The year was 2010. Sun blazing, heat rising in our condo located off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. With a shabby, run-down air conditioner located in one of the windows in my parents’ bedroom, I could almost hear the drops of water escaping out onto the crisp, white sand.
This was the place that my parents got through a relative who knew a friend going away for a undesignated period of time. Scoring an amazing deal on a place just off the beach—who could complain?
I went and found my brother, ten at the time, staring out into the hazy Floridian street. Our parents found us there, before letting us know we’d be leaving soon to go to dinner.
This was our first evening out on our vacation. The food was unmemorable, but what happened shortly after I will remember always.
As we were leaving, my dad went to pay up at the front of the restaurant. When he returned, we all followed him out to our car rental, it patiently awaiting our inevitable return.
This is when my dad discovered, to his utter astonishment, that he must have forgot his wallet inside. Cue panic! Now, fifteen-year-old Christina had no idea the ramifications of misplacing such a small piece of worn out leather.
Turns out the keys to our whole trip were in there! Say goodbye to Disney World, folks, we would be staying inside the four walls of that heat-ridden condo for the remainder of our trip.
The waiting staff checked and could not find any such wallet. The sadness and flickering disappointment that crossed both my mom and dad’s faces was quite something.
As we awoke the next morning, foggy on the previous day’s endeavours, we all resigned to spend the rest of our time on the beach. With no credit cards, payment information and booking validations, there wasn’t much else we could do.
That is, until the next day when my dad received a call from his brother (who lived in Ottawa).
In a peculiar turn of events, we found out that a stranger found a wallet in a dumpster outside a movie theatre down the street from the restaurant we were eating at the previous night. Cash? gone. All my dad’s cards and papers we needed? Still there!
Now, how on earth did this stranger get in contact with us? My uncle works for a computer company, and my dad happened to have his business card in his wallet—a card with a phone number tracing back to Ottawa.
Magically, my uncle received a call and got back to us, in Florida, providing us information that a man had my dad’s wallet and called the only number he could find. In the end, we got the wallet back and the rest of our trip went on as planned.
Stranger things have happened, I suppose?
Has anything unexpected ever happened to you while travelling? I’d love to hear!