La La Land

Day 33

Less than an hour’s drive up the freeway we moved on to the last leg of our American Dream 2018! The City of Angels was just like it appears in the movies, flat and spread out with huge freeways and an urban edge. I was so excited to spot signs to Ventura, Pasadena and Sunset Boulevard – such iconic places – and we were headed to our base in West Hollywood!  Our Kimpton Everly Hotel was fabulous – and so very LA chic – and we were greeted by name on arrival; I am a big fan of the service culture here in the US. After we unpacked and pinched ourselves that our home for the next 4 nights was so cool, Steve and I took off down the road along Hollywood Boulevard in the 43 degree heat! “Hooray for Hollywood” – a little bit glam and a lot of crazy, we found the famous strip to be pretty seedy, but we had some fun along the way with prop shops and cops!!


The view from our apartment on the top floor of the Kimpton Everly Hotel West Hollywood
View from our support workers room across the hall
A good option with the weather outside!
View from the lobby of our Hotel
Our favourite bar staff
Meeting King Kong



Walk of Fame was fun trying to spot our faves
The famous Mann’s Chinese Theatre now known as TCL Chinese Theatre is a functioning movie theatre with the handprints in concrete from the stars outside
Love this!


Couldn’t help myself but say hi to the LAPD!

Day 34

Griffith Observatory was burning hot (literally with a fire in the hills) at 42+degrees so we resorted to the air-conditioned Dodge and went for a spin along Sunset Boulevard, star-spotted in the Hollywood Hills and checked out Rodeo Drive. Played spot the icon such as the Viper Room, Whiskey a Go-Go and Beverley Hills 90210!

Griffith Observatory with awesome views of the Hollywood sign and L.A


Our Pretty Woman moment

Day 35

We drove across town to Santa Monica and soaked up the carnival atmosphere – although the boardwalk was too bumpy to wheel very far and it was very HOT! In search of shade we wheeled a few miles along the busy bike way to crazy hippy Venice Beach….plenty of people watching here as you will see below.  We had to try the US version of Fish n Chips and they didn’t disappoint!


The wide white sands of Santa Monica Beach
Anything on wheels goes – so we fitted right in!
Beach Volleyball anyone?
We asked these gals what they were up to and they said “Just making a little video” how very LA!


Jon did amazing sketches of a whole range of people and things. I bought 3 of his artworks.


Day 36

Wrapping up our incredible 5-week American Dream with a fantastic back-lot tour of Warner Bros Studios – via their brand new cart with hoist to accommodate wheelchairs! Saw so many great things like Friends’ Central Perk, sets of TV shows and movies, Marvel and Harry Potter exhibitions and the set of Ellen. Highly recommend this tour!



The set of ER


The grassy knoll used in LA LA Land
On the set of Ellen


Real props from the West Wing (for my friend Anita)
Finished our tour off at Central Perk from Friends……with our terrific tour guide Daniel and Allana – who also really enjoyed the tour!



A real 1930s Oscar!


Having made contact with the Assistant Manager Connie at our Everly Hotel regarding access and giving them feedback, we were rewarded with a complimentary panoramic sunset picnic with DJ and giant games on the deck. What a way to end this dream trip! Sometimes it pays to politely educate people about our needs!

Connie at the Everly did so much to make our stay wonderful!


Forever grateful for every moment of our first trip OS. It won’t be our last! Beautiful America we love you long-time, but home is calling us xxx


Transport options


Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals

LA is spread out and so we decided we needed an accessible vehicle so we could explore. Remember you often need to pay for parking.

We dropped our accessible van we brought across from Vegas at LAX. It was a simple process of parking at a specific carpark and then the accessible shuttle picked us up to go to the LAX terminal.

There are accessible taxis and public transport options too.

Accommodation details


Kimpton Everly West Hollywood

1800 Argyle Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90028

We stayed in the Lola suite which has a fold down Murphy bed so the hoist can roll under. We gave the hotel feedback that there accessible rooms are not very accessible when you need a hoist as the beds are built in and there is no room to roll hoist underneath. The management of the hotel were very apologetic and have taken on board this feedback so hopefully it is fixed soon (all arrangements done prior to our visit).

