Travel Mistakes

Lesson Learned:  Make and Hide multiple Back-Up Keys.

Lesson:  All I wanted to do was go home. So, I stuffed my items in my bag at my friend’s house and drove to the airport for the 1AM red-eye to get back home. Upon landing around 4AM, I took the Uber back home. Upon arriving however, I discovered that in my rush to leave, the keys had been mistakenly forgotten back at my friend’s house.


So, not to worry, I have a backup key under the flowerpot. But, looking at the pot, it was clear that this plan had failed to anticipate -10 degree frozen ice and a foot of snow. That pot was frozen to ground hard and was not moving.

Time to break into my house.

This worked, thankfully without as much as a damaged blind or drape. BTW – don’t forget to consider removing these things, as I’ve had painful encounters this way before. Now that I’m in the house, I went to find my backup keychain which was supposed to be in the spot next to my passport. Which of course, it was not. House key and car key – neither are there. I need that car to get to work!

Time to break into the CAR.

The locksmith arrived within 20 minutes. Apparently, business is slow at 5AM in the morning. In this 20 minute time span, I remembered that I keep a spare valet key in the middle console of the car. I figured that could work for now, although going only 20mph or whatever the speed limit is with key would cause serious traffic headaches. I gave the locksmith the go. He broke in. Alarms going off, I am scrambling through my console for the key. Do you even have to guess if I find the key?

After 10 seconds, the locksmith suggested we disconnect the battery to avoid waking up the neighbors or having the police called on us. I agreed. But, after disconnecting, that plan was apparently in vain. “Everything Ok out there?” came the voice from next door. “Oh, Hi Chuck, yes, no worries, just lost my key. Sorry to wake you up”

Back to the console. Of course it was there. And of course I found it after the locksmith just left. Putting it into the ignition, I got a light on the dashboard and a controlled engine shutdown after starting it up. Bother.

The anti-theft security system. It activated.

Normally that is a good thing. But, in this case, very bad. Time to call the dealer to see what my options are to get this valet key reconfigured. The phone call would have to wait until 9AM, when they opened. Unfortunately, they said I had to be there in person to reconfigure the key. So, I called the tow-truck. Time to haul my car across town.

The ordeal at the dealer was relatively painless although a bit complicated with the rookie mechanic. Finally, back at home around 11AM. The remaining fiasco would be to reconfigure the original 2 keys, once I had them in my possession a month later. Apparently, its an all or nothing approach to reprograming keys.