time to go home

I’m in Los Angeles this week– the last trip I’m going to take on this book tour, it seems, or at least the last that will take me away from the kids for more than 24 hours. I have had a lot of fun. Even a cross-country flight can be wonderfully relaxing, when you don’t have a two-year-old along who skipped her nap. 

But I am pretty sure it’s time for me to go home. How do I know? I was at the airport yesterday with time for breakfast, although on only about four hours’ sleep. I sat down at this coffee counter thingy to get some fuel. When no one waited on me after 5 minutes, I set off for greener pastures at a restaurant further down the concourse. Ah, yes. This was it. 5 minutes later, no one had waited on me here, either. I impatiently reached for my iPhone, time-killer of all time. My backpack was not at my feet. It was not on the chair across from me. It was not there. No wallet, no phone, no laptop. No boarding pass. Heck, I could have gone to LA without the suitcase, but not this backpack.

I sprinted back through the terminal to where I had previously visited, and there it was. Thankfully, no one had reported it to Jack Bauer. By then, the plane was boarding, and no relaxing breakfast for me, but I had learned my lesson.  Or so I thought.

Six hours later, I’m standing in a half-hour line at the car rental place. My backpack, which I now know better than to set down, is getting awfully heavy. I’ll just put it down on top of my wheelie suitcase, I think, and push them both through this line. Great idea.

My suitcase is not next to me. It is not behind me. It is not anywhere that I can find it.

I have left it on the car rental shuttle bus.

I got it back. To my chagrin, this did NOT seem to be something that happened very often. Multiple walkie-talkie conversations were required. But when that same bus came back with its next load of passengers twenty minutes later, there it was.

And so, I have concluded, it is time for me to come home. If I’m this bad at traveling alone, I shudder to think what happens the next time I have the three kids in tow.