However the Lola suite was amazing with direct access to the rooftop with incredible views. Large roll in shower, Bose speaker system, kitchen and big TV. More like an apartment than a hotel room! We also liked that we could eat at the hotel’s restaurant, have breakfast, drinks and coffee all charged to our room. And there was live music on Fri and Sat nights, a great bar to meet people and beautiful artworks. Great location in Hollywood. And dogs, lots of dogs! The place was just cool. Definitely luxurious and a wonderful treat to top off our adventure. Highly recommended!

Support crew stayed in a Hollywood Hills Queen Queen just across the hall.

Length of stay 4 nights – that was not enough!


Accessible Tips The Everly Hotel has a pool hoist so take your swimmers!

Discuss your access needs with management at the hotel – Connie was more than helpful in arranging our stay!

Warner Bros Backlot Tour has accessible cart with hoist and you get your own private tour! We booked the day before.



Murphy bed in the Lola suite

The Happiest Place on Earth

Day 29

Our Dodge accessible van was a great choice for our road trip from Vegas to Anaheim. With a few stops it took about 5 hrs and with Google maps it was a relatively easy but scenic drive. Arriving at the Marriott Resident Inn Convention Centre we were greeted with one of the most accessible, clean and modern units we’d ever stayed in. More details at the end of this post.

Our trusty (not dodgy) Dodge van

Day 30

Just a 10 minute wheel from our apartment we arrived at the iconic Disneyland – a lifelong dream come true for me, but more like a nightmare for Steve (think crowds and 42 degrees)! But he was a great hubby and came along for the ride.

After a 1 hour queue to get tickets and go through security, we explored the park by monorail, train and paddle-wheeler, its funny it was smaller than I had imagined.  The excitement of Main Street was fun, and I met Goofy and Donald Duck! The Jungle Cruise was a hoot and such a novelty to be able to drive onto my very first accessible theme park ride!  Of course not every ride was wheelchair accessible but we did get to skip the lines at a few of the attractions. Magic Kingdom was like stepping into a fairy-tale – but not enough Princess’s! I felt like I was a kid again, the buzz was unreal.

The entrance to Disneyland.


Main Street


The Jungle Cruise – fully wheelchair accessible and this guy was hilarious!
While in the US ….. Steve tried his hand at the rifle range
About to board Mark Twain’s Riverboat
All aboard!
Disneyland Rail Road is fully wheelchair accessible too!


Thumbs up from Goofy
Storm Troopers near Space Mountain. This is for my nephew Mackie!
Now that’s my kind of shop!
The best tasting Corn Dogs (Pluto Pups, Battered Savs) – no calories in Disneyland!
Magic Kingdom…every princess’s fantasy. Wish you were here Miss Sophie.

Day 31

Day trip to San Diego on 4th July – this was one of our favourite days of our entire trip! The drive itself was so fun, pumping up the tunes and checking out the beachside towns along the way. Less than 2 hrs later we had arrived in San Diego – only 20 miles north of the Mexican border. We loved the chilled family vibes and people setting up their picnic spots to watch the fireworks along the waterfront. We met the nicest couple sharing our lunch bench – they were doctors at San Diego Hospital and had just visited Sydney! And the food….. we ate the best pulled pork and guacamole tacos – delicious!

A quick jaunt around San Diego was not long enough, but we did get the feeling that this was one cool, laid back city. On our way back to the van we stopped for an ice-cream, only to find out a lovely man ahead of us in the line had ‘paid it forward’ to cover our ice-creams! We were flawed by the generosity of spirit of the Americans throughout the entire trip.

Didn’t think it could get any better but the absolute highlight was driving across the spectacular Coronado bridge – a real thrill going so far up and out across the ocean, and onto the gorgeous Coronado Island. All the quaint military homes were decorated with red, white and blue banners, and the smell of BBQ was in the air. We did not want to leave and have vowed to return!

Fireworks back at Disneyland made for an unforgettable Independence Day in California!


We were so saddened by the amount of homeless people in every city we visited.
Buzzing along the bike-lane in sunny San Diego!


Spectacular Coronado Bridge (ok so this is borrowed from Google)
Happy Independence Day!

Day 32

Another hot and crazy fun day at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ for me, while Steve took his RC car to the best track in the world Orange County RC (OCRC)! Yes his RC car had its own suitcase and had traversed the States waiting for this moment……



I was Finding Nemo – the Submarine Experience
and the famous Teacups!
Its A Small World was my favourite ride!
How cool is this???



