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Travel log: Shame on you, Savannah, Ga.!

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Daniel

Derin and I just returned from a week-long trip to Pennsylvania and Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Over the next week or so, we'll be recounting some of our experiences from the vacation, some of which were extremely positive, others of which were negative.  Since our slogan is that we put a positive spin on life with a disability, let's logically start with the negative!

During the second leg of our trip, we ventured to historic Savannah, Ga. to take in the sights.  Beware, disabled travelers: do not take a trolley tour of Savannah! Not only was the fleet of trolleys not fully accessible (the one we used had no lift), but there was not even a place to put my wheelchair once Derin lifted me into my seat.  We ended up taking the chair apart and storing it at our feet. Even more horrifying was the driver asking if I wanted to just leave my wheelchair with the ticket agent and pick it up once we returned.  She failed to mention that the trolley lets off sightseers in a different part of town than it picks them up; So I'd be trying to tour the city without my chair...brilliant.

It got worse from there.        
Later in the day, Derin and I wandered to Ellis Square at the edge of the old city market.  Now, I'm a huge fan of fountains, and will do anything in my power to put myself into a fountain!
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The now-infamous Ellis Square fountain


As you can see in the photo at right, Ellis Square had a lovely fountain perfect for me to wheel into.  And as it was 95 degrees out, into the fountain I went!

After getting soaked, a security officer meandered over and immediately told me I could not go into the fountain.  It was "against city code" for a wheelchair to go into the fountain.  Whaaaaaaaat?  Children can run in the fountain, adults can run in the fountain, but wheelchairs can't?   I was baffled.  What if I wanted to play in the water with my child?  Who is the City of Savannah to say that I can't take my wheelchair wherever I want to take it?  Do they think that I'll sue the city if my wheelchair gets rusty from the water?  Would they rather I crawl and risk injury?  Even more baffling, there was a wheelchair ramp leading directly to the water!

All in all, it was a fairly forgetable trip to an historic American city; and one I likely won't be making again soon.


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5 Comments

fridawrites said:

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Time for a sit in? Seriously?

Daniel said:

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Frida,

Thanks for commenting on the blog, we love hearing from readers! Not sure what the solution to this is, but I'll for sure be calling the Savannah city offices this week to kindly find out the reasoning behind their city "code" against wheelchairs in a fountain. I'll keep you posted!

Paternal Unit said:

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Get for entrapment. They obviously built that ramp so they could lure you down to the fountain, and then yell at you.

Janice said:

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Seriously? Your only problems were that you couldn't ride a trolley or frolick in a fountain? How about real troubles like not being able to get into stores or restaurants or even finding a decent bathroom. If a trolley and playing in water were the only problems you could find to whine about, sounds like Savannah does pretty good.

Daniel said:

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Janice,

We were in Savannah for a total of four hours during our trip. So considering that we did three things, and two of those were entirely inaccessible and/or caused us to be harassed by a security guard, it was not exactly a positive experience.

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