Thank you for joining me on the second leg of my vacation. This part was only two days, but to date, it was the most unbelievable adventure I have taken. We added Myrtle Beach to our vacation because, at the last minute, we decided to continue on to visit my grandparents in The Villages, Florida. My dad didn’t have enough vacation time to spend that extra trip so we decided to have him fly home. The trick was flying him into the local airport so he could quickly get a ride home. As it turned Myrtle Beach has a direct flight to Stewart Airport so we added Myrtle Beach to our itinerary. Additionally, since we didn’t get to stay on the beach in Wilmington we decided to splurge and stay for two days on Myrtle Beach.
Happy Birthday Dad
Let the adventure continue. We arrived at our hotel, The Hampton Inn and Suites Oceanfront on July 27, Dad’s birthday. Our first sign of any trouble was the parking garage. We were driving the minivan but had a rooftop carrier that limited our ability to park anywhere. We were limited to a single row of parking. We found a spot after circling several times in and out of the garage. That was okay because we had arrived early. We got to the front desk and started to check in. The woman at the front desk serenaded Dad with a beautiful version of Happy Birthday. Hopefully, this is a sign of good things to come. She then informed us that it would cost $50 to check in early. After a light-hearted discussion, she decided that for Dad’s birthday, she would waive the fee. She gave us an accessible room and off we went.
Where do we sleep?
When we opened the door to the accessible room, not only did it not have the balcony we had requested it only had a king-size bed and little to no room for my wheelchair. News flash I sleep in a bed not my wheelchair, Where were we all going to sleep? Back to the front desk, we go. They assigned us another room, this was a room with a balcony and two queen beds. The ocean was calling so we maneuvered my chair to the balcony, only to realize there was a two-inch lip to the balcony. No problem, Mom lifted me out of my chair and onto one of the chairs on the balcony. The sounds of the waves crashing were so soothing. In my mind, I could see the waves hitting the sand, washing away the seashells, and repeating.
Video: me sitting on the balcony describing how I feel with the view of the beach
Houston we have a problem
We didn’t realize a problem until I had to go to the bathroom. The door opened in and blocked the toilet. I couldn’t use the bathroom! Back to the front desk, we go. The woman with the angelic voice did everything possible to help us. She couldn’t change our room and someone came up with the brilliant idea that I could just use the public bathrooms during my stay. We were staying on the 7th floor.
Video: showing our room and how the door blocks the toilet
The beach is calling?
As upsetting as this was we had plans for the day, we were going to the beach. We called all the numbers given to us about borrowing accessible beach chairs, the local fire department told us they had 118, but all of them were unavailable until the end of August. We then called another place that told us we could rent one for $125 but they had a two-day minimum. We were desperate and told them Okay could they deliver it? They said yes, asked for our hotel, and then told us they didn’t have one. We were out of luck. No beach. Oh, how I wish I was back on Carolina Beach.
We decided to check the pool. We went down to the pool area and walked around all three pools but couldn’t find the lift that was in all the pictures online. You guessed it back to the front desk we went. We were assured they had a lift, they asked when we wanted to go swimming. We told them after dinner would be nice and that we were going to dinner around 6. They said they would make sure the lift was in working order and the battery charged.
Stop for crossing Wheelchairs
Now it was still early so we decided to walk around the area and see if we could find a place to get a drink and dinner. We walked about 6 blocks and found nothing so we started to walk back. Like most places, South Carolina has a law about yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Since I use a wheelchair we always use the crossways because that is where the curbcuts are. We were three-quarters away across the street when we spotted a speeding truck coming in our direction. Dad stopped in the crosswalk, like he ruled the world, put up his hand, and motioned for us to hurry. The truck did not appear as though it was slowing down so Dad yelled STOP and a few other choice words. The driver slammed his brakes and stopped finally just as we were crossing in front of him. He was laughing at us. It made me feel as though he didn’t think it would matter much if he hit us because I was already in a wheelchair. After all, isn’t that everyone’s worst nightmare, to end up in a wheelchair?
We got back to the hotel and asked for a list of restaurants since we couldn’t find one within walking distance. We were handed a list and Dad started calling. Half of the numbers given to us were either closed or disconnected. The other half just rang and rang. We finally found a place that was both accessible and had what appeared to be good food. It wasn’t very far, so off we went. Once we got to the restaurant Mom realized she lost her phone. She was frantically searching for it. Luckily it was an android, LOL. The Google app told us it was at the hotel. We arrived back at the hotel around 8. The front desk finally delivered good news, they had Mom’s phone. That problem solved we told them we were getting our suits on and would meet them at the pool. No problem was the reply.
We got down to the pool and no welcoming committee and no lift. Back to the front desk, we go. The front desk was not being manned by the usual people, Someone new was there, Amy. She saw Mom coming and informed her she had no idea what anyone had previously promised so she should just sit down and wait. The maintenance man had been called and would be helping her. So we waited for 15 minutes and there was no maintenance man. So Mom got up and back to the front desk we go. As one would expect she exchanged words with Amy, who was so shook she went and hid in the backroom.
Where's the bar?
About this time a new person arrived on the scene, Valerie. She listened patiently while Mom recounted the events of the day and the problems we were faced with. Valerie immediately got to work to get to the bottom of the problem. At this same time, Mom heard one of those walkie-talkies that they were looking for keys. I told Mom she shouldn’t be listening and she told me they shouldn’t have left the walkie-talkie. Valerie came in from behind the desk and noticed the Walkie talkie. She snatched it up quickly and took the keys to try. She told Mom they were looking for the right key to unlock the liquor cabinet.
Where did everyone go?
This hotel doesn’t even serve liquor, so we have no idea what they were talking about. Now an hour had passed by this point and the situation was not getting any better. Soon people were coming to the front desk looking for ice cream, parking passes, and various other items. Mom informed each person that they were hiding from her. So most of them helped themselves to whatever they needed.
Found the keys
Finally, Tristan had reappeared. She told Mom that the only person with the key was the general manager and he was out to dinner with his family. He had just dropped the key off and they could now open the liquor cabinet and get the lift free. This was unbelievable to Mom, that the general manager would have been told a story about all the troubles we had on our first day at his hotel and he didn’t even bother to come inside and talk to Mom. Mom told everyone who showed their face at the front desk that she wanted to meet with the general manager at 10 the next morning. They said they would make sure he knew that.
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 what the general manager had to say, if I ever got to go swimming, and if all the hotel guests had to use the public bathroom and The View From My Wheelchair.