Toon Town
I was so lucky to be taken into Mickey’s house via the back door…..and skipping the line. Mickey was so beautiful, I think I cried the whole time (mainly because his helper’s name was Dan). After our photo shoot I asked him where Minnie was, apparently she was out shopping!
My Fantasia moment with Mickey

Day 33

Drive up the freeway to the City of Angels – To Be Continued…….

Transport options


Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals – outlets across most states, but we paid a little extra to take the vehicle from Las Vegas to Anaheim, and then drop off in LA. More details coming in future post about accessible transport during our trip.

Reservations: +1 866-859-8880

5757 Wayne Newton Blvd,

Las Vegas, Nevada 89119

Accommodation details


Residence Inn at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center

640 West Katella Avenue Anaheim, CA 92802 USA

+1 714-782-7500

Executive suite for 8 people. Large kitchen. 2 bathrooms, 1 with roll in shower. Spacious, clean, modern and great location in easy walking distance to Disneyland. Could easily roll hoist under bed. Parking onsite for van. Additional cost. Free breakfast. Only problem was that we discovered the gym was located above our ceiling, and we were woken by dumbbells crashing at 6am! We managed to get 1 nights charge waived and free parking after our complaints. And they are relocating the gym! Highly recommended accommodation.

Length of stay 4 nights was a good amount of time for us, but it depends on how many days you want to spend at Disneyland etc



California Adventure Park (next time)

San Diego Zoo (next time)

Note to anyone planning a trip to Anaheim – don’t go to the happiest place on earth in holidays or heatwaves, or if you do, just push through and you will absolutely love it!

Accessible tips


I was surprised there was no reduced fee for people with disabilities or carer companions at Disneyland. Make sure when you buy your ticket they give you the access map. Not every ride is accessible, but they do have alternative experiences and also some rides are accessible if you use a manual chair or can transfer/be assisted. So you really have to check it out yourself. I found just soaking up the atmosphere was great, chasing characters and of course seeking out the rides where you can stay in your powerchair. This took a bit of extra time. Navigating crowds can be tiring and a bit frustrating but just keep on going. Given it was my first time I didn’t plan my route in advance as I just wanted to see where it took us, but there would be benefits in getting a map and doing some planning. And then there was the shopping – too many options so if you want to buy gifts/souvenirs take a list! Take your charger!
Our executive apartment at the Marriott Resident Inn Convention Centre Anaheim




Viva Las Vegas

Day 24

Arrived on a late flight to the sparkle of Vegas lights with my powerchair and Steve’s scooter waiting for us at the door of the plane! Such great service by Vegas Airport and United!! I got accessible cab (and friendly driver) quickly from the airport and Steve went with the support team and luggage to find our Dodge rental in the Airport car park. And it was HOT! Like I mean very very HOT! Cosmopolitan Hotel was the place to be seen. Our room on level 32 had great access and awesome views from the balcony of the famed Bellagio fountains! The roll in bathroom was huge and the space in the room was ample. We had to get the bed raised to accommodate the hoist but as they say in the US ‘not a problem’.


The stunning view from our balcony

Day 25

We spent the day exploring the Bellagio, Caesars and Flamingos Casinos. This place is something else. Not really our cup of tea, but great to experience the madness just once. When we arrived back at the Cosmopolitan we cooled down with an ice cold drink at the incredible chandelier bar.


The epic 3 level chandelier at the Cosmopolitan Hotel


Pedestrian wheelchair access along the Strip we found tricky as it is via a series of footbridges with elevators. It quite often meant backtracking to find an elevator and one night they were out of service so that was annoying, and we ended up zooming along a smelly back alley way racing to get to a show. Classy. A highlight of our time in Vegas was the Human Nature Jukebox show at Palazzo in the Venetian, in the same room that the rat pack played!! After the upbeat, entertaining show I got to meet and chat with the boys – what a thrill!

Meeting Toby, Mike, Andrew and Phil – what a thrill!
The Venetian


Day 26

Drove to Red Rock Canyon only 30 minutes from The Strip. Very accessible Visitors Centre and boardwalk with spectacular views of Red Rock Canyon….impressive and so quiet you could hear a pin drop – but it wasn’t the Grand Canyon… we continued our journey.


