Tag Archives: friends

Orionids and Orion-nopes!

Last week was supposed to be the best time to see the meteor shower next to the constellation “Orion”. A very reliable source (the internet) told me that the best time to see these meteors was right before dawn. So I woke up at 4am to venture into the foothills of California to see these marvelous wonders. However, things did not go as well as expected.


me trying to keep warm

A friend brought their digital camera and blow up mattress to watch the stars with. Here is a nice long exposure photo that she took.


look! a shooting streak! (photocred: @beclshum)

This was around 5:30am.

However, when dawn came, our view of Orion was masked by an intense fog that came rolling over the “mountains”. Needless to say, we were unable to see any meteors after that.

So we hunkered down with our giant blankets to keep warm and waited until 7:30am so we could go eat breakfast at “Alice’s Restaurant” near Woodside.


i need glasses to sleep

 Even though i didn’t see much, i was able to see 2 meteors….and most importantly of all, the banana bread french toast and country potatoes for breakfast made everything worth it. I guess there’s always next year.

led zeppelin’s “misty mountain hop” comes to mind

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Lands End

If you’re like me and you heard the words “Lands End”, you’d think “fancy clothes that I never buy”. But did you know that “Lands End” is actually a place to hike in SF? Well i didn’t until i stumbled upon it after a bridal shower for a friend that we had in Golden Gate Park. In between adventures of opening presents and adventures in the rush ticket line for Phantom of the Opera, me and some roommates decided to adventure to Lands End (not the clothing store).

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Turns out, it’s a great hike for wheelies and friends alike and sports some great views of the Ocean and Golden Gate Bridge. The paved wheelchair accessible trail only goes a quarter of the total trail, so if you want to go further, bring a sherpa.2015-08-22 13.39.52

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I see you blue “Accessible Trail” (and the fuzzy reflection of my iPhone)

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This hike is easy. A typical grade is 4% and the worst it ever gets is 60%!!! (I wish I could capitalize numbers)

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Look! A trail!

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Near the beginning of the hike you can take an alternate route down the cliffside where you end up at Sutro Baths which was built in 1894. They are interesting to explore if you are into historical Grecian aquatic hygiene or just want to romp around in water. I ended up staying at the top of the cliff to enjoy the sunset while the roommates romped.

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People bathed down there

If you’re interested in finding more information/history of this place, check out this link:

All in all, Lands End is a great place to go to spend an hour along the coast.

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Beware of curly hair + wind

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Discussing the Political Commentary of the graffiti to my left

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Bi-annual meeting of the glasses club #landsend2015

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Phantom of the Opera — Rush Tickets

Best way to see an off-broadway play for cheap in SF? Rush tickets.  2015-08-22 18.05.162015-08-22 17.23.45


  • almost 50% cheaper than buying at regular price ($40 vs. $120)
  • decent seating choice (on the ground floor)


  • No guarantee of a seat; First come, first serve
  • Seating is usually on the side of the theater, so you can’t always see everything
  • You have to pay in cash
  • Not all shows offer rush tickets
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my new friends!

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man in orange jacket keeping the rowdy play go-ers “in line”

If you don’t have lots of time to wait around in line to guarantee you get a ticket, then this is a poor option. But! Each person can buy up to 2 tickets, so if YOU don’t have lots of time, maybe a leisurely friend does and can wait in line for the both of you. Plus they can make friends with the local homeless people while waiting.

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So far I’ve seen 2 plays via the Rush Ticket method: Newsies and Phantom of the Opera.

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I’ve also seen other plays in the more conventional way via buying tickets online. Both are great option.

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For my wheelie friends: they almost always have wheelchair seating available for rush tickets or seats at the end of rows that you can transfer too. If you buy an accessible ticket the non-rush way, prices range from $40-$60, so rush tickets aren’t always worth the hassle. It’s up to you.

As far as theater accessibility is concerned, it’s great! Good view from the wheelchair spaces on the bottom floor. And a handicapped bathroom close to the seating. Parking is rough, just because you are downtown, but you can park anywhere on the street for free with your handicapped placard if you can find something.

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What’s in a name?

I want to start the christening of this blog with a post explaining the name of the blog. It was suggested to me by a good friend from high school who has the same initials as me.

One quick story that illustrates our relationship pretty well was when we were heading home from an event and I was getting in her car. I was giving her lip about something ridiculous (probably) and she wasn’t going to take it anymore, so she threatened to take one of my wheels from my wheelchair and leave me on the side of the road to fend for myself. She was serious. I stopped being annoying. Whenever she tells other people this story, they look very distraught and think that she’s an awful person for threatening a poor innocent girl in a wheelchair. Whenever she tells ME this story, I laugh…because I deserved it. And it just goes to show what an awesome friend she is, because she was willing to threaten me with or without a disability. She has done both.

my buddy and i

innocent wheelie + awful person = BFFFFFLs

The title of this blog is “Lena boards first” and refers to my name and the fact that if you’re traveling on a plane and use a wheelchair, you get to board first before all the other passengers! Even before the first class passengers! Of course, you are also the last to deboard after everyone else has left, but “Lena deboards last” sounded not as fun.

I love this title because it’s not too wheelchair cheesy with bad puns that include “wheel” or “roll” (although I do like my subheader), but it also illustrates that this is a blog that is intended to help individuals with disabilities travel the world. My intention is to provide you with personal anecdotes and advice that I’ve learned while on my own travel adventures around the world, and hopefully remove some of the barriers and lack of information about traveling with a disability. The world is too great for you not to explore it!


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