Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Last Little Bit

It was such a fun dream: Hawaii for 10 days.  In October, 2012 we spent the first nights on the big island in Kona and the remaining days on Oahu in Waikiki.  On the Big Island, my geology-loving partner spent two different days playing around the volcanoes.  I played around the ocean and in the pool.  Our hotel, The King Kamehameha Beach Hotel, has the greatest pool around.  I loved the big island.  It had such a feel of ʻohana, or family.  And sunrise was absolutely gorgeous.

Sunrise in Kona

Sunset in Waikiki
The second part of this vacation we spent in the dream surferland: Waikiki.  The hotel wasn't as nice as the King Kamehameha and the pool was tiny, but the views were spectacular.  Sunsets held us captive.  Plus it was WAIKIKI!  A beach this old surfer girl had always wanted to visit.  The feeling in Waikiki and Honolulu was much different--being the largest city in Hawaii.  Less ʻohana; more mainland.  We took a tour around both islands and preferred Ohau more than Hawaii, mostly because it was smaller and more compact.

And we shopped.  Doug bought himself a great ukulele.  I bought gifts for everyone in both my family and Doug's.  I bought some great clothes.  We bought flip-flops that are like walking on clouds.  I bought a small carry-on suitcase so I could pack home more touristshitshop stuff.  We bought.   And I took massive pictures with my camera.  I love to get down close, so the turtles had faces...the sand had grains...the trees had interesting root systems.  Doug takes panoramic views.  Together we had this great documentation of our trip.

Coming home was great also.  We left for home early in the morning and decided to treat ourselves to a breakfast on the plane.  The flight was smooth and everyone was happy.

When we arrived in Portland, we moseyed on over to pick up our bags.  Except mine wasn't there.  The small carry-on was there as was Doug's, but mine--the big one that was carrying all my clothes, car things like extra keys I had forgotten to leave home, my camera, gifts for almost everyone, and our checkbook (I had forgotten to leave it home as well and it was just in the way while we were being tourists).  Alaska apologized and gave me a $20 credit because my bag wasn't there within 20 minutes.  We assumed it would arrive on the next flight back to Portland and went on home.  Late that night I received a call from the Portland Police that they had on tape my suitcase being stolen from the baggage claim rack.

Some of my checks were attempted to be cashed.  I went to court to speak against one woman who had tried to cash my checks.  She was charged with identity theft and forgery, as well as attempting to pass a bad check.  I had to go through the tedious process of changing accounts.  We never found any link to my camera, clothes, nor gifts.  I had to go through the long tedious process of listing everything, the condition of the piece of clothing, the price of new.  Alaska paid a portion of my loss.  My homeowner's insurance paid a portion of my loss, but it was long after the claim/theft before this happened.

The thieves were quite good at this whole thing.  Starting with one suitcase before mine, they had taken over 15 suitcases before being caught. They presented themselves as a family with two teen sons.  And they would casually walk up to the turning baggage claim stand, take a suitcase, and walk away.  They were eventually caught running away from the airport.  I was called to speak before the Grand Jury.

Over the next months, year, I would received information about the couples' trials and convictions.  The woman made a deal by turning in her partner.  She received drug rehab, community service, and a slap on the wrist.  They moved her crime down from a felony theft to a Class C misdemeanor.  And as a bleeding heart liberal, I should be happy with this--she gets help for her drug addiction, pays for her crime with some jail time, and goes on record that she stole things.  And I was.  But what I really wanted was for her to step in front of my and apologize for all the headaches, tight shoulders, hard work I was going through because she stole my bags.  But it was over.  Insurance paid part.  Alaska paid part.  She was in jail and was required to pay restitution.  I figured that would never happen and moved on with my life.

Last Wednesday I received a letter in the mail from the courts. I had no idea what this was about because it was January 2015.  I thought maybe I had run a red light or something.  But noooOOOooo!  It was a check for the suitcase theft!  WhooooooHoooooooo!  There was still a good $1000 outstanding in what I lost.  I opened the letter and started laughing.  Final restitution: $12.76.  And that settles it all. 

We are going to live it up!


1 comment:

Scrappy quilter said...

Oh my, that's it?