Ben turned 40 on July 8th. We had cake at home on the actual day and then went out for dinner and drinks to celebrate over the weekend.
The rain didn’t put a damper on that night. Dinner was great and drinks after were just as fun!…except when I almost had to punch a couple of 20something year olds out! When I’m in places that have tight spaces and a lot of people, it’s usually better if I have an escort. In this case, two. I had to use the bathroom and since it was located across from the bar, which was down a hallway filled with people who were hanging out at the bar, I had two escorts. Ben’s cousin, Jaye, walked ahead of me and led the way and my friend, Wade, walked behind me. Usually when I’m “escorted” at a bar, someone walks in front of me saying something like, “Excuse me…can you make some room?” and dirty looks are given (like…what’s the matter, you can’t fit?!?), until they see me trailing from behind. And in usual fashion, this is what happened with most of the people we encountered on our walk to the bathroom. But these girls, took it a step further. Both Jaye and Wade weren’t rude. They were very polite and weren’t pushy, apparently, these girls just thought that their s**t didn’t stink. Jaye politely asked if they could step aside so I could walk through. They stared him down and then stepped aside. Then I followed, right behind him, and she proceeded to extend both her arms out and make this motion with her hands as if saying, “Here you go, is this enough room?” Maybe she couldn’t tell that I had prosthetics b/c it was very dark in the bar, but my crutches were very much visible. And in any event, it shouldn’t matter. So I paused, looked at her, and said very sternly, “Calm the f**k down.” and then continued my walk to the bathroom. Get that stick out of your ass…
“Manhattanhenge” – sometimes referred to as the Manhattan Solstice — is an event during which the setting sun is aligned with the east–west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan, New York City. This occurs twice a year, on dates evenly spaced around the summer solstice.
On that same day, we also ran into ECTO-1!!!
It looked like they were doing some press in the actual car, so they drove it around while doing the interview…two birds, one stone. Pretty cool.
The second wedding we attended was in July, on a farm in NJ. It was the wedding celebration of one of my closest girlfriends. The terrain of this wedding was a little more difficult to navigate, but once I made the trek to flat ground, all was good. Bride and groom looked beautiful and despite it being super hot that day, we had a great time! Love ya Steph!
During the wedding, Steph came up to me and told me that her friend, Dina, wanted to meet me and if it was ok if she introduced us…Sure! (Dina – It was great to meet you and can’t wait to get together!) It’s always super humbling when someone wants to meet me b/c they know “my story”, what happened to me, and follow my blog. I always feel like I’m not worthy, b/c you know, I’m just doing my thing, trying to figure out life as my new normal. Always appreciate the praise and acknowledgement though, and happy to meet new people and answer any questions they might have!
Since the wedding was in South Jersey, a bunch of us stayed overnight at a hotel nearby. The hotel and room were great, the shower, not so much. One of the first things I do now, when checking into a hotel, is check out the bathroom situation, specifically, the shower. I need to see if it’s a roll-in shower or tub, and if it’s a tub, I need to make sure the hotel provides me with a shower chair or bench. I asked the gentleman at the front desk about the shower while we were checking in and he told me it was a tub shower and that the tub had a bench attached to it that folded down. Oh, ok..great! Ok…now take a look at the two pics below..
