Today was another fun day of snow. The only bad thing about the snow is that I can’t go outside. When the ground is wet I am unable to leave the house.
However, my wife and sister decided I needed to enjoy the snow, even if it was from the garage.
While we were in Boston I was unable to get out and about due to time constraints because I wanted to spend all my time at the forum and it was way too cold for me to get out. So my sister went on a Old Town Trolley Tour and took a lot of pictures to share with me. Once again I really wish there were more options for people with disabilities to use to sight see.
Christian Science Hall
Fenway Park again
This was the hotel chosen to host the IFOPA Drug Forum. This is a fantastic hotel with great accommodating staff. If anyone is wanting to host an event this hotel is a great choice. The event was hosted November 20-22, 2014.
They have two dogs that are the mascots of the hotel. Catie and Carly Copley. They are a lot of fun and everyone enjoys seeing them visiting throughout the hotel.
The hotel is recently renovated and you can tell they really put effort into it. When they were redoing the floors they found the old mosaics under years of carpeting and other coverings. I am so glad they left them out to show, mainly because they are so much easier on my scooter than all the thick layers of carpet so many of the hotels have in the main concourse areas. For people with disabilities and who use motorized transportation it is easier to roll across wood and tile surfaces, less work on our machines.
Entryway from St. James Ave.
Peacock in Entryway
Stairway going up
Stairway going down
Hallway leading off to all the ballrooms
Sitting room across from check in desk
Me looking down the hallway to St. James Ave
My wife Lori and I in the entryway from St. James Ave
Panoramic view from the Skydeck, outside the rooftop gym. Fabulous View!
My wife Lori and I on the Skydeck
Another Skydeck View, best weather all week!
On our way through Pennsylvania we decided we would stop at the Hershey Factory in Hershey, PA. It was only 20 minutes off our route through the state. We have never had the privilege of spending a lot of time in PA and since my wife had been here a long time ago and thought it was really fun we decided to visit. It was super cold so I almost didn’t get out at Hershey’s Chocolate World. But I wasn’t sure if I would ever make it back here so I braved the cold and got out.
The minute we walked through the door we were surrounded by the yummy smells of all kind of chocolate. If you are a chocoholic then this is the place for you. Every kind of Hershey chocolate is available for purchase here. It was so much fun to see all the merchandise and the different fun things they do with chocolate here.
Unfortunately due to my being on my scooter I was not able to do the Hershey Trolley Works Tour. I know places can’t accommodate everyone, but being more handicapped accessible would be a nice thing.
Luckily we were able to take the factory tour. When we first were asked if we wanted to do it we weren’t sure it would be possible since you had to be ambulatory and able to transfer to a regular wheelchair in order to get on the ride. I haven’t been in a manual wheelchair except once or twice in my life so I didn’t know if it would be possible. I am not in a position where it is easy to be in a sitting position.
Diane, the very nice woman directing the line for the tour asked her manager to come over and see if we could try the wheelchair. She really did more than she had to and they really wanted to make it so I was able to go on the adventure. Her manager Phil came over and took us behind the scenes to the handicapped wheelchair entry spot and we tried the wheelchair. SUCCESS! I was able to sit in a chair and be moved onto the moving walkway and then into the ride.
When we were done with the first round they even asked if we wanted to go again in case we missed something the first time around since there is a lot to see and at my angle I wasn’t able to see all of it the first time. These two people really made a difference in my experience of the tour and being able to see it. They really went above and beyond which is very rare these days.
Christmas Tree in the entry way
Phil getting ready to roll me onto the moving walkway
Another picture in the chair
Talking cow welcoming you to the tour
Cow taking your picture as you exit
Me in the wheelchair on the ride
Gingerbread house made completely out of Chocolate
Goodbye Chocolate World
November 18, 2014
Today we drove from Lebanon, Tennessee to Harrisonburg, Virginia. I do enjoy a road trip and this one is no exception. I love driving through all the different states and the scenery. This is one of the longer boring parts of the drive but very pretty. We did stop at Bristol Motor Speedway and take some fun pictures, boy that place is steep. It was fun driving up and seeing the angles. A neat view was a farm that was there ages before the track and sits right next to the property. I like taking pictures at all the state lines as we cross them.
Staying at an awesome Holiday Inn in Harrisonburg, Virginia.The only thing that sucks is that it was raining when we got there. The front portico to the hotel had an incline instead of being flat so it was really hard to get out of the car. Not only was it an incline but it was also cobblestone, which is slick in the rain. A really good thing was that after trying two rooms, the third was a good fit. Because it was winter and it was cold outside they had the heat on and you couldn’t turn it off, so we had to leave the door out into the pool area open for a few hours to cool it off. The front desk clerk went out of her way to help us, she was really nice and a great worker.
Time to get started on our epic road trip to Boston for the IFOPA Drug Forum. We left first thing in the morning to try and make it as far as we could. We made pretty good time only a few stops until we crossed into Tennessee. Our first stop in Tennessee was at the visitor’s center for a rest break. Boy was it cold, luckily I was prepared with my fleece “This is How I Roll” pants and “Go Ahead Poke Me” shirt. I had fleece pants to wear for all the super cold days on the trip. It didn’t get above freezing until we were in Boston. Awesome people working at this center, they blocked off part of the women’s restroom since they don’t have a family restroom there.
We decided that we would stop in Memphis for the yummy BBQ we had in June on our way through. Blues City Cafe is a great place for Memphis BBQ, Nick and I love the smothered cheese fries with pulled pork appetizer.. It is more than enough for two people to share. The parking down by Beale street can be a bit of a pain, but luckily that night we found a valet right off of Beale Street in a private parking lot.
Then we traveled on to Nashville to find a room, we finally found a handicapped room at the La Quinta in Lebanon, Tennessee. The night clerk was horrible, but the day time manager we talked with the next day Sara was awesome. We would totally stay here again but the night clerks need to step it up End of the Day!
We spent the night in Chicago so we could do a few sight seeing things in Chicago since we haven’t been here since my sister and I were little and my wife had never been here before.
First on our list was the Sears (Willis Tower) to view the Skydeck and SkyLedge. This was really something we had been wanting to do since we planned the trip. None of us had ever been up in it before. It is a super quick trip to the top, 103 stories in less than a minute. Due to the speed it can be a bit disconcerting. 1653 feet, 412 meters, 103 floors as the wall says when you enter the base.
The view was amazing, of course we took pictures from all four directions. It was so interesting you almost didn’t want to move from one view to another. I think we took 300 pictures up there. The SkyLedge is very disconcerting if you have any fear of heights. My favorite part was when I was out on the ledge and my wife walked tentatively out onto it. I thought she was going to hit me upside the head when I starting doing a little jump on it. The video is funny.
We had to make a trip to the infamous Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse Rosemont Location. Everyone has always spoken well of this place and it was highly recommended to us. This is a hopping location, tons of people moving through here. We hit the lunch crowd but they still found us a table and we had a great server. Thees, the best bartender ever greeted us and waited on us while they found the table. I would recommend this place to anyone who wants a great steak with great atmosphere.