Friday, August 21, 2009


I have yet to get to the final day of our vacation but this part cannot wait.

MCO has the worst security lines I've ever seen if you have a stroller (apparently it is an organized chaos for the stroller-less). All you need to know for this story is that through a series of unfortunate events, we were passing through security five minutes before our scheduled takeoff. Yikes. In the flurry of attempted efficiency, somehow a Disney shopping bag that contained our pictures with Cinderella and Gemma's tiny Saltwater sandals, was left behind. Or thrown away. I don't know. What I do know is that we boarded the plane, flew to Denver, and at baggage claim realized that we were negative a bag. I called the MCO TSA and, after half an hour, finally located a live person on the other end. I gave him a detailed list of what the bag looked like, what was inside, where it was last seen, etc. I was actually pretty proud of my memory and my ability to methodically list it all for him. I finished and he said, "Ok, let me, we don't have it." Seriously - his pause was as long as it took for your eyes to coast over that ellipse. I replied, "Um...did you just look over your shoulder?" He informed me that he had a DATABASE and nothing I listed came up and no I couldn't file a report and no he couldn't help me and yes I could call back in a couple days and no he didn't think it would ever be turned in.

I emailed Disney (after spending 45 minutes on the phone being bounced from castle to operator to castle to...Pluto? I don't even know now), but figured it was a lost cause. So I gave up. It was sad and unfortunate, and I mourned the loss, but Joel reminded me to focus on the week leading up to it and the wonderful amazing fantastic time we had had.

And then.

Today, my mom calls me. Her voice was steady, but something in her tone told me she was trying to keep from excitedly spilling the words out on top of each other. Someone, some kind lady had found my bag. Some kind lady who works for Southwest had somehow come across my bag. She noticed that there wasn't anything terribly valuable (monetarily) inside, but that there were pictures of a family with Cinderella. Also, in the bottom of the bag, was a boarding pass with a confirmation number on it. The kind lady located the phone number associated with the confirmation number (my mom's) and called. The bag was at the Denver Airport.

I have no idea how this is possible. I can't even say it's an answer to a prayer because it didn't even occur to me to pray for this. I didn't take that bag on the airplane (the boarding pass was the extra lap-child printout they gave me, which I didn't use to get on the plane - though honestly we were so late they just said, "Are you the Hills?!" as we ran up, and they ushered us on). Joel didn't take that bag on the airplane. Becca didn't take that bag on the airplane. I'm totally shocked. But grateful.

Joel went and picked it up, and took a bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies for the kind lady. And I have Gemma's sandals back that I can save for when she is a mom for her baby (they're THAT good).

As I looked through the bag, through the coloring books and crayons and DVD and pictures and everything, there at the bottom I saw the two 'Wishing Star's we had been given at Cindrella's castle. And I chuckled to myself. I call this a vacation miracle, made possible, somehow, by Disney and the magic of a wish. I just know it.


Allison said...

Awwwww, yay! So glad you got it all back! I didn't realize your Cinderella pics were in there, too--I would have been so sad. How crazy that it made it to Denver.

Yay for happy endings!

laura said...

Never underestimate the magic of Disney!

Seriously though, that's crazy and awesome and I'm so glad you got your stuff back.

wanda said...

Hey, are you SURE Ainsleigh didn't carry it on? The lady said it was left on the airplane.

Anonymous said...

We can't really be sure of anything. With the rush through security and boarding the plane, we could've lost it anywhere along the way.

My comment is really about where Sarah assigns credit here. While the cuteness of some family at Disney World was definitely a helper and so Disney deserves some the thanks, I'd say the lion's share should go to Southwest Airlines for training their employees to go above and beyond. I like Southwest, but experiences like this build loyalty to the company.


Becca said...

Ok amen to all of the above...and at risk for sounding like Emaline...this is all just so MAGICAL!! Haha...that week was pure perfection...and hey maybe I did take the bag on...who knows.

On a side note, props to Joel for taking pictures throughout shows that he really doesn't fully see because he's documenting awesome pictures that capture the moments for others. I totally wish I had a photographer documenting my fabulous life. =)

loewymartin said...

I'm so glad you got the bag (and the contents!) back. I'm with Joel - kudos to Southwest and to the person that found the bag. She had to make the decision to do the right thing - that doesn't happen that much in this day and age.