To take a break from all the crazy deals and such associated with Black Friday/Cyber Monday/etc, I wanted to share a couple stories that all of us who travel with young kids can probably related to. Most young kids have a much beloved stuffed animal or blanket. Lord knows my daughter certainly has one. If you have seen any trip reports where I travel with her you have seen more than one or two pictures of “green bay-bay”. Named by her before she could pronounce blanket. There would be an epic catastrophe if he was ever lost, but yet he is so needed/loved that he can’t be left behind on trips. He calms her down and helps her sleep. This may sound crazy if you don’t have kids yet, but trust me it’s true.
I’ve always had that fear that we will leave him (yes, he is so special he has been given a gender) behind in a hotel room, rental car, or airplane. Thankfully that has never happened, but I know several families that have left their special item behind. Some never see that item again, but some get lucky. In fact, this story I saw last year about a boy’s blue monkey that was found on eBay after being lost for three years not only shows how much kids love these lost items, but how special it is when they can be reunited.
This year, another lost toy has made the news when he was not only reunited with his owner, but the hotel that found him went above and beyond. According to this article, an eight-year-old left his favorite toy giraffe behind at the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton in Florida. The giraffe was named Joshie and the boy was very upset and having trouble sleeping once he returned home and noticed he was missing. His parents called the hotel and the toy was located in the hotel laundry (tip – call the second you notice the toy is missing). To help their son stay calm while awaiting his return, they told him that Joshie was on a second vacation.
The Ritz Carlton not only returned the toy at no charge, but went out of their way to put a series of photos of Joshie on his “second vacation” in a binder to accompany him back to his family to corroborate his dad’s story about his second vacation. Here are a couple of those photos taken from the linked article above that show the stuffed giraffe on vacation.
The hotel even made him his own loss prevention badge and included that in the package along with the photos! I like to seek out hotels that are family friendly, and this gesture has to speak very highly of the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton. It is the little things that can make traveling with small kids so much easier, and I know I would be eternally grateful if someone did something like this if (god forbid) we ever left C’s blanket behind.
Thanks to MSYgirl on Milepoint for sharing this awesome story!