Friday, February 25, 2011

Legoland California

Handicap ParkingNormally Legoland California is not worth visiting for us, mostly because there are no wheelchair accessible rides, but also since it really is mostly for the younger kids.  However, we still like seeing the Miniland and other stuff made out of LEGOs and Mik loves browsing the shops.  Plus, we got a good deal on tickets from Groupon back in November 2010 and also got a ticket to come back before end of March 2011.


This time we mainly went to use the free ticket before it expired and Mik wanted to finally get the castle he had saved his allowance for.  Mik also wanted to check out the new Ninjago stuff, although of course he could have done that elsewhere, he just likes the Big Shop being all LEGO stuff together.  Sadly, the LEGO Castle was part of the stuff no longer available along with most of the Harry Potter sets.  Worse was that he found the Ninja stuff he had been so excited about coming out this year to be rather boring and mostly not Ninja seeming.
LEGO Car
Still had fun checking out other stuff at Legoland and playing with the drawing mode on his new camera.  He also enjoyed playing some of the LEGO video games in the Xbox Family Game Space.  The new Hero Factory was not that interesting, but only because we do not like Bionicle style LEGOs.  It was nice that the LEGO Factory Tour had more of the machines actually working, although not entirely as seems usual.

Photos by Mik and Kjersti
Text by Kjersti

Destination Info:
Legoland California
One Legoland Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Legoland California: Hero Factory

Hero FactoryThe Hero Factory is a new area you can actually build with some LEGO stuff.  Mik thought it was cool the seats all swung out so you could move them out of the way for him to wheel up to the table.  However, the Hero Factory line is just the new Bionicles and he finds them frustrating and not as fun as actual LEGOs.  I for one was glad when he grew out of liking Bionicles because I share the dislike of how hard it can be to snap the pieces together, him having them fall apart easily when playing with them, and me having to put them back together again.

Photo by Kjersti
Text by Kjersti with Mik's wheelchair accessibility input



Destination Info:
Legoland California
One Legoland Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Legoland California: LEGO Factory Tour

LEGO Factory Tour
The LEGO Factory tour part of Legoland is kind of cool because you can see how the LEGOs are made, although most of the machines were not working, which seems pretty typical.  Mik liked pushing the button to try to get the face on the LEGO head stamped right.  It was a little awkward to roll up to it, but doable.  Of course, most of the machines were either off or not working properly, so just more frustrating than normal.

Photo and Text by Kjersti with Mik's wheelchair accessibility input

Destination Info:
Legoland California
One Legoland Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Legoland California: Xbox Family Game Space

Xbox Family Game Space
Mik loves playing the Xbox at home, although he is not that much into the LEGO games.  Last time we went to Legoland he did not want to check out the Xbox Family Game Space, but this time he let us check it out.  It is pretty nicely set up with two game stations that are wheelchair accessible.  Also, the Lego Rock Band area does not have seats, so while not meant just for wheelchairs it works for those in wheelchairs other than the drums having a foot pedal.

Xbox Famly Game Space
Overall very wheelchair accessible and fun considering no rides at Legoland are wheelchair accessible.  However, kind of a disappointment that it had one of the screens set up for Batman instead of LEGO Star Wars (best LEGO adventure video games in my opinion).  At least there were two options, though, with the other screen having LEGO Harry Potter.

Text by Kjersti with Mik's wheelchair accessibility input
Photos by Joe (i.e. Dad)

Destination Info:
Legoland California
One Legoland Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sentinel Rest Area Westbound – Interstate 8 Mile Marker 85

Sentinel Rest Area
Totally, did not plan on doing any posts on stuff before we got to San Diego, but that was before we realized the very odd set up of the Sentinel Rest Area on the I-8. They have a picnic spot specifically designated specifically for wheelchairs, but for some reason there is absolutely nothing under the ramada. Seems like this would thus be a negative review, but it is not.
Mik at Picnic Table

While the rest of the picnic table areas are not designated as accessible, they actually all seem to have concrete picnic tables that a wheelchair can rather easily and comfortably roll up to and use. It just struck us as very odd that the accessible spot had no table, yet the whole place was rather accommodating since a wheelchair could sit at any of the picnic tables.

Empty Wheelchair Picnic Area
So, that just left us wondering why even need a place designated accessible? It is not like the path to it seemed any better or anything. Sure it probably was the closest to the handicap spots, but without a table it sure is not useful for people that use handicap spots for stamina type reasons. Of course, it is very likely at one time it did have a table.
RV Parking Spot

It also has an RV handicap parking spot.

Photos and Text by Kjersti with Mik’s Wheelchair Accessibility Input

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Exhibit at Arizona State Museum

Entrance to Arizona State MuseumYesterday, Mik and I went to the Arizona State Museum on the University of Arizona's campus to see the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Exhibit, so that he could get some extra credit in history class.  We thought we would also explore the museum, since we had not ever been there.  It ended up being a special event and quite crowded, so we just quickly saw the treaty exhibit (interestingly a not crowded area) and decided we could go back anytime the rest of the year when there are much fewer visitors.


Entrance to Arizona State MuseumI thought the entrance was a different one for wheelchairs, but I forgot they had finished a remodel right before I graduated in 2007 and wheelchairs can now enter through the front entrance.  Note that the left and center doorways have a bar in the middle, but the entrance on the right is wider and has a button to open automatically, although all the doors were kept open at all times during the special event that was going on this weekend.



Wheelchair SignDue to the crowd and it being so close to home that we can easily return at a later time when it is much less crowded, we saw very little of the museum, especially since the special exhibit was in a small room not far off to the left of the entrance area.  We did still encounter that there were steps for one exit to the exhibit, but right next to them it conveniently had a wheelchair sign with an arrow to point you back to the ramp area that you entered the exhibit from.  It is rather obvious that you have to go back that way to get out, but the sign is helpful in that the stairs lead to the restrooms and the ramp area leads in two directions from the exhibit entrance and one gets you to the restroom area without using the stairs.

Photos by Mik
Text by Kjersti with Mik's wheelchair accessibility input

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Introduction to Our Wheelchair Travel Adventures Blog

Mik and KjerstiThis blog is a joint project of brother and sister team, Mik and Kjersti.

Mik is currently a 16-year-old high school junior. Mik does not like to talk much about his early life other than he was born three months early resulting in him having cerebral palsy. He was able to walk with a walker most of the school day for a few years, but lost that ability when he hit his preteen years and grew faster than he could maintain muscle control. He has had several surgeries over the years and with the help of a baclofen pump has gotten back into using a walker in physical therapy. However, anything he does outside the home he does in a wheelchair as it allows him to actually enjoy doing things rather than wasting all his energy trying to walk with his walker.

Kjersti is a 23-year-old experienced world traveler, who had been to every continent (including Antarctica) at least once before she turned 18. Much of the traveling was done when Mik was younger and without him, but more recently she has tried hard to give Mik similar travel adventure experiences like she got to do. This started with a 75-day road trip to all 30 Major League Ballparks in the summer of 2009, which she chronicled in our All the Ballparks blog.

Recently we began planning our summer 2011 adventure of an Alaskan Disney Cruise for our mom's 50th birthday and rediscovered the reoccuring challenge of wheelchair accessibility when traveling. We have decided that it is time we finally create our own blog to share our adventures and misadventures related to wheelchair accessibility and travel.

The main focus will likely be on wheelchair accessibility reviews of places we visit, but we also plan to do posts on planning our travels and general travel blog posts updates like we did with our All the Ballparks blog.

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