You know those safes that hotels have in the closet? The one’s you put all your valuables in so they’re safe? Well, on my trip with my brother to Portugal, that’s where we put our travel documents, extra money and anything else that we didn’t want to carry with us as we walked around Lisbon. I don’t like carrying my passport in the streets for fear that a pick-pocket might grab it or it might get lost. I keep a copy of it with me, but not my original. That’s just me. Some people prefer to keep it with them at all times.
Anyhow, we spent 3 days touring Lisbon with one side trip to Sintra, hit all kinds of restaurants and a few night spots. We had a fabulous time.
On our last night, Bill had requested to sleep in late the next morning and have a relaxing, casual breakfast. Our plan was to then check out of the hotel, take the Metro to the airport and rent a car. From there, we’re were going to do about 4 more days touring around southern Portugal and Spain, returning the car to the airport and flying on to our next destination.
So, we packed up, took a leisurely walk to the Metro stop underground, rode the 45 minute subway ride to the airport and arrived at the Enterprise Rental Car kiosk. We were happily surprised to see there wasn’t a line at the counter so we walked right up and asked for our car. The kind lady looked us up on her computer and asked for my credit card and my passport.
Sudden terror! Waves of fear! Adrenaline rush! Oh my goodness! I left it in the hotel safe!!
I felt the full wave of panic as my mind raced to figure out how to handle this. I was frozen in shock for about a minute while my brain tried to devise a plan. Finally, Bill and I joined forces and rational thinking returned. Bill called the hotel and thankfully, they explained that the safe could not be opened by the hotel staff and they would gladly open our room back up and let us reclaim our belongings. But – there went our laid-back, early start too. Minor inconvenience but still, it wasn’t a pleasant moment and our brains were still trying to process this upset.
We scrambled back on the Metro, rode the 45 minutes back to the hotel and got our stuff. The Front Desk explained that they must call a locksmith to unlock the safe and that hotel staff is not allowed to open any safe. Ok. I guess I’ll believe them. And I’m thankful for that! Then, with our blood pressure returning to normal finally, we resumed our trip as planned – just 3 hours later than we’d hoped.
To add a little aggravation to the ‘happy ending’ of this little story, when we returned to the Rental Car counter, an international flight had just arrived and even with 4-5 clerks working at their computer terminals, we still had almost an hour wait to finally receive our car. To be sure, Wayne was not a happy camper. So, practicing everything I know about anger management, I breathed in, said my prayers and exhaled slowly. I reset my emotions, acknowledged that upsets do happen, especially when traveling – and began a fresh start saying to myself, “I’m on vacation. I have no deadlines or appointments that can’t be changed. I can choose to be upset or I can choose to relax and make a fun experience beginning right now. Heck, I could even blog about this and we’ll laugh about it later!”
And off we went, happy to be in our car and exploring new frontiers! Happiness and joy resumed! We even laughed about it, too!
Reminder: Be sure to check your hotel safe before you check out of your room.