Natural beauty was a welcome relief from the Vegas sensory overload


After an enjoyable 4 hr drive sight-seeing via Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam and through the Joshua Forest we made it to the West Rim. The Hualapai Indians welcomed us warmly and took us on the Twilight Tour (all fully accessible coaches). After spotting coyotes and deer we arrived at the gigantic, awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. Like nothing else we have ever seen. The helicopters flying in and out looked the size of flies. The Colorado River snaking 400 feet below. We struggled to believe we were witness to a wonder of the natural world! The sun was setting and there were barely any people about due to the lateness of the day, what a perfect way to see this incredible sight. It was made even more special by deeply connecting with ranger Cody who had tragically only  recently lost his brother. Of course I shared about the loss that Steve and I had experienced in our life, this moment was surreal. The Grand Canyon was absolutely a highlight of our trip and something we would encourage everyone to add to their bucket list.

Lookout just after the Hoover Dam


Wild deer in the Grand Canyon National Park
Onboard the accessible coach on the 6 min drive out the the West Rim


On the drive back to the highway we started to realise there had been no street lights, cars or buildings for over an hour. Then suddenly, Thelma and Louise style, our vehicle came off the bitumen onto a gravel road. Bizarre. A few miles further down the winding road we saw a body of water that we distinctly remember we did NOT pass on the way into the park. We all had that sinking feeling that we had taken a wrong turn, and immediately we checked our fuel level (half) and our cell reception (none). Yes we were lost in the Arizona desert! It was dark now, the moon was full and we literally told each other (and ourselves) not to panic, that we had simply taken a wrong turn, and just needed to head back the way we had come. As someone mentioned that we must be near Area 51, there began talk of aliens and all of a sudden a light flashed in front of our car – the first light in ages kind of spooked us all. “What a story this would be….one day” we laughed, as we eventually found our way back to Dolan Springs, and then onto the Highway to Boulder City, and back to Vegas. Lesa (our driver), Steve and I all agreed that this was one of our most memorable and fun days on our trip.

NOTE: We were very disappointed to learn that the brand new Grand Canyon Skywalk is NOT wheelchair accessible – I reckon but our experience was better!

Day 27

After recovering from our massive day at the Grand Canyon, we spent another hot day exploring the sights ‘n sounds of the Strip. What a contrast to the natural beauty of one of the 7 Wonders of the World. We particularly enjoyed the New York New York casino after having just spent time in the real thing. After some souvenir shopping and a quick visit to the Hershey’s shop, we had tickets to a Burlesque Show at the retro Flamingo – it’s not Vegas if there’s not a tacky adult show right?!

Day 28

We didn’t think it could get any hotter or more seedy or tacky but a 20 minute drive away the old Vegas at Freemont St was a sight to be seen. The original ‘Strip’ with anything goes buskers, people flying above along the zipline and a pretty great band, made for an entertaining afternoon. And there were a few sights we tried hard to un-see. The highlight of the afternoon was being married by Charles – the Marcel Marceau style wedding celebrant for $10 – what a bargain!

We said ‘I Do’ not believe how tacky is Vegas!

Our final night in Vegas was spent at Mandalay Bay to see the The One Michael Jackson Cirque de Soleil – it literally was so incredible, I have named it the best show ever!!! Think parkour, aerial stunts, musical, rock concert, fantastic effects and moving tribute to the King of Pop – we were both in awe (and tears) the entire 2 hours. Then dinner with my love at the Libertine Social gastropub chatting to delightful barman all night. Delicious parmesan churros, duck spring rolls and ricotta pancetta……we did not want this night to end; it was hard to believe but Vegas was actually growing on us. We rode the monorail back to our hotel to have drinks with our mate Pete from Sydney who was in town for a Poker Tournament! From Viva Las Vegas to a 7th Wonder of the World, the Nevada & Arizona desert is something spectacular and a time I will never forget.

Day 29

Leaving Vegas, a road trip down Route 66 towards Anaheim was a bucket list item. And what better place to stop for lunch than at Peggy Sue’s Diner in the middle of the desert. We ordered the biggest meatloaf sandwich ever! (Glad we shared it). What a great collection of rock n roll memorabilia and lots of famous faces on the walls. Quintessentially American.


