It all started on Sunday, April 5th at around 3PM when we were getting ready to switch hotels. (For some reason, TL and I feel its necessary to make our way around the city and where we stay). We were gathering all of our luggage - our most important piece being TL's backpack which was holding the following: my Louis Vuitton wallet that TL got me last year for graduation - which was holding all 5 of my credit cards, some cash, my ID, and other important 'wallet' stuff we all carry, including several gift cards I received from Christmas- It also had our brand spankin' new Canon Rebel xsi digital camera (which isn't cheap) and the extra lense TL bought for more zoom , there was $600 in Visa gift cards for us to use on our trip, and TL's ipod and headphones. So pretty much, it was a jackpot for any criminal.
As we went through the chaos of placing all of our stuff in the back of the cab and taking a trip across the city to our new hotel called the Park Central, TL and I chatted a bit with the taxi driver. We were really looking forward to taking a walk through central park after we settled in at the new place. After checking in, we got settled in our new room and I asked TL for the SATC tour guide that we had taken that morning. It had some fun dinner spots in it, so I was trying to plan somewhere to eat after our walk. He asked me where his backpack was, and I didn't know either. Panic. Complete Panic.
I ran down to the lobby before we could say another word. I looked where we checked in and began asking around seeing if anyone had seen it. I was chatting with the folks at the front desk when TL came down and joined me. He was shocked. He has never left anything on a cab or in a lobby- especially something we both have been so protective over since getting there.
So, as the night progressed we decided we were going to catch an early flight home. The gift cards in there were supposed to pay the bill for the hotel the next few nights, and to be honest, neither of us were in the mood for spending any money on eating out after losing so much. So, TL got on the phone and changed our flights to the next morning at 11. I went down and talked to the guys at the hotel to see if we could get out of the charges of leaving before we were supposed to. We did.
That night, TL and I went out and grabbed some food and hoped something would happen. We worked with the hotel security to look at cameras to see if someone had grabbed it while we weren't looking - or if he had even walked in with the backpack. At this point, he didn't know if he left it in the cab, or if it was stolen.
So - the next morning, we take our $50 and 45 minute cab ride to JFK. We were both still sick about losing the backpack, and beginning to get more and more hopeless.
Let me ask you this... have you ever tried to get through airport security with out an ID? Hell. Honestly. I was taken aside, searched, asked millions of questions, and had to answer a series of extremely personal questions before someone would let me through. If you ever want to get completely evaluated on every aspect of your life, try to get through airport security with out your ID. It sucks.
We boarded our 11AM flight, and just as we were sitting down and getting ready to turn off our cell phones, TL's phone rings. He picks it up and all I hear is "You have my backpack????". My heart started racing and he motioned to me to go with him. We got off the plane just as they were about to shut the door. It was like a movie. I had so many emotions. Happiness, curiosity, and a little bit of doubt that everything would be in that backpack.
So after some convincing with the people at United Airlines, we were able to just go standby until they could fit us on another flight. We grabbed another $50 cab ride back into Manhattan,- did I mention it was dumping rain through all of this? - and met the CAB DRIVER in front of the hotel we had just checked out of. Our CAB DRIVER. He was on his day off, and he drove over from Brooklyn in his personal car to give it to us. TL opened it and it had EVERYTHING. We couldn't believe it. TL gave the guy $100 bucks and we both hugged him. Guess what, there are good people in the world - contrary to what you may believe!
We took yet another $50 cab ride back to JFK (the hotel paid for it, thats another long part of the story) and sat stand by in the JFK airport for over 12 hours with out any complaint. We had our backpack. Our luggage made it to SF almost a full day before we did - but we had the most important piece of it all!
You know the most amaing thing I learned from this? TL and I can get through almost anything. When he was so upset with himself, for the first time in my life I realized I cared about his complete happiness than my own. I wanted to find it just because I knew it made him so upset. We got through all of this craziness together - and talked each other through it all. There was no bickering, or blaming - we even laughed together about the whole thing. I love him more than anything in the world.
This is it... The Backpack from hell (thats our joke)