Justin wearing mask, sitting in wheelchair, looking at bookshelves in bookstore
Accessibility (#A11y), Music, travel

Austin Trip: Music, Fun & Accessibility

Some of the things I like to do when travelling or any time is to listen to live music, explore, and learn a bit about where I’m traveling. My parents and I flew to Austin, Texas, in mid-November. We didn’t have anything specific on the agenda except:

  • Check out live music
  • Go to the LBJ Library and Austin City Limits tour
  • See the house where my dad’s family lived after moving from Minnesota to Austin when my dad was in college
  • Explore South Congress, Rainey Street, the Hill Country, etc.
  • Eat barbecue
  • And my mom always drags us to at least one Farmer’s Market and a local, independent bookstore

Music

We went to a couple places to listen to live music. We saw a couple free shows at Saxon Pub which was fun. Parking was a little tricky. Found an accessible spot around the corner the first night. We had so much fun listening to David Grissom that night, so we went back the next night, too, and got a spot to sit right up front. Fun place to hear local music.

On our last night in Austin, we got tickets to see Drive-by Truckers and Buffalo Nichols at The Scoot Inn.  This was an outdoor show and was awesome! We got there early because as out-of-towners, we didn’t know what to expect for lines and getting in and finding a spot that worked for me in a wheelchair. The staff saw me get in line and had me and my parents come up front, checked our COVID vaccine status and tickets and let us go in right away before the doors opened. This was awesome and really a great thing to do. I was able to find a good spot up on the deck so didn’t have to worry about people standing in front of me and blocking my view. And, I was first in line at the merch tables! New cd’s for me from both Drive-by Truckers and Buffalo Nichols! If you haven’t checked out any of these musicians before – the holidays are coming up – treat yourself and support musicians!

How was accessibility?

Sidewalks & I HATE Scooters! (I swear for the love of God!)

Seriously people, if you use electric scooters – please for the love of God, don’t leave them in the middle of the sidewalks! If my parents wouldn’t have been with me (had my manual wheelchair, so someone had to push my chair), I would have been stuck so many times because apparently, scooter people are inconsiderate, selfish jerks who don’t realize that scooters left in a middle of a sidewalk mean that I can’t get through or around and am as stuck as I would be with a couple inches un-shoveled snow on a Minnesota sidewalk.

Hey, people who use scooters: it may be convenient, but don’t have to drop them wherever. Please do NOT be selfish. I’m not trying to say everybody using electric scooters are selfish jerks, but the picture down below shows my dad clearing a path. Of course, there were more around the corner…

Man standing looking at scooters, back of Justin in wheelchair with path ahead blocked by scooters
For the love of God, DON’T LEAVE YOUR SCOOTERS ON THE SIDEWALK!!!

Hotel Shower…Almost

We stayed at a Hilton Homewood Suites in downtown Austin. This may be weird, but one of the first photos we took in Austin, was the awesome roll-in shower in a bathroom that was large enough for a wheelchair user. Those of you who have been following my quest to find an apartment with a wheelchair accessible bathroom that works for me, know this is an elusive quest. Of course, all that appears to be accessible, isn’t always so.

Discovery the next morning – hand-held sprayer was broken and is needed to spray off my hair and back of me in my shower chair. Also, if someone would have been using the fold down bench, they wouldn’t have been able to reach the shower controls at the other end of the shower. We let the weekend front desk person know (it was Saturday) and didn’t hear anything that day or the next about getting it repaired. Let the Monday morning person know again that the sprayer didn’t work and it really didn’t work at this point to move all of our stuff to another room. That person let us know as we got back from our meandering that day, that a new part needed to be ordered and they’d be able to get it fixed on Tuesday. So, no hand-held sprayer for me from Saturday through Tuesday afternoon. Not cool but we were able to make do with plastic cups of water poured over me to rinse off shampoo and soap. Note to hotels: make sure that the features that make your rooms accessible are working and if not, get them repaired as quickly as possible.

Justin, a young man, sitting in manual wheelchair that's backed into a roll-in shower
Look a proper roll-in shower… too bad the hand-held sprayer didn’t work…

Fun

Here are some pics from other stuff we did around Austin including Austin City Limits tour, Farmer’s Market, Bullock History Museum, Rainey Street, and LBJ Library. All in all, it was a cool trip.

Please hit subscribe to keep up with my latest adventures. More to come soon on that elusive apartment quest.

2 thoughts on “Austin Trip: Music, Fun & Accessibility”

  1. Justin I love reading your updates. Love your perspective, humor, and photos. It’s very eye opening to understand things like leaving scooters on the sidewalk can be a challenge. People don’t always think about things like this. Thank you for bringing awareness. Take care.

    Like

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