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A Trip to DC

BrookeUBrookeU Moderator Posts: 176 Moderator
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Hi, everyone! My brother and I just went on a trip to Washington DC last week, so I thought I'd share some of our experiences. Sorry if this is long!

To preface, this was our first actual trip without our mom. We've done plenty of things without her before, but this was our first far-away trip on our own. The trip was organized around my brother's doctor appointment in Baltimore and happened to fall over my spring break. We thought there'd be more to do in DC, so we stayed there and just took the train over to Baltimore the day of his appointment.

-The airport at home we departed from had the coolest TSA agents we had seen. They didn't make him feel uncomfortable during their screening of him, and they actually had a real conversation with him rather than just telling him to learn forward and whatnot. They were minimally invasive. The airport we departed from DC was another story. They almost made us late to our flight.
-We got to board our flight first (going to DC; we were so late to the gate leaving DC that we were last), which was new for us. We used a different airline than on previous trips. My brother really liked this because he felt like he could board the plane in peace without feeling like everyone was staring at him for taking a while to get on. The airline did slightly scratch his chair when it was in cargo even though we told them to be careful, as it's brand new.
-We're fans of public transit, so we used that throughout our trip. All of the metro stations and buses in DC are accessible. The bus drivers were all extremely kind. You know how some bus drivers seem peeved that they have to put in slightly more effort when there's a wheelchair? Not these ones. Also, my brother appreciated that they didn't require him to be tied down. They asked him if he needed to be, he'd say no, and all they asked was that he put on his brakes, followed by a "You good?" before taking off. We did have to slightly alter a route when one of the metro station elevators was out, but a police officer was very helpful in pointing us in the right direction.
-The hotel room was supposed to be wheelchair accessible. It mostly was, but there were a couple of issues in the bathroom. There was a diagonal front panel under the sink that prevented him from rolling under completely, but it was not as bad as a completely vertical one. The shower...it's hard to explain, but it was a roll-in where the entrance was in the back left. The shower head (which was handheld but could only reach about halfway through the long, narrow shower) was at the front. He'd transfer into the shower chair, then I would scoot it forward far enough for the shower head to reach. The shampoo was in a dispenser attached to a high-up part of the shower that he couldn't reach, so I took a plastic bag, pumped a ton of shampoo into it, tied it to the handrail next to him, and made a small hole so he could squeeze it out. Engineering at its finest!
-The plethora of museums (most of which are free) were mostly accessible, although one of them had an elevator that was down that required we take the freight elevator...which took 10 minutes to arrive on our floor because it was being used for a private event upstairs.
-Some restaurants in the Dupont Circle area and others are down a small flight of steps, so calling ahead to make sure they're accessible is important! We forgot to call one, showed up, and were greeted by steep stairs down. Luckily, some kind strangers carried him down and back up when we left.
-Things can get a little hilly, so just know that! However, the public transit system is really great for making that easier.

Altogether, DC is one of the most accessible places we've been! Everyone was really nice and helpful. If you have any other questions about it, I'm happy to answer. I'll be posting a long story about a very specific experience we had there, so stay tuned for that :)


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