Every story has a beginning and end, and mine began with my flight out of Austin. Loyal Sister took me to the airport and knew the baggage carrier. "Come to my line", he called out to her. Foreshadowing of Big Mistake.
We got behind a family of 5 with distinctive matching Mossy Oak camouflage duffel bags headed for Denver. When I stepped up with my bag, he was deep in conversation with my sister. He tagged my bag and threw it onto the conveyor belt that quickly carried it out of sight. He saw one more Mossy Oak duffel, grabbed the computer printed routing label my boarding pass had generated, and added it to the busy conveyor belt. Then he turned to me and said, "Now, where is your bag?" I pointed toward the conveyor belt that had already carried it far, far away. In the immortal words of Scooby Do, "Rut ro".
In my gut? I knew there may be a wee problem when I landed in Baltimore. We both knew the luggage was tagged incorrectly. I wasn't convinced he'd really be able to chase my bag down among the thousands of other similar ones as he promised. It looked like the mis-tagged Mossy Oak was heading for my destination, and my luggage would be visiting Denver without me. Drat.
Following a three hour flight with surprisingly good coffee, I found myself at the empty Baltimore luggage carousel hearing my name being paged by my airline. Yes, they knew my luggage was in Denver. They could have it Fed-Exed to my daughter's home. It would arrive on Tuesday. This was Saturday. I was going home on Wednesday. Following me? Big problem.
My initial solution was to lurk around the luggage carousels and see if there was someone who looked like they were my size and used a Chi. And maybe quickly borrow their luggage until Tuesday.
The airline's plan B was that we could stay around Baltimore for 7 more hours and they'd have my luggage rerouted from Denver. I could pick it up along with a travel voucher that would allow me another trip for my trouble. Hmmmmm. The question really was: did I want clothes and straight hair for the next 5 days? Baltimore, welcome your three new and unexpected guests.
We decided to kill time at a recommended local Maryland restaurant that served amazing crabcakes, and a near-by Mills Mall. Everyone had a good attitude, and in the end I had a great meal, a suitcase and a travel voucher. Which was much more then the crowd behind me had when their luggage went to Long Island. And their connecting flight was canceled until the next day.
I thought about giving them directions to the crabcake restaurant and Mills Mall, but they seemed to be lighting torches and heading for the airline counter.
Me? I'm just glad to be here. Relaxing. Seeing the new life the young couple has created for themselves after just six weeks in their new home.
And wondering if that sweet little family vacationing in Denver ever got their duffel.