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It Takes Planning!

I have come to realize that to make a difference I need to understand the difference between expectations and reality. Things don't always go as we plan but that doesn't mean we don't plan. Take my upcoming vacation as an example. This trip was painstakingly planned, with sunglasses on vacation flower print shirt on. My expectations are high but reality tells me it will not go exactly as planned. That doesn't mean it will be a disaster only that it will take a different path. Like me. I always travel a different path. I do things differently because that is what works for me. I tried to do things the same as everyone else but didn't too far. I realized I had to do things at my pace, in my time, and in my way.

me with my sunglasses on and a bright yellow shirt with magenta flower.s.  It is only someone you would wear on vacation
let's Go!


It's that time of year again, VACATION! Once again I am taking off in search of the perfect vacation experience. We will be returning to Wilmington NC, then onto Myrtle Beach, and then to Nana’s in Florida. Planning a vacation is stressful no matter who you are. Add to that disability and the stress level explodes. We are returning to a place we have gone before and are staying in the same Hotel. I know this leg of the trip will be fine as far as accommodations. For our next leg though, we are staying at a Beach Front Hotel. The website says, it is Pet Friendly, LGBTQ+ friendly, and accepts AARP. The room I reserved is supposed to be wheelchair accessible but only time will tell. I wish hotels would be more inclusive and proudly promote that they are Disability Friendly.

an architectural drawing of an accessible hotel room.  The drawing shows the dimentions and turning radius for wheelchairs
Copyright: © 2018 John Morris + What an accessible room is supposed to look like

Wilmington NC

The first Hotel we are scheduled to stay at is Embassy Suites in Wilmington, NC. This hotel is on the River Walk. This makes everything easier to get to because you can just walk there. I am so looking forward to going out to dinner, watching the sunset, and drinking a creamsicle cocktail. I hope to be able to go on the Ghost tour this time as I missed it the last time. Wilmington is pretty accessible, at least as far as I have explored. We intend on going back to Carolina Beach and using the free beach wheelchairs supplied by Ocean Cure. Lunch, who knows? We hope to explore Southport as it has been listed as a must-see small town. Maybe it will be a good place to live, or not.

Photo: the Embassy Suites hotel.  It is night time and the neon lights from the rooftop bar are glowing purple.  I am in front of the Hotel on the Riverwalk.
The Embassy Suite Hotel in Wilmington NC. I am on the River Walk in front of the hotel.

Seeing Melissa

I think I am most excited about seeing my cousin Melissa. She is driving in from Durham to spend the weekend with us. We have always had a special bond. She joined in on the game playing when my other cousins would be doing something else. She is a sweet soul whom I admire. Her kindness and empathy for others are what make her Melissa. She is funny, quiet, loving, compassionate and generous. She is full of sunshine and a people pleaser. She is a great listener and offers sound advice. She doesn't appear to hold grudges even though she could. She sees the good in people.

Photo: Melissa is driving me in the golf cart with Aunt Candi supporting me.  We are all smiling ear to ear and happy to be together.
Driving Miss Allie!

Hampton Inn and Suites Oceanfront, Myrtle Beach SC

Our next leg is onto Myrtle Beach, Hampton Inn and Suites Oceanfront. This was a last-minute add-on as Dad can't continue on the journey to Florida because he has to work. We needed a direct flight home and Myrtle Beach offers that. Additionally, since it was way too pricey to stay in Wilmington on the Beach this was a compromise. We have been to this type of hotel before.

Photo of dad and I in a carnival ride the Flyer.  I picked this picture because I didn't have one of an airplane.
Flying Home

Roll in Shower Please

My only real concern is the bathroom and the need for a roll-in shower. I have often wondered why all hotel rooms don't have a roll-in shower. This is helpful to not only the disabled but also the elderly. I can't tell you how often I have heard from people who have trouble stepping over the tub or have fallen out. Common sense would say that roll-in showers are not only safer but easier to clean. My Nana just redid her bathroom to remove the tub. She never showered in the spare bathroom as the tub was hard to get in and out of. Think about it tubs are for children or those who have time to lounge without a care in the world in a bubble bath. Don't get me wrong I loved bubble baths. Now they are a safety hazard for me without the proper equipment which takes up the whole tub and raises me above the water line. Which defeats the whole purpose of taking a bath.

Photo of me when I was about 5  surrounded by bubbles in the bathtub.
Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles!

Road Trip to The Villages, FL

I'm not sure what we are going to do in Myrtle Beach but we will figure that out as we go. I am hoping to explore the beach and collect sea shells. To feel the sand between my toes and to relax. The hotel has a free airport shuttle which will ensure Dad gets to his flight and we can start the 8-hour drive to Nana's.

Photo of the Florida sunset.  The sky is yellow making the palm trees look like shadows in the sky.
Florida Sunset

On our way home stop

At Nana's the plan is to spend time with my grandparents and give Nana a break. We will go swimming, shopping and to the square for live music. They live in The Villages Florida. A retirement community. The sidewalks are wide and the pools are warm. The sun always shines as the rain clouds pass overhead without shedding a drop. The best thing about Nana is the love she puts into every meal. The details she plans for make me feel special. Once our visit is over we will embark on something we have never done. Mom and I will make our way home driving. In the past, we have taken the auto train, but lately, there have been a few too many accidents. We are going to take our chances. The hope is to make it to Aunt Candi's house in Maryland. To rest our weary bones and then a short 3.5-hour drive home.

Photo: me and my Aunt Candi, I am wearing my graduation gown and holding my cap.  I chose this picture becasue it will be an accomplishment when we make it to her house.
Aunt Candi's House

Packing the Van

That is just the destination. The packing or shall I say over-packing is another feat. We decided to pack one bag for the first two legs of our trip and one for the second half. That does not mean we are only taking two bags. NOPE. I have a bag that has all my equipment, chargers, harnesses, and emergency chairs. Not to mention a back brace for Mom should something go wrong. She always says if we are prepared for the worst we won't need it. This has proven true because every time we forget the rain poncho or umbrella, it rains. Then there is a bag for our shoes, toiletries, and shower stuff. A bath chair, pillows, and my new portable Hoyer. It is taking it first of what I hope to be many vacations with us. Finally, there is a beach bag, that has all our swimming needs in it. Somewhere in the mix will be a bag of Dad's things. It seems like a lot and it is probably too much but I want to have clean clothes at Nana's without having to do laundry first. This is supposed to be a family vacation and mom deserves not to have to do laundry at the hotel.

Photo: shopping packages fill the van.  This picture is joke that I need a few things before I go on my trip.
First a few things for my trip

Luck of the Irish

Wish me luck that everything meets my expectations and that reality is very close to them. I may have lots of extra equipment to lug around and it may be different than what you need to take on a trip. But it is that difference that equalizes my experience and enables me to sit back and enjoy what life has to offer.

Photo: me and mom in the snowy day of March dressed in our best Irish sweaters ready for some luck.
Lucky Us!

Thank you for reading until the end!

This is the view from my wheelchair, where miracles can make a difference. Always Strive for the Impossible. Come back next week to see how things turned out and hear more about my unbelievable experiences and The View From My Wheelchair.

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Allison Murphy
Allison Murphy
Aug 25, 2023

So sorry to disappoint and thank you for your support


Aug 18, 2023

Good morning, I hope you had a wonderful trip. Thanks for your Journey to Nana's house. 😎😀

Aug 18, 2023
Replying to

I was worried about you since you weren't posting for a month. I am glad that you were on vacation. The girl's and I look forward to your posts on Friday mornings.

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