Transport options


Las Vegas International Airport 800-456-1371


Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals

Reservations: 866-859-8880

5757 Wayne Newton Blvd,

Las Vegas, Nevada 89119

We paid a little extra to pick up in Vegas and drop off in LAX. This allowed us to have transport whilst in Vegas and on the roadtrip to LA, and around LA.

Vegas Monorail was very accessible and convenient

Accessible taxis fairly available

Wheeling around most of the strip is do-able – and going in each casino for air-con a must in summer!

Accommodation details



Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV, United States

Terrace Studio Fountain View with balcony, king bed and roll in shower – exceptionally large and accessible!

Support crew stayed in a City room 4 people – in another lift tower so that was a bit awkward. When I booked the person said they would be in same tower but when we arrived no they were in another high rise.

Checking in and out took a while as this place was super big and busy, but the room was great!

There were great facilities including accessible toilets, bars, cafes, restaurants, buffets, Starbucks, shopping and pool. And self and valet parking.

Length of stay 5 nights – that was enough for us!


Attractions Booked Human Nature and Cirque de Soleil in advance from Sydney. This allowed us to plan our time in Vegas. You could even book accessible seats on the online seating map for the Cirque de Soleil show, and via phone call and email to the Palazzo for Human Nature. Excellent wheelchair accessible seating at both venues.

Red Rock Canyon Visitors Centre

Grand Canyon West Rim





DC – Most Accessible City in the World?

Day 20

Farewelling New York, we boarded the Amtrak train to venture south to the Capital – Washington DC. Great wheelchair access via hoists to the high train carriage and luggage support from the Red Caps. And yes Steve’s large scooter did fit! Carers/companions get discounted fares. I love a good train journey and this was an exciting one. Our stops included: Newark metro city, New Brunswick, Trenton, Philadelphia Pennsylvania – where the Declaration of Independence was signed, Baltimore Maryland, Wilmington and Delaware. Places I hear about in books and in movies and TV shows. But we were here in real life – still pinching myself!

Arriving at Union Station and the Red Cap’s arrived to carry all our luggage including the ‘coffin’ (portable hoist)

Union Station was so magnificently grand – but the humidity as we left the station was horrendous! Our hotel was just a short wheel away in the attractive Capitol Hill neighbourhood, and offered exceptionally friendly service. We enjoyed complimentary breakfast and wine time at 5pm each day.  That night it was dinner and drinks at the pub just around the corner – and the fierce but short storm kept us there a little longer – how convenient!

I had heard about the grandeur of Grand Central Station in NY but Union Station DC was also pretty impressive!
Outside Union Station. What is it with my arm out pose?
The gorgeous Capitol Hill architecture

Day 21

Our first full day in DC and we set out to explore it’s glorious buildings, the Capitol Building, Library of Congress, Washington Memorial. Lots of families enjoying the Summer outdoors playing soccer and having picnics along the Mall. We joined a tour of the Smithsonian Castle which showcases each of the 19 free museums, 12 gardens plus a zoo! How do you choose which museums to visit in 4 days? The biggest house in town was calling us and we managed to contend with the sea of tourists, selfie sticks and sticky weather to get a glimpse of the south lawn of the Whitehouse. On the long hot wheel back to the hotel we grabbed Mexican ‘to-go’ for a late lunch early dinner.

The weather pattern in DC was pretty consistent during our time there; stinking hot and humid all day, until big storms blow in at about 5pm, heavy rain til around 7pm and its all clear again. This meant time for an evening stroll around the delightful streets with colourful terraces. It was so fun chasing the sun on the Supreme Court with the ominous big black clouds approaching. There was a buzz in DC, reporters, high security presence and always something happening!

Day 22

A metro train station was located just a couple of streets away from our hotel so I hopped on the fully accessible Metro to save battery power….great idea but …..whoops I went the wrong direction to meet Steve at the Lincoln memorial! It was pretty easy to get off at the next stop and get a train back the way I was meant to be going. But of course Steve beat me to the Lincoln Memorial! We had our Forest Gump moment and found the Martin Luther King I have a Dream speech inscribed in marble on the very place he gave his inspiring address.  Unfortunately, the elevator to the top of the stairs was broken but we met a lovely family from California whose son Michael offered to run up the stairs to take some pics of Lincoln Statue for us. So kind!

