Sunday, May 28, 2017

AMC Shirlington - Reserved Seat Recliner Theater


Date of Visit: May 28, 2017

In looking at showtimes to go see the new Pirates movie I found that a lot of the showings were reserved seat, which is kind of annoying to me, but now I get that these are recliner theaters that they seem to have put into a lot of the AMCs in our area. We just got tickets at the theater, but it is nice that you can do it online easily for accessible and companion if you want, which I suppose is actually a good thing because there have been one or two times that we've gone to the movies and there were no wheelchair spots left.


The only real problem with the recliner theater is that they do not end up having cupholders for the wheelchair seat. In the regular theater this has never been a problem because the seats always have them on both sides so there's enough for the person in the seat and the wheelchair next to it. The recliners only have them on the aisles and the middle armrest doesn't have one. I guess it doesn't because that armrest can be put up, but I don't see why they couldn't have made them with a cupholder like middle seat armrests in cars.


Overall we all really enjoyed the recliner theater. Mik definitely wants to do it again, but now that we know what the theater looks like we would probably actually take the seats on the sides in the back row that are not marked as accessible, but we could easily roll next to and transfer Mik to a recliner. That way he not only gets the whole experience, but more importantly a cupholder.

Destination Info:
AMC Shirlington 7
2772 S Randolph St
Arlington, VA 22206

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hyatt House Herndon/Reston


Date of Visit: May 20-21, 2017

Location wise this ended up being farther out from D.C. than I thought, but it didn't really matter in that we were just trying to stay somewhere sort of close for a reasonable rate while Dad had a party on our boat. It ended up being a good option in that it was cheaper than most of the Hyatt Place locations that I could've chosen and you get a kitchenette at the Hyatt House. However, I more chose the Hyatt House because they supposedly have a hot breakfast included rather than just the Hyatt Place more continental breakfast, but that didn't seem to be true in this case.


We stayed in an accessible studio room. Overall we liked the layout, but it seemed a little tight to move the chair through, which I know partially has to do with Mik now has a wider wheelchair (we just switched out our home ramp to a standard ADA 36-inch, though, and it is not a tight fit at all). The only real problem was that the living room chair made the path too narrow to get to the rest of the room, but that was easily fixed just by moving it closer to the couch a little.


Mik liked the bathroom layout as he found it easy to get on the toilet himself since the wall and bars were to the left of the toilet. I was disappointed in that it was a tub, but I couldn't find our reservation saying I booked a roll-in shower specifically even though I really think I did. Not that we really needed it for one night, but the tub really was useless as even if they have seats you can request the shower head is not removable and I had to stand on the edge of the tub to move it just to be able to even take a shower myself since it was set up at a very awkward angle.


The breakfast was really disappointing to us, especially since we have stayed at the Hyatt House in San Diego several times and they offered a real full breakfast buffet similar to the ones at Hyatt Regency restaurants. This breakfast at the Hyatt House Herndon, though, is basically the same as the typical ones we have had at a Hyatt Place.


The only difference was they had little omelets instead of the breakfast sandwiches, which was better in my opinion because they didn't have any meat in them. They have signs everywhere saying you can create your own omelet, which I thought was like the other Hyatt full buffets were they are made to order right in front of you, but it is actually just a little topping bar of things to put on top of the mini omelets.


We were also disappointed the room didn't have a DVD player, which I specifically remember being in the room amenities/features when I was booking. They do have it setup so you can easily plug in such devices to the TV, so I guess it may just be that feature is badly worded on the website.

Destination Info:
Hyatt House Herndon/Reston
467 Herndon Parkway
Herndon, Virginia 20170

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Renwick Gallery

Date of Visit: May 2, 2017

Considering Mik enjoys art galleries, I'm not sure why I often overlooked suggesting the Renwick Gallery for an outing, especially since I remember it having a permanent exhibit in the Grand Salon that was my favorite back when I first lived in D.C. However, I now have been reminded that the Renwick Gallery closed for several years recently and they no longer have what I think was called something like Treasures of the Smithsonian. The exhibit in there now did turn out to be Mik's favorite part of the permanent exhibits, though.


As a historic building that was the first art museum in the United States, it is not surprising that the main front entrance is not accessible. The accessible entrance was easy to find on the 17th Street side of the building. While it does mean you enter through the basement that is more of a staff entrance, it is very well designed including a button operated door. There was also friendly security/bag check that didn't just point us to the elevator, but told us which level was for the temporary exhibits and which was for the permanent without even having to ask for information.

We started our visit with the temporary exhibits on the first floor. Since we came up the elevator, we ended up starting in the middle of the June Schwarcz exhibit, although you easily can navigate it from the start if you turn left for the center of the building instead of right into the exhibit like we did.



The June Schwarcz exhibit ended up being Mik's favorite part of the museum. He particularly enjoyed the bowls. He also had fun photographing them in different magic modes on his camera, especially since the museum has signs everywhere encouraging photography, which is the opposite of many art museums.

The first floor also has a gift shop, which normally I wouldn't mention even though gift shops are a must visit for Mik. However, this one is worth mentioning because the first thing Mik noticed about it is in the entry area there is a companion bathroom.


The second floor houses the permanent exhibits. Overall this area didn't interest us much. We did enjoy the little exhibit about the building's history, though. Mik also liked the carpet in the Grand Salon. The sparseness and just a hanging artwork and carpet make the space nice for multi-use, but the simple exhibit there really disappoints me in comparison to what it used to house.

Destination Info:
Renwick Gallery
1661 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20006

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