It’s been a while since I did a guest post on Able2access.com so a trip to Hawaii seemed like a good time, especially as we thought of Declan a number of times during our holiday with the Curtis. We stayed on 3 islands, Big Island, Maui and Oahu. All 3 are amazing and each is very different from the others. Weather was consistently warm and sunny, with occasional rain at night. This post tries to capture some of the things that caught our eye along the way – apart from the stunning flowers and landscapes.
On the Big Island, we took part in the Kona Run. Rose and Dave ran the half marathon. Even starting at 6am, the temperature soon rose over 30 C but they ran it, no prob. Most of the rest of us did the 5k, some running, the rest strolling, along with people with wheelchairs and other mobility aids. A pleasant stroll passing through resorts and golf clubs. One of the resorts has a pool which is a lagoon opening to the sea. Apparently turtles sometimes come in. We didn’t see them but we did see the dolphins and sharks in a separate part of the pool. Imagine looking outside your hotel room window and seeing dolphins.
One thing we noticed on our travels was that some restaurants don’t have separate accessible toilets, all their toilets are accessible. Seems to work well in restaurants as there isn’t a big crowd of people arriving at the same time as you would have at a theatre.
Moving on from all things lavatorial, the pool at the resort we stayed in on the Big Island not only had ramp access to the pool area, it had hoists for the pool and hot tub. Saw the same on Oahu at Waikiki Beach.
At Hapuna Bay we enjoyed the soft white sands of one of the prettiest beaches on the Big Island, and voted best beach in USA. Many Hawaiian beaches have sharp lava or coral as various members of the group learned experientially so soft sand was welcome. There was plenty of accessible parking right at the beach front.
Moving on from the Big Island to Maui, inbetween ziplining and catching up with 4 generations of our friends the Mills, we did a little shopping. Good to see that Macy’s had thought about accessibility for dressing rooms … People with wheelchairs also dress smart and have $$$ to spend. Not sure how much is mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act or if some is just a matter of good business sense and customer focus.
Honolulu was a bit of a culture shock as it has lots of tower blocks, lots of traffic and lots of expensive shops. We stayed on Waikiki Beach and enjoyed the waves. Despite all the hustle and bustle, we noticed Starbucks make sure there is space at their tables for people with wheelchairs. However it’s worth going along the same level to Shorebird at the Outrigger which has superb views of the surf at Waikiki Beach and a bufftet breakfast we enjoyed on a couple of days, after which we didn’t need to eat untill dinner time.
Without negotiating Hawaii in a wheelchair myself, I have no idea how accessible the amazing attractions really are. The websites make the right noises, e.g. Sea Life says to let them know in advance and they will do everything they can to make sure the day is wonderful, I.e. not only that the park complies with all the relevant legislation. I guess that most holidays benefit from research and planning and especially if you want to suss out accessibility issues in advance. Luckily bloggers like Declan are raising awareness and businesses are raising their game. And there seem to be some good local sites like Accessible Hawaii as well as TripAdvisor and similar sites. We had a great time in Hawaiii and hope you enjoy wherever you go. – Aloha!