17 janvier 2008 4 17 /01 /janvier /2008 00:03
We went to Dallas, Texas. There were the four of us, John, Nick and his PA, Ben. I did not have the time to write about it while we were there. The journey went smoothly - much better than I had feared. Gatwick Airport was efficient and checked us in and dispatched us to the door of the plane without insisting that we transferred to their chairs. It helped that my brother in law, KC, had us upgraded to business class. John especially was happy that we got to wait at the first class lounge when we checked in - with the limitless drinks ans snacks offered.
Nick was happy with his choice of magazines and I thought I could finally relax because I was tense with fear that things might go awry about wheelchairs etc.
Nope. We managed to get to our seats without too much fuss although we didn't get the seats I thought I had reserved for us. Rightly or wrongly, I think American Airlines is good about getting wheelchair customers support right. We certainly appreciated the comfortable seats which were adjustable - Nick could not have done without them for the journey was a grueling 10 hour trip.
KC met us as planned and he had the hired accessible Dodge mini van (from Wheelchair Getaway) which took the two power wheelchairs. I had booked us into Embassy Suites near Galleria shopping center. It had okay rooms and two swans in the restaurant area. We all thought it was cruel to keep swans in a hotel - they must be driven mad by boredom if nothing else.
My relatives asked what is there to do in Dallas apart from shopping. I asked that myself but we managed to fit in going to a rodeo in Fort Worth, going to South Fork ranch (from the Dallas series fame), Sixth Floor museum where JRK got shot and lots of eating. I have never been to a rodeo before so it was quite fun - doing the Texan thing. Everything was quite accessible. The only fly in the ointment was the singer - she screeched and wailed till I thought she was going to do my head in. I think - and hope- she was a stand in.
I only wished we had enough time to have gone to see more of Texas but KC took us to some hotel conference place - Gaylord Resort- which had some awful replicas of San Antonio Riverwalk and the Hill country. We also went to South Fork ranch. Never ever really watched the Dallas series nor a fan of the Ewing family, the saving grace for me was a very entertaining young tour guide by the name of Clare who told us some ripping yarns and she was pretty to boot much to the appreciation of my companions..
Our journey back was quite uneventful until we got to Gatwick. They wanted us to transfer. Nick stood his ground and they eventually transported our chairs to meet us at the door of the plane. The staff were not originally willing to move the distance from the lifts. It was worth kicking up a fuss and the crew agreed with us that it was right that we should have our chairs awaiting us at the door of the aircraft. After all we did give them an hour's notice that we needed them.
For the first time I took the train back from Gatwick to Coventry. It was not too bad I changed at Watford and did not have to go through Central London.