What’s not to love about a road trip? How about having your car stolen?
On our recent trip to visit friends in New Orleans we enjoyed a lovely dinner out at a restaurant outside of Mobile, Alabama. We had our puppy–Schroeder–with us but had given him a walk earlier and he was tired out enough for us to feel comfortable leaving him in his crate in the back seat of our car. Our two kayaks sat on top, wired and locked together so stealing them would be difficult.
The restaurant was on a residential street on a narrow road with big trees on either side. As we parked the car in front of one house, we noticed a group of people nearby, hanging out in the small patch of grass beside the sidewalk, their laughter drifting our way. Were we in a safe neighborhood? Did we need to worry? We had no idea but the restaurant had gotten rave reviews and we were not about to go elsewhere. So we locked the bright red Mazda and headed in to dine.
Our dinner was delicious and the restaurant went above our expectations in every category. Finally, it was time to head to our hotel. We paid our bill, thanked our waiter and headed out, walking towards the car. One block, two blocks, three…And then walked some more. And some more, until alarm bells were going off in my head. Had we parked this far? Where was our car? Surely it must be here somewhere! By then we had gone several blocks and could see in the streetlights several more. The narrow street was empty. No car in sight. No one around. The silence was deafening.
What! My heart beat so loudly I thought it would burst. We both were in a panic, though interestingly, it was not so much that the car was missing as it was that Schroeder was IN the car! What would a thief do with him? Would he be abandoned somewhere and left to wander, scared and alone? Would anyone come to his rescue? And most importantly, would we ever see him again?
We were beside ourselves with worries. And why would someone take such a conspicuous car–afterall, it was bright red AND had a bright orange and a bright yellow kayak on top, not exactly your stealth vehicle. How could this be?
By then we had turned around and were running back to the restaurant, thinking maybe there was some kind of rule about parking on the street after 9 that we were unaware of. Perhaps the car had been towed–a much better scenario. We would ask inside, then call the police.
When we reached the restaurant, just before opening the doors, we looked right. And guess what? There, just one block away, sat our red car with 2 kayaks on top. Talk about a joyous feeling! My gosh, we were giddy with relief, could not get there fast enough, laughing with the pure joy of knowing Schroeder was indeed safe and sound, just like we left him.
Phew! Talk about a happy ending!
So then, this week’s quote:
What perfect moment have you experienced lately?