Then we visited the Vietnam memorial and onto the North lawn and front of The Whitehouse. Saw loads of secret service just standing around looking important. After a great photo session we decided to visit the Museum of American History. It had great exhibits on transport, inventions, first ladies’ dresses, American stories and an awesome film American Musical Journey 3D starring Aloe Blacc. This showcased the variety of American musical genres from Louis Armstrong to Gloria Estefan and Elvis. It made me very happy! Steve and I spent a beautiful dinner together at the Hawk and Dove Tavern, followed by a magical stroll around the capitol buildings all lit up – we were in awe!!!

Capitol South Metro Station with lift access and flat train gap

Its impressive that all DC Metro stations and trains are accessible – I just needed to figure where to get on and which way I was going!

History buff Steve at the Lincoln Memorial
From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflection Pool and Washington Monument in the background


Day 23

We took a fascinating tour of the Capitol Building with a great guide called Charles. The first part was a movie on the short history of the US Union since the first 13 states. Such exquisite detail on the dome. We almost went in to witness Congress in action but it was a long wait so instead we went through the tunnel to the incredible Library of Congress and its captivating great hall!! Ice cream and National Botanical Gardens. Motorcade went by think it was Trumpy….or was it a decoy?

DC was a city of contradictions. We were struck by the lush green space and gardens, contrasted with the incredibly strong architecture. There were reporters, and lawyers and armed people everywhere and yet it felt like we were welcome, and the wheelchair access was awesome. It was extremely humid, with rain storms almost every afternoon – but they didn’t last long. During the day there was a buzz in this place and at night DC was enchanting. DC, you totally captivated us!

The exquisite dome of the Capitol Building
Stunning architecture in the Capitol Building
Lush and expansive gardens in DC

Day 24 

Travel day. Sadly our time in DC was short but very sweet! We took 2 shuttles to Dulles Airport and got the airport train to the Gate! A new experience for me and very accessible. In fact, we had exceptional service from United staff Terri and Warner, which helped us cope with a 2 hr delay. Next stop Vegas baby!


Transport options


All Metro train stations are accessible!

Buses are also accessible

Wandering / wheeling around most of DC is doable

Accessible taxis are available

Super Shuttle to airport was ok however a word of warning – we had to book 2 accessible shuttles (for powerchair and scooter).  The first was fine but the 2nd vehicle was a bit dodgy ie driver did not secure my chair properly and we stopped suddenly along the way which meant I hurt my foot. He was also watching the soccer world cup and talking on the phone rather than concentrating on driving in the wet. But we survived the wild ride!

Accommodation details


Washington DC Capitol Hill Hotel

200 C. Street, S.E., Washington, D.C.

Ph: 0011.1.202.543.6000

Accessible Queen Room with Roll in shower

Unfortunately, the bed in our room was too low and had square legs so our bed raisers wouldn’t work, so we experimented with different mattress configurations – not great so if bed height is an issue call to discuss before booking. Great roll in shower.

Our support workers stayed in a one bedroom suite with full kitchen but this was located in a second building so not ideal. Although we did have more privacy.

Length of stay 4 nights – saw most of the big attractions although you could stay for weeks to see all of the Smithsonian!


The Capitol Building Tour – we were easily able to join a tour when we arrived at the Capitol Building. Very accessible with lifts throughout, helpful staff and assistance to use the audio headsets. Free of charge.

Museum of American History – again easily accessible and free!

So many lush gardens and interesting public spaces – such an accessible and fascinating city! Plenty of good pathways to wheel everywhere.

Accessible tips


Dc is one of the most wheelchair accessible cities in the world! We found wheeling around was a great option, but the Metro is also a good way to get around and save battery power. It was hot in July so choose a cooler time of the year if the heat affects you.


The Big Apple of My Eye – NYC – Part 2

Day 14

After 6 nights exploring the gorgeous Upper West Side we checked out of the Hotel Beacon to move down to our next location in the Times Square/Midtown area, so we could be closer to the attractions. Our support workers needed two taxis to lug all of our gear, while we meandered through Central Park. So many people enjoying a leisurely Sunday in the park, warm weather and the jazz quartet were enchanting. Crazy busy wheel down 5th Ave – I had no idea that Tiffany’s has 4 levels!! Lunch on the go from our favourite chain store Pret a Manger for healthy fresh wraps and sandwiches – such helpful staff opening our drinks, wiping my table – nothing was a problem!!

