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I love to travel. I love traveling to Southern California. I am from Southern California and I do miss it. I love the beach, the smell of the salt in the air and the breeze. So I do try and go to the beach when I get to travel to California.
Being disabled, however, tends to put a kink in going for me. Disability access or wheelchair access is pretty much non-existent in Southern California. I was randomly reading stuff on the internet and I came across this post from The Orange County Register.
It said that some California beaches have free beach wheelchair rentals! I was so excited! This is a way for me to go to the beach, I am unable to stand for very long or walk very far due to my pain and muscle fatigue and muscle cramping.
So I called down to Huntington Beach because they are listed in this article. I love Huntington Beach! I grew up going to Huntington Beach with my aunt. So we planned our trip this past September with a beach day!
We parked by the Huntington Beach Pier. We went and got lunch at Ruby's Diner on the Pier. It's a 2 story Ruby's Diner restaurant. They do have an elevator for people in wheelchairs. It is one of those small lift ones and will only fit 1 chair at a time.
We ordered hamburger's and french fries which are Ruby's Diner staples. If you have never eaten at a Ruby's Diner I highly recommend it. Its old-fashioned diner food and it's delicious! They have very 50's and 60's decor like old records from the Beach Boy's, Jan and Dean and other Southern California memorabilia.
Then we walked back down the Pier and to Zack's HB. They do all sorts of beach rental stuff and sell food. So I rolled in with my wheelchair and asked to rent a beach wheelchair. They just asked for a photo ID and had me fill out a rental form. It was really easy.
They kept my wheelchair and brought out the beach wheelchair. Now, this thing looks intimidating. It has paddle tires so they are huge. They helped me get on it and my daughter tried to start pushing me. I say tried because they are easier to pull than push.
She got me all the way to where the sand starts and then REALLY started having problems. So my friend who was with us tried to help her. Let's just say it wasn't going well. I do weigh a lot so that might have had something to do with it and one of the tires seemed flat. So many issues I am guessing. We were going nowhere fast and losing steam!
So I got up and walked while they pulled this thing down the sand.
I had to stop every so often to sit because I can't stand or walk for long periods. We eventually got it down to the water! Yea!!! I sat on it while the other 2 went walking and looking for seashells.
I actually was so happy just to be there since I haven't been in so long. I was hoping for it to be easier... but it wasn't. I am just telling you my/our experience with it. I don't want anyone reading this to get discouraged if this is something you want to try I believe you should try it! I just want people reading articles like this one in the OC Register, to realize they are not as easy to use as newspaper articles may lead us to believe.
But it was hard...when we left I had my daughter go and asked the lifeguard if they could help us. One of the lifeguards came and drove me in their truck up to the path. She was so sweet.
I am so glad I did get to experience it and now I can tell everyone about it, I got a cool photo (see the 1st one) and most importantly I got to stick my feet in the ocean (in the slideshow)!
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