Sunday, July 25, 2010

A moment of ranting

We interrupt my normal travel blog to rant about handicap access. Yesterday I spent several hours with Ken to get him a folding wheelchair. We can use it while we're shopping or in a mall or whenever he can't walk. Because he can't walk more than 5 or 6 steps without being in absolute pain.
Once we got the chair we went to the Sears Mall to find him a pair of shoes that will fit his terribly swollen feet. Got lucky there, a pair of moccasins 2 size above his normal size. Sears Mall is one of the oldest malls in Anchorage. Handicap parking spaces, yes, buttons to push and hold open doors, no. Handicap access bathrooms, yes. Doors that will admit a wheelchair, no. Ramps down sidewalks, yes. They're even marked. Doors that will open to the ramps no.

The main aisles of Sears are wide open for someone in a wheelchair. The aisles between clothes, no go. Aisles in a shoe store, no way. Needless to say I pushed lots of stuff out of the way.

And do you think there were anyone to assist someone in a wheelchair? Are you kidding me?

The handicap parking spaces closest to the doors are occupied by mini-vans with no tags or stickers. One car is running with a woman sitting in it while hubby runs in and gets coffee.

One of the things about Vegas is everything is very handicap accessible. That's because they have busloads of senior citizens there every day, playing slots and running around the casinos on scooters.

I really hope Charlotte is better. Else I may take up protest signs and march.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Charleston, S.C. 2010

I haven't worked on this in awhile. Life keeps getting in the way. The April trip included an overnight trip to Charleston, S.C. Penny and I spent a day in historic Charleston, playing tourist and enjoying the old city. I'd love to see more of it. While the trip was in mid April the tourist traffic was in full swing. Parking near the shoreline was impossible.

One of the neatest locations is 'Angel Oak Tree' which is kinda off the beaten track. It's a 1500 year old tree, still alive and healthy in a campground.

Downtown historic Charleston has a population of citizens in the middle of what most people think of as a huge tourist destination. The homes are behind stone walls with hidden alleys and entrances. But if you walk the side streets you get a glimpse of beautiful courtyards and gardens.

The courtyards and gardens are hidden so well you actually have to do a little snooping down tiled alleys to see them. There were lots of 'for sale' signs in the windows, if you have the money to buy 1000-1500 sq. ft. for over a million dollars.

There is a historic theater on Queen St. The building has been completely restored and still has plays on the stage.

When you go through the building you come out into a courtyard that was used to stable the horses of theater goers. Now it's used as a small dining area before and after a play.

Like all historic towns the churches are important. There are several, all beautifully built with wonderful gardens and ancient cemeteries.

There is a great Irish Pub in a corner of one of the streets. Great place for a break, snack and a drink.

Then of course there is the bridge to get there. It's a great bridge.

Once I finally retire, I will spend a few days there.