Chronic disease, Family, Travel

Chronic illness on a road trip Part 1

My first road trip with my chronic heart disease

I wrote about planning for this road trip and I was equal parts excited and apprehensive. I didn’t know what to expect. We had not taken such a long road trip since my debilitating heart disease diagnosis.

I really really wanted to enjoy myself. But I also couldn’t help stressing about holding my family back from enjoying themselves.

We are still on the road trip as I wrote this so it’s a half way report of sorts.

It took us  three days to drive down to Panama City Florida. We made two stops- Richmond, VA and Atlanta, GA.


Richmond, VA

We only drove about 200 miles the first day. So, we had time to do a little exploring ( I hoped).

We had booked a hotel in downtown Richmond. That meant no free parking and no breakfast included as it is common on downtown hotels ( at least in my experience). The hotel was definitely visually pleasing (Courtyard Marriott) so that was a plus.

Tredegar Ironworks and Civil War museum

After a short break, we drove to the historic Tredegar Ironworks (part of the National Park Service). They played a big role in ammunition building during the Civil war. There was also the American Civil War museum. And I was so happy to see that they had wheelchairs. I was prepared to wait for my husband and my daughter to go around the museum while I sat in our air conditioned car. Instead, I could tour the museum with them! That really made my day. 🙂

And I also realized again the many things I had been taking for granted- the ability to walk, to climb stairs, to generally move.

The outside of the Tredegar Ironworks. You can see me with my trusted cooling towel around my neck.
I am happy in my wheelechair( the picture on the lower right)

We toured the visitor center as well (wheelchairs and elevators there as well!)

Major points to the National parks service for having accessible facilities!

And I bought some great historical books on kids games of a bygone era ( I am planning to recreate some of them with my daughter!)


Maymont Mansion

We also went in search of a place called Maymont Mansion. On the way to find it, we stumbled upon Maymont Park, where a lake called Swan Lake is situated. We made the acquaintance of a variety of birds 🙂

We made a quick stop to take pictures 🙂

After that quick stop, we proceeded to look for Maymont mansion and we found the entrance shortly thereafter. IT turned out to be a big place that had a small zoo, farm, expansive grounds with lots of hills. I knew I couldn’t undertake that walk and we didn’t enquire about a wheelchair. SO I sat on a bench and wrote in my planner.

It then turned out that the whole estate had another entrance so I drove to that and walked a bit to meet my family. I was so happy to see the shaved ice truck ( it was 87 F with a humidity of about 150% ).

Here are the pictures my husband took as they explored the grounds.

There were some beautiful grounds and I was sorry i couldn’t see them with my own eyes.

There is a waterfall and a Japanese garden too, complete with a pond inhabited by koi.

Our stop at Richmond was very quick but overall enjoyable.

Stand by for Part 2 of the road trip …Travelling through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.