The Almost Indestructible iPhone Case

I love my OtterBox Defender iPhone case even though I wish it was more sleek and feminine.  What it lacks in fashion it makes up for by saving my iPhone from total destruction nearly every day.  My case needs to have a bit of a rubber-sticky feel so it’s easier to grip and it must protect from the inevitable two or three mishaps (aka drops) a day!

I have a boring black case – partly because  I carry it on my lap all the time (Brent thinks it is less noticeable) and partly because I can’t decide between the black, blue or pink (there are other colors too).  Don’t get me started on my indecisiveness, there’s a post coming on that subject as soon as I decide to finish it!   I can’t justify the nearly $50 each for a wardrobe of case colors, but if I had one other color, I’d pick the blue as a back-up.  What do you think?

One sleepless night when I was laying in bed listening to my iPod, I used my teeth to position my phone  in my hand so I could change the podcast. Low and behold I heard a faint ‘crack’. The next day Brent took a look at my phone and said, ‘You have a crack across the glass on your phone!’, I was aghast and wondered how in the world something like that could happen! Not wanting to go to the Apple store and beg or use every manner of my wheelchair influence to finesse a free or reduced price replacement or much less pay full price to replace the glass front of my iPhone; we looked more closely and found that it was only my OtterBox case that was cracked!  OK, it was a nearly $50 investment, but at least I wouldn’t have to go to the mall (yikes) to the Apple Store to get on the list, wait, and potentially buy more accessories or a new sweater at Ann Taylor next door.

I quickly called OtterBox and they asked me a few questions which I reluctantly answered honestly! And the next thing I knew they were sending a brand-new OtterBox Defender free of charge! Their warranty is extensive and user-friendly.  The new case arrived within ten days.  Meanwhile, I cautiously used an old Otterbox case that was not made for my iPhone version.   Impressive response and outstanding customer service.  Otterbox ROCKS!

My use of the OtterBox has pushed any limit you could expect from a case:
– I’ve dropped it from a height of 3-5 feet on to concrete, tile, wood, etc.
– I’ve rolled over it with all 350 lbs of me and my power wheelchair but really don’t want to do that again!
– Tahoe has picked up my phone off the floor and run around the backyard with it more than one time.  The stinker…he gets so proud of himself.
– Last night I dropped my phone on the floor in the kitchen while we were engrossed in eating strawberries with freshly made cream cheese frosting (big kudos to Brent for his first experience and success making this staple). I’m sure Tahoe tried to give it to me, but when I licked the spoon and spatula clean there was no sign of Tahoe or the phone. Uh oh! In comes Tahoe, but there was no sign of the phone in the house or the yard. Our last resort was for Brent to call my phone…we listened for the barking dog ring tone….no, not in the house…hmm…we walk outside and hear a faint ‘ruff, ruff, ruff’ coming from the thick green bushes where Tahoe likes to curl up and relax.  Alas, there lay my phone.

If you are as clumsy as Madge or want to trust your phone with your 3 year old or your new puppy, give up your stylish case and get the OtterBox Defender!

Hawaii – Blast on the Big Island

As colder weather invades the northern hemisphere, I’m drawn to thoughts of balmy beaches and caramel colored sunsets like the ones we relished on the Big Island of Hawaii a few years ago. Year-round the temperatures range from the 60’s at night to the 80’s during the day. Climate perfection! My disability and wheelchair are obstacles in travel situations, but thankfully with focused effort, they can usually be overcome. We’ve trekked across the Pacific several times for both business and pleasure. We were blessed with great situations that made the Hawaiian paradise an affordable excursion each time.

Transportation is an extra challenge with a heavy non-collapsible power wheelchair. When our plane arrives at most destinations, we wait for the chair to be brought to the gate, or I get off the plane and use an over-sized airline wheelchair while we wait for airport staffers to bring my chair. The airline’s ‘manual’ wheelchairs make my small frame feel like a floppy Raggedy Ann doll. Thankfully, I didn’t need to use the airline’s chair when we arrived in Kona. Other passengers disembarked via the stairs while I anxiously waited for a makeshift jet-way/lift-truck that raised my chair to the plane and lowered me to the tarmac. It was the first time I’d felt like merchandise in Home Depot. See the Orange and White on the lift-truck? Home Depot colors, too!

Our next challenge was a short wheelchair accessible ride to our condo on the Kohalo Coast. We splurged for the ramped van rental during our stay to make sight-seeing more convenient.

Pre-planning and research is definitely a must. There are merely a few rent-able wheelchair vans on the island!

We settled into the fully equipped timeshare unit that Brent’s sister and brother-in-law let us use…did I say blessed? Beaches are fabulous for relaxing, but we needed adventure.

We booked a wheelchair accessible snorkeling tour out of Kona. The boat had a ramp for my chair and extra men to help lift me in and out of the water for snorkeling.

I made a superb cart for snorkels, masks and fins, too.  And in case you are wondering, no…I don’t use fins, and Brent shouldn’t need any with his size 15 feet!

The snorkeling excursion was a little choppy, but I managed not to suck water in through my snorkel and afterwards we enjoyed the cruise back to Kona together.

When we took a gander above us, we only saw the feet of fellow snorkelers on the upper deck. Darn. It was not accessible!

We employed a not so accessible mode of transportation in a helicopter.

Only the brute force of several men could get me in the ‘Madge-sized’ seat!  ‘Blue Hawaiian Helicopter’ staff were exceptionally helpful and accommodating.

On our two hour tour we got a bird’s eye view of the lava fields. They were accessible by helicopter, but too dangerous for walking or four wheeling!

Hot lava flowing into the sea.

We headed up the coast toward the fertile Waipio Valley. Note the other helicopter in the distance for perspective of the valley’s enormity.

We marveled at the stunning waterfalls.

Hawaii is truly a paradise. Winter is a lovely time of year to visit not only for the perfect climate, but also for the peak whale watching. Whether you are walking or wheeling, Hawaii is a destination for a bucket list.

Waiting for warm weather,