Nothing like live jazz in the park

Made it to Times Square for some photo opportunities. The sheer chaos of the advertising, people everywhere, traffic – a real assault on the senses. Saw the famous big ball and a naked lady playing guitar! After entering the wrong hotel, we found The Stewart Hotel, a lovely 89 year old building recently refurbished but still has its old world charm. Situated opposite Madison Square Garden and near to Penn Station the Stewart has a stylish art deco lobby, however wheelchair access was a bit inconvenient via heavy double doors and an extra lift at the side entrance. Our suite was on the 16th floor and had an iconic NYC street view. And it was loud, very loud, so we got amongst the chaos with drinks at an Irish pub called Fiele and dinner next door at the Blarney Rock Irish pub – the salad, bangers and mash were a nice break from American style food!!

We found the cycleway along Broadway a good way to travel but you need to be careful and watch for all sorts of traffic!
The beautiful foyer of the Stewart Hotel
View from our room on the 16th floor of the Stewart Hotel

Day 15

Another hot day in New York city and it continued to amaze us. Bryant Park was a moment of tranquility after the harsh reality of Midtown and Times Square. The NYC Library grandeur and history was spectacular, as was the bustling and beautiful Grand Central Station. Both very accessible and well worth a look. We were still pinching ourselves that we were in New York!!

Bryant Park
New York Public Library steps (ramp entrance to the left side)
The stunning McGraw Rotunda inside the Library
Grand Central Station – loved the ceiling!!

We took advantage of staying right near the bustling Penn Station and booked our train tickets to DC directly at the station a few days before our departure.  I had tried to book online before the trip but the measurements of mobility devices allowed on trains looked tight for Steve’s scooter so we were crossing our fingers. We received help from an eccentric, brash stationmaster called Brandel (although we think he looks like Super Mario!). It was like a Mr Bean episode as he took us from the special assistance queue to a lift which never arrived… then we followed him into the loading dock into Penn Station…. into the goods lift which closed on Steve as he went walkabout to return the keys. Brandel then followed us around Penn Station like we were his adopted kids, and made sure the booking officer looked after us. We didn’t think he was going to leave us alone but in the end Brandel was quite helpful giving us mobile numbers for the red hats, so they can help with luggage on the day we leave NYC. Memorable experience!

Super Mario Brandel (left), Steve and a Penn Station security guard
Penn Station

Day 16

You can hop on cruises around Manhattan at both Midtown and the Downtown areas of the city. We were staying in Midtown so it was about a 25 minute wheel to Pier 83 (lots of construction to navigate). The Circle Line were nothing but helpful in getting us booked and onboard our accessible 90 minute Landmarks cruise. Thanks to my amazing friends Anita and Melissa for their generous gift of a Citypass which covered this attraction’s ticket. What a thrill to see Lady Liberty up close, travel under the Brooklyn Bridge and see a different perspective of this incredible city from the water, all set to fascinating and witty commentary by our guide David. Definitely a highlight of our time in NYC! (I know this because I was so excited I bought the souvenir photo pack).

The Downtown end of NYC from the Hudson River
Lady Liberty
Great wheelchair accessible cruise, and you can sit inside and outside on the boat

Next we set off along The Highline, which follows the old train tracks and rooftops through NYC. It was a very accessible and groovy way to explore the ever-changing cityscape and take shelter in its much-needed shady nooks! Exiting by ‘elevator’ (as no one knows what lifts are here) at Chelsea, we set east to the cosmopolitan Flatiron district. Steve was in photography heaven and I mingled with other tourists before queuing for delicious gelato from Eataly🍦 That evening it was “all that jazz” with my friend Leah and I at Chicago on Broadway, while Steve did a night time photo shoot. This city has it all!!

