— Bilbo Baggins’ response to Gandalf’s proposed adventure in J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT.
It’s so much easier to stay home, whether home is a hobbit-hole in Middle-earth or a wheelchair-accessible, voice-controlled, single-story house in the city. Nevertheless, Kim and I occasionally feel the urge to venture forth into the disabled-unfriendly world beyond, orcs and goblins be damned.
Kim’s eBay business, her side job, turned a sweet profit in 2016, so we’re going on a cruise. The only other cruise we've been on was 7 years ago (photos below).
The logistics of a vacation like this are daunting. Here are a few issues we’ve had to deal with during the planning stages:
- Finding a wheelchair accessible cabin on a cruise ship. This is not difficult, but does limit our choices.
- Figuring out how, in said cabin, I will get from wheelchair to bed and from wheelchair to shower, among other places.
- Deciding whether to fly to Florida one day before cruise departure or take our chances and fly the morning of. Having an extra day is safer, but requires us to spend another night in a hotel, which is a lot of work for us.
- Finding airline seats with arms that lift so I can slide into the seat from the aisle.
- Finding a good cushion for me to sit on during the flight. Because I am unable to adjust my position, long flights can be terribly uncomfortable.
- Deciding how many and which wheelchairs to bring and which one to transfer from at the mouth of the airplane. How will I accomplish the transfer, how do we pack the wheelchair, and which wheelchair attachments do we bring on the plane?
- How will I get from the airport to the cruise ship?
- What if it snows on the East Coast?
- How many days’ worth of extra medications should I bring, in the unlikely event we have trouble returning home because of airline delays, or worse, because we’re floating around the Gulf of Mexico in a disabled cruise ship where everyone is puking and the toilets are clogged for a week?
- At each port of call, what are the wheelchair accessible excursions available to me?
What will go wrong? It will be something, and it will probably be something we never anticipated.
Are we crazy for even attempting this?
Note to criminals who can't believe their good fortune in me announcing that my house is available for burglary: my house is not available for burglary. We have house and dog sitters, and you don’t want to mess with my dog, Phoebe. That would be akin to waking a sleeping Dragon.
Trivia question: what was the name of the sleeping Dragon in The Hobbit, and what was the name of the mountain where he slept?
Double bonus trivia question: who were the armies in the battle of 5 armies?