I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Accessibility, Accessing My Ability…


To poop. Yeah, really. I was planning a road trip to Portland Oregon for the Knockout PDX fashion event later this month. I was very excited as this is a mask required event, only four hours long, and I’d get to see my bestie again IRL. I bought my ticket, only $33, and started planning the rest. For once an event that I know I would have loved was accessible to me in our current reality of a global Sars2 pandemic. The rest of the world? Not so much.

You see, as I began to look for lodging and a rental car, I soon discovered not everything was as it appeared to be. I have had great luck with past Air bnb stays in a few different cities in the USA. In fact, last year I met up with my childhood bestie in Reno for my birthday and rented a townhouse for us to chill in for a few days as we caught up on each other’s lives. It was the perfect location, everything was within walking distance, had modern amenities and all was good. I mean, the stairs were a pain for both of us, but we managed. 

The issue I had with it was where the damn toilet was. This townhouse had two master suites, so we each had our own bedroom with adjoining restroom. Being a strictly shower taking person, I chose the one with the standup shower so she could have a nice bath if desired. For some reason, my big master bathroom had a toilet in a little room of its own inside the restroom. Nothing else in it, just the toilet, window, and door. I called it a shitbox in jest, but my giggles died quickly when it was too narrow for me to wipe my own ass!  No seriously, I had to contort in a way I haven’t ever had to even in a tiny public restroom stall. In the end I had to open the door and use the jam as leverage to twist in the right way in order to reach. Awful!

This all came flooding back to me when I began to look for lodging for my lil’ road trip. I started to pay more attention to where and how the toilet was situated in the listings. I also started to notice how many didn’t include a photo of the toilet at all. I was looking in two locations for a two part trip sort of thing, so part of it was far more rustic. I wanted to avoid outhouses since I tend to get up at least once in the night to pee around 3:30 am. I cannot imagine trying to navigate a strange place in the wilderness at night in search of an outhouse. No thanks. But even modern homes in downtown Portland and surrounding areas had odd configurations due to type of sink or vanity or if it had its own little shitbox room. 

I had already had an eye for accessibility but rarely have I had to consider regular restrooms in a home an issue. Knowing that most Americans are not small bodied, it really boggles the mind that these design choices were made at all. I also noticed how many listings would take pictures at very odd or stretched out angles so you really couldn’t tell how much space was there. I started to see the entire Air bnb endeavor as a misinformation campaign. There are a lot of accessibility options for when you’re searching for a listing, but it doesn’t seem that most hosts care to bother with them at all. I found some that had safety rails by the toilet and in the shower with no mention of it in the listing. While others listed “no stairs to access unit” with several pictures of massive flights of stairs. 

I ended up canceling the Portland part of my trip all together as trying to plan it became so stressful it made me emotional. The point was for me to have a nice simple vacation, I hardly ever take time off, and it is very much needed. I didn’t want my vacation to be stressful in any way, shape, or form. I realized at one point that I would be spending two entire days of my week off in the car driving for 12-13 hours. Then I had an issue with the car rental options and before even gas and food I would have been spending over $1500! I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t justify it.

So now I am back to my original plan, which was to get a lil’ cabin in the woods and have my own little solo writer’s retreat amongst the redwoods. That is what I now have booked. A little A-frame cabin, just me and my old-ass Toyota and only a 3.5 hours drive to and from. I will be in the wilderness but only a 15 minute drive to the beach. It is still a lot of money for me, but nowhere near even half what doing the Portland trip would have cost me. And now I can just bring my own groceries and relish in the solitude and nature. I am very much looking forward to it. I suppose I should buy one of those headlamp things for my late night trips to the restroom, for safety’s sake. Ha-ha!

Have you had issues with restrooms like this? I think hotels have to do a better job with spacing and accessibility since they want to attract all types of folks and likely have more stringent regulations to consider. Restrooms feel like an afterthought, it seems, when modern offerings rave about their massive open floor plan and amenities but the restroom is cramped and uninviting. I want a big bathroom with good lighting! I don’t even need a big tub, though that would be lovely too. I kind of enjoy seeing all of the funky decor people use in these listings, but most are very basic and grey and oh well I guess. I just hadn’t thought to actually seek out photos of toilets before! Ha-ha! The amount of listings I could have stayed in versus what I whittled down to would be shocking. I mean, some truly gorgeous locales and well appointed listings, but completely inaccessible to anyone with larger than 40″ hips, lemme tell ya. 

What other accessibility features do you look for when searching for lodging or traveling in general? I know for me, covid safety is number one, so hotels were not an option since they have shared air/hvac/common areas. I would love to hear how others approach these things. We are all only temporarily able bodied, after all. Certainly as we age or live with chronic issues, more things will require further consideration. And, hey…Everybody poops! Ha-ha!


I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

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