The accessible Highline is a great way to explore NYC
Chicago has been playing for 16 years at the Ambassador Theatre on Broadway!
Times Square all lit up at night

Day 17

After a later start we drove in our chairs back to the Flatiron district and checked out bustling Madison Ave Park. Explored Union Square Farmers Market and Gramercy area. Traffic so bad that an ambulance couldn’t get through so pedestrians started directing traffic! I love NYC! Arrived at Washington Square Arch where a woman dressed as a “handmaid” was doing a silent protest campaigning for refugee children not to be removed from their parents. Not listening to the news whilst holidaying we were a bit out of touch from current affairs so it was good to have a chat with the woman who was a teacher, and learn what was going on. Visited the political stall set up in the square and bought an anti-gun badge. Great to see grass roots action in this democratic hotspot!

Farmers Market in Union Square
Where to next Caz?
Washington Square
Silent protest about children being separated from their parents – very moving and clever (you will understand if you have seen The Handmaid’s Tale)
Us at Washington Square. Photography by 2 young female English tourists and we returned the favour

$1 pizza in SoHo as recommended by some friendly NYPD. The cast iron district had great architecture with almost every building having the famous fire-stairs. Wheeled back to our hotel along new streets with secret gardens some beautiful churches.

Day 18

We took separate taxis downtown to the very moving 911 Memorial and Museum. Mixed emotions, but mainly sadness. So many stories and so very well curated. The resilience of the people of New York shone through the darkness. We went on to check out the Wall Street Financial District, Girl and Bull statue and Battery Park. Steve drove his scooter all the way back to Times Square while I cabbed it to save power!  Dinner at the Molly Wee Irish pub – a really fun place! A day of absolute contrast.

The Memorial has every name of the 2996 people killed in the 911 attacks inscribed in bronze


Every day at 12.30 there is an open call for musicians to gather and play The Requiem. At this point I totally lost it
One of the two Pools of Reflection exactly where the twin towers stood
The girls and some stalker in the background
Our new friends at the Molly Wee Irish Pub made us feel so welcome and served up fab grub!

Day 19

One last day exploring as many iconic buildings as we can. Macy’s, Chrysler Building, the United Nations Headquarters.



We topped off this epic adventure with the Empire State Experience at sunset. Spectacular. Romantic. Magical. New York you’ve been an absolute blast….concrete jungle where dreams are made….we’ve wheeled 120kms around you and seen, smelt and felt so many incredible things. Now we are ready for a relaxing train journey south to the capital.



Accommodation details Stewart Hotel

371 Seventh Avenue at 31st Street

New York, New York 10001

T: 1-212-563-1800

Skylar Simonovsky was an excellent email contact and I got to meet him at the hotel. He sent room photos and answered all my questions.

One Bedroom Suite – Two Double Beds – Accessible

Although small like most hotels in NYC, space was tight but do-able. We had a small kitchen, 2 bathrooms (one with good roll in shower), a view, a separate bedroom with 2 double beds and a sofa in the lounge. Laundromat in the hotel. Great central location, but it was noisy. Sirens, church bells, horns. Housekeeping service was average.

Length of stay 12 nights in NYC – this allowed us to see a lot but we could stay a year!

Hotel Beacon – 6 nights was about right

Stewart Hotel – 6 nights was about right although if we went again we would not stay in Midtown/Times Square as its too noisy.

Transport Options Loads of accessible taxis

The Subway is NOT a good option for wheelchair users

Buses are accessible

We found wheeling places was the best way and allowed us to get a real feel of the place by being part of the street crowd. And its pretty easy to navigate around NYC as its a numbered grid. But it can take some time so leave extra time for navigating crowds and stopping for photos!

Penn Station is where most trains to other cities leave from ie Washington DC. AMTRAK cater very well for people with disability and give discounts for pwd and companions.



Yankees Stadium

Paul Ward – Coordinator, Disabled Services & Guest Relations

T: 1 646 977 8822

Accessible tips


I posted a box of medical supplies to the hotel in the middle of our trip, to save on baggage weight and luggage room – this worked really well.

Arrange your transport from the airport before your trip. There are 3 airports in New York so check which one you fly into.

NYC is huge – so try to cover one area in one day so you are not backtracking as you will be exhausted and your batteries won’t last.

Take your charger with you each day to top up your batteries.

The bedroom in our suite at the Stewart Hotel. Just enough room for hoist. Wheelchair had to stay in loungeroom.