Jean and Elaine loaded the car on Tuesday morning. Jack was snuggled securely in his seat and we hit the road. We were heading to Wexford in the sunny south east. The journey is approximately 200 Km each way.
We made our first pit-stop in Leamybrien, Co. Waterford in an Applegreen Service Station. Having a cuppa and a break from driving is important on any journey and equally important for me and other people with impaired mobility is the accessibility of the premises and the washroom facilities.
The forecourt has ample car parking spaces with a designated parking space adjacent to each entrance door and the foot paths are appropriately dished. The premises is very accessible with a wide range of snacks, both hot and cold and the fully accessible washroom was exactly that – accessible. It was bright, airy and spacious with all the appropriate rails; it also had a low level sink, mirror and hand dryer.
We arrived in Wexford in time for lunch with my sister Anita before heading over to Carne Beach where I had my first experience of a beach wheelchair. Beach wheelchairs are now widely available – check this link. The wheelchair is very low to the ground, cumbersome and hard to steer but and this is a BIG BIG BUT it allowed me access to a sandy beach for the first time in many years. I sat there for more than an hour with the salty, sandy wind blowing in my face while I watched Jack go play in the sea, build sandcastles and run up and down the sand dunes. Overall it was a brilliant afternoon.
We then visited St Helen’s Bay Golf Club for some further refreshment. Designated parking is available as is an accessible washroom. It is accessible and has the appropriate rails.
We stayed overnight with Anita and her husband Jim before heading for home the following morning. We diverted on our way home to meet my niece Ann-Marie and her infant daughter Jess. We had arranged to meet in Drinagh Retail Park, Wexford in Kelly’s Cafe which is located within Meadow’s & Byrne. There is a large selection of hot and cold snacks and meals available. Our selection was beautiful. There is ample car parking with a number of designated spaces. The spacious accessible washroom had everything that was required except an emergency pull cord.
We headed for home and stopped in Leamybrien again before travelling the last section of our journey.
A thoroughly enjoyable trip and sincere thanks to everyone involved in making it happen. It will be remembered for a long time. Photographic evidence of our trip.