Happy Wanderer: Things we leave behind


HILLS NEWSPAPERS: February 17, 2012

My husband left his pillow in the hotel room again. And he says I’m losing it.

What is it about traveling that makes us forgetful? I’ve left cold creams and pajamas, glasses and even contact lenses in hotel rooms across this great planet. But a pillow? Who even travels with a personal pillow?

It turns out a lot of people do.

“We mail pillows to people quite often,” says the desk clerk at the Best Western Treehouse Inn in Mt. Shasta. And they send them for free, something surprising in this age of hidden hotel charges.

Nationwide, a survey of forgotten items shows phone chargers at the top of most lost and found lists. Folks leave them plugged into outlets like little tails coming out of the walls. If you ever need one when you’re traveling, just ask the front desk clerk at most major hotels. They’ve got boxes of chargers they keep on hand.

Dentures are another big item that gets left behind — especially at resort hotels. Maids have to remove them from cups and seal them in baggies until their owners claim them — usually before their next meal.

Then there are undies and other unmentionables, which are kept for up to 120 days and then destroyed if not claimed. Sweaters, shoes, jackets and jeans are usually donated to charity.

Wedding rings, passports — even green cards — get left in hotel rooms these days, along with iPhones, iPods and ID cards. In almost all cases, they’re forgotten because the traveler is weary or disorganized or distracted. We simply have too much on our minds when we travel.

This was not the case with my husband and his pillow.

He claims that it wasn’t his fault it got left behind in Mt. Shasta. Rather, it had something to do with the mountain itself. Like the Bermuda Triangle and other known power points, Mt. Shasta is said to have portals and energy vortexes.

And so this explains why the pillow was left behind. It slipped into a vortex and reappeared on the bed only after we left. Soon it will be transported through time and the mail — back to our home in Montclair. Now that’s what I call a travel tale.

Reader’s comments: Thanks to everyone who commented on my recent article on Mare Island. One tour highlight I missed was the Mare Island Naval Cemetery, just down the road from the museum. Reader Larry Thomas says Francis Scott Keys’ daughter is buried there, along with a number of Navy sailors and Marines, including three Medal of Honor recipients. There is an officer’s canine burial ground too.

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