Carry On: The French Connection

Travel Blunder #367

It was midnight in Paris. Sound asleep, I was blissfully unaware that my husband was on his way to meet another woman . . . at her hotel.

It all started that afternoon when we flew into the Charles De Gaul airport. Since one of our travel companions wasn’t feeling well, we grabbed our suitcases from the carousel, hired a cab and hurried to the hotel so he could lie down. My husband John and I were eager to explore the city, so we stashed our bags, checked on our friend and set out to see the sights of Paris.

Notre Dame 2017

Stolen Goods

We didn’t return until late that evening. It had been a fun but exhausting day, and I watched through bleary eyes as John opened his suitcase and stared in shock. Uh-oh, clearly, all was not well. Upon closer examination, I could see the bag was full of nighties, silk blouses, and skirts.  Hardly my husband’s usual attire.

“These aren’t my clothes,” he said, stating the obvious.

“But that’s your suitcase – isn’t it?”

It looked like his. It was the same brand and color and even had a red ribbon attached to the handle for easy identification, but apparently, you can’t judge a bag by its cover.

He sighed. “I’ve stolen a complete stranger’s suitcase.”

After discussing our options, we decided it was too late to do anything about this.  We’d have to sort it out the next day.

Problem solved, I lay down and fell sound asleep. Upon waking in the morning, I immediately noticed the suitcase was gone. Burning with curiosity, I may have made more noise than was necessary while getting ready. John finally opened his eyes.


Searching for Clues


“Where’s the suitcase?” I said.

He slowly shook his head.  “You have no idea what went on last night do you?”

It was then I learned of the midnight assignation.  My scrupulously honest husband felt so guilty about taking the wrong suitcase that he hadn’t been able to sleep.  After searching through the bag (once again) he found a clue that led him to the woman’s husband in North Carolina.  To make a long story short, they talked and John finally connected with Ms. North Carolina.  Since she was leaving Paris first thing in the morning, he agreed to bring the suitcase to her.

Shootelkora - Pixabay

Secret Mission

After a late-night Film Noire cab ride featuring the sights of Paris by moonlight, he returned the bag to its grateful owner. Unfortunately, she did not have his suitcase to seal the deal because, well, life just isn’t that easy. Mission accomplished John returned to our hotel where he was finally able to get some sleep. As for his bag – thanks to some great detective work on the part of the airline – it was eventually returned to the US, where it reappeared on our front porch.

Moral of the story?  None of this would have happened if we’d been traveling with carry-on luggage; something we firmly resolved to do after this troublesome international incident.  Since then we’ve made two major trips and several short hops with carry-on bags only. It’s really not that hard, even when going to cold climates. 

To learn how to bring everything you need in two bags watch for next week’s post entitled – Carry On 101.



This person has way too much luggage. Some of it will get lost.

luggage 1




Inkedcarry luggage 1_LI

This is better. You will not be charged to bring these on the plane and they won’t go astray. Stay tuned for great packing tips from the Library Lady Travels!


40 thoughts on “Carry On: The French Connection

  1. Pingback: Don’t Lose Your Wife, and other Travel Tips | The Library Lady Travels

  2. Pingback: Carry On: Packing Light | The Library Lady Travels

  3. Love your writing! Off to see another woman in the dead of night, INDEED! And you slept through it all. Carry it on the plane and what doesnt fit you really dont need. Thanks for sharing and making me smile.


  4. Wow the wonders of modern communications.. I only lost my luggage once.. It arrived a few days later many years ago in Russia.. In those days you were compensated 240 dollars.. Russia was dirt cheap.. I had more money on my return then going there..Recently I was persuaded to put hand luggage in the hold forgetting I had some cash in the bag.. It was stolen and after written to airport and airline I was assured that no thieving took place.. ;-(. I won’t put hand luggage in the hold again.. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seriously? I just saw this but had to reply. I’d never heard of cash being stolen, but why not- they take everything else. One day I’m going to write about some baggage handlers we saw unloading a trailer as we say on the tarmac one day. I was shocked.


  5. It is awful to lose luggage but I don’t think more carryons are the answer. The overhead bins are already bursting at the seams! Well done by your husband to return the lost bag and sorry yours didn’t ever arrive. Hope it didn’t interfere too much with your trip.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know, I actually kind of agree, but for now that’s the only way I’ll travel. If the lost luggage situation ever improves I might consider checking my carry on bags again but will never go back to lugging a giant suitcase around with me again. Packing lite makes more sense to me now.


  6. What a fun story! Glad that you found your belongings. I am always terrified that I will lose my luggage and thus have an outlandishly coloured suitcase that noone else could possibly have! So far so good, but I hope it won’t happen one day. Good advice to just travel light.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. will be interested to see your next post … airline misplaced my suitcase when I arrived in Kathmandu for a five month stay .. turned up in tact four days later! Someone had put it straight into storage instead of on the carousel … but my overnight bag was enough to get me through that mix up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad it all worked out. We try to only have carry-ons as much as possible but it’s not always practical. I have noticed a lot of bags on the luggage carousel with red ribbons tied to their handles. Years ago, we tied a plastic Target store bag to our luggage handle and have never removed it. We are pretty confident no one else will have that same bag attached to their luggage. So far, so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to agree with you on the target bag. I’m doing a post on packing tips next week. I may have to include this idea – though not the target bag specifically or others will copy and you won’t be unique anymore. I know what you mean about practical, the hardest is when you’re going to a place where there are no laundry facilities.

      Liked by 1 person

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