You look at the first picture and you think, “Oh, it’s got all these bars in the shower…great! It must be super accessible!” But upon further inspection, I think to myself, all these bars must just be a distraction or diversion to throw you off the foolishness of the rest of the shower design. Note where the handheld shower is…all the way at the top by the shower head that’s in the wall. Yes, the handheld is on a sliding bar, but if it’s positioned all the way at the top, unreachable to someone that may be fully wheelchair bound, the fact that it’s on a sliding bar, is, irrelevant. See picture 2 for such a scenario. I’m not fully wheelchair bound, by any means, but I take off my prosthetics prior to getting in the shower. So when I go to take a shower, I am wheelchair bound. Ok, let’s say for argument sake, the handheld wasn’t positioned all the way at the top and I could reach it. Now, let’s refer back to picture 1. If I were seated on the bench, that’s attached to the wall, all the way at the other end of the shower, how am I supposed to reach the handheld shower head from there?…am I to use my Go Go Gadget Arms?!? Last I checked, I’m not Inspector Gadget, so that’s not possible. Oh, and last, but not least, when we turned the water on, it came out from the shower head that’s attached to the wall, and in order for it to come out of the handheld, you had to push the button…wait for it…that’s attached to the top of the wall shower head! WTF?!? Ok, I wasn’t alone, so Ben was able to bring the handheld shower down and give it to me once I was seated on the bench. And even then, it barely reached. I had to lean forward just so the handheld could reach my back.
Now, let’s say I was by myself. How would this play out?… I take off my prosthetics, get undressed, and wheel into the shower. Oh, I can’t reach the handheld. I guess I’ll have to get dressed and call the front desk. Hi..can you send someone up b/c I can’t reach anything in order to take a shower! Said person will come to my room, bring the handheld down, wait as I turn on the water and wait for it to be at the optimal temperature, and once at the right temp, push the button on top of the shower head so that the water will transfer over to the handheld. Oh wait, you can’t leave just yet. Now I have to transfer from my wheelchair onto the bench. Once I’m seated on the bench, you’ll have to hand me the handheld, b/c even though you brought it down and off of the sliding bar, I can’t reach it from the bench. And now, I’m sitting in the shower, fully clothed, holding the handheld. Now, you can leave…thanks. And now, I, will have to loop the handheld through one of the bars, get undressed, and pull the shower curtain all the way over to the other end (not sure how I’m supposed to get that accomplished solo..as I had Ben pull it once I got it b/c I couldn’t get it to reach all the way) and start my shower. Once I’m done with my shower, I’ll need to take certain steps if I have/want to shower again. Yes..the fun is not over. I’ll need to make sure I loop the handheld through one of the bars again, so it’s readily accessible for the next time. I grab the towel and dry off a little, before getting back into my wheelchair. Once out of the shower and in my wheelchair, I can roll over to the other end of the shower and shut the water off. I mean….really? Don’t they test these rooms and set ups out? It doesn’t seem like someone actually tested out the shower set up, but instead, had a checklist of things that were needed and just installed them. IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!
The day after my birthday, we went up to Greenwood Lake, in upstate NY. One of my friends, one of the ESU (NYPD) guys that saved my life, lives up there and his family runs a Bed and Breakfast…WATERSTONE INN. Go and check it out! Book a stay! Tell them Teena sent you =) Teehee.
Had such a great time just hanging out and relaxing. I wasn’t able to go swimming in the lake, since I was lazy, and didn’t pack an extra set of liners..next time. But…I did get on a waverunner/jet ski (I don’t know the difference…) for the first time! I’d never been on a waverunner before, even when I had my legs. It was awesome. Sean had me drive a bit..it almost feels like driving a motorcycle in the water. Not that I’ve ever driven a motorcycle either…but I assume…since you have to lean into your turns and it drives better when you go faster, like a motorcycle. Thought I was gonna send myself flying or tip the two of us over, luckily, we didn’t end up in the water.
Gotta go back in the fall. Apple picking season! Visit the vineyard, drink some wine, pick some apples (I’ll watch, while others pick!), do some shopping (they’re only about 25 min from Woodbury Common Outlets)
Some randomness…we were on a shopping trip at Target, when we came across this..Ben and I picked up the book and started flipping through it, just to see the kinds of scenarios that were in there, and what does he end up flipping to..?!? Hah…coincidence?
And last, but certainly not least, I got my “skin” legs. I think I may have to make this a 3 parter. I want to show everyone pics of the legs, but I also want tell you all about the process of having them made and share pics of the process. I want to give it it’s own post.
I will try and get that up before the weekend is up. Stay tuned.
To Be Continued…
A sneak peak..