelia Island, we had no idea that Tahoe would enjoy the best dog park we have ever visited.

It took less than a minute for Tahoe to make his way to the pool.  Such a happy dog. “Why don’t you come in, mom?”

“Okay, while I’d rather play with mom and dad, I’ll cautiously check out the the other dogs!”

There are nice benches and tables under grand oak trees for human parents.

Tahoe prefers to play with mom and dad over other dogs with few exceptions! He sure loved to swim in between fetching his Kong across the large grassy fenced-in field.

A moment for a happy family photo opportunity. We came to the park every morning after breakfast.

Tahoe habitually dropped his Kong in to the deep end and waited for Brent to fish it out with a net. After Brent was forced to wade waist high to retrieve Tahoe’s Kong we went to Petco and bought a floating Kong to use for the remainder of our trip! See Tahoe in the background just waiting to run for the Kong again!

Tahoe wasn’t a fan of doggie diving and enjoyed the floating orange Kong.

At 60 lbs, Tahoe qualifies as a ‘Big’ dog! There was a separate agility training area fully equipped with tunnels and jumps!

When you are on your way out, stop for a quick bath in one of four bathing areas. Complimentary shampoo, conditioner and towels are available in case you forget your own.

This black lab named Goose was our favorite doggie friend. He entertained us by diving for toys and he and Brent were instantly best buds. Ashly, we are still his godparents, right?

Say goodbye..until next time.

Beware of Thanksgiving Travel and Latex Gloves

Are you flying the friendly skies this holiday season? Oh, how grateful we are to be home base for our family Thanksgiving and not fighting the Atlanta airport’s holiday rush this year! I feel for you travelers! So glad you get to visit family, but I wish it were under less congested circumstances.

When we fly it is an adventure with a wheelchair and service dog and, of course, my battery charger, travel shower chair, etc. Sure, travel is complicated by disability – maybe not as much as traveling with babies and toddlers though!. There are, however, a few perks…one is that we go to the front of the dreaded security line and I am escorted around the body scanners…ahhh, I miss the body scan and the line! Now the fun begins…

As my personal items are shoved into the gray plastic tub and pulled through the X-ray machine like groceries through a checkout line, I am escorted to the wide gate like a princess…but wait, the blue (or are they purple?) latex gloves are coming toward me. Will they tear off my belt this time? Are my feet safe from shoe removal? Well that depends on the agent, TSA security agent that is. Always female for female as we engage in the ‘PAT’ down. With raised arms I watch the agent as she never fails to ask me to stand up! Joke’s on her because that’s not happening. The golden rule of polite gestures is applied as she feels my breasts with the back of her hands. She grasps my bottom and legs as she continues to feel. Could she be a cute guy instead, please? Just kidding! Fortunately, I’ve only had to remove my shoes and belt occasionally and normally clear security after merely a few checks for explosives with small papers rubbed against different areas of my chair and body. With my personal items returned by the agent our trek to the plane begins.

Periodically, an ‘over-zealous’ or ‘new’ security gal puts me through the ringer and removes my shoes, jewelry and belt and feels a bit too much of my body. She searches behind every movable part of my power wheelchair. On more than one excursion the wheelchair batteries were dis-assembled and removed from their case. Good thing we weren’t in a hurry.

The last time we traveled with Tahoe, he didn’t go through the scanner or get a pat down, and he loves a pat down. They didn’t even take off his vest. Go figure. He could be a terrorist with a weapon in his vest pocket!

For the most part, the security experience is a nuisance of air travel particularly for those of us who get the thrill of the pat down. Pack a little humor, a lot of patience, and an attitude of gratitude to conquer the hassles of Thanksgiving’s travel rush. Give yourself some extra time this week, and be thankful if you evade the latex gloves! Leave a comment and share your funny or challenging stories and we will gratefully enjoy our no-fly zone!