Traveling with Bells

We are finalizing the details of a trip we are taking next November to play in a massed hand bell choir at Carnegie Hall. We will also play in Central Park for a short concert the day before the main concert on December 1.

We have our bell assignments, and are figuring out if we will rent bells there or travel with the bells we have here. The organizers assure us that bells do pretty well in suitcases as long as they are thickly padded, and that TSA is prepared to find bells in our luggage.  I sure hope so. I have traveled with some odd things, but I think bells will be some of the oddest.

What are some of the more unusual things you have packed in a suitcase while traveling?  What are your experiences with lost or destroyed luggage?

24 thoughts on “Traveling with Bells”

  1. While flying out to Napa, California for work, I packed some of the tools I knew I needed for the project. Among them were knives, scrappers, trowels and propane. A plethora of terrorist equipment. The suitcase was sent through checked luggage. When I picked it up at the San Francisco airport, all was gone except for one scrapper and a bladeless knife. There was a note that informed me that my things could be reclaimed at Dayton International airport.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The one time we’ve been to Mexico (Puerto Morelos, 15 miles from Cancun), someone walked off with the wrong black suitcase. Luckily they figured it out within maybe a half your, so within an hour they were back to get theirs and we got ours. Ever since then, I’ve always packed one day’s necessity’s in my carry-on, even if I check a bag.

    I’m sure I’ve put a bottle of wine in my suitcase at some point, but there must be something stranger than that. Thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We traveled to Halifax, NS once with son and daughter in law, and I walked off with the wrong suitcase from the Halifax airport. Imagine my surprise when I opened up what I thought was my suitcase to find it full of strange clothes and several bottles of A-1 Steak sauce!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. if you are carrying a black suitcase like 98% of the world does tie a ping or lime green or some identifying string or something to it to allow you to pick it out of the crowd. it also shows you are a traveler. the other vacation people may not get it but the baggage handlers sure will.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Many years ago I went on a trip to Africa which was paid for by several different hotels and lodges. That meant that we stayed one night in each place and moved the next day to the next place. My flight from Minneapolis to New York was late I just barely got on the next flight before they shut the door. So I was not surprised when we got to Nairobi and my bag was not on the plane. My bag followed me around Africa and took 4 days to catch up with me. I was never so happy to have clean underwear in my life.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve written before about the time I flew to Hermosillo from Phoenix. As the plane was taxiing out of the gate in Phoenix, I pointed to a lonely suitcase on the tarmac and made a comment about it to my seatmate. Upon arrival in Hermosillo I discovered that that suitcase was mine. So there I was in Mexico in February in my winter clothes and boots, with no change of clothes, no sandals, swimsuit, or clean underwear. My hosts had a spare toothbrush, and other toiletries, so I scraped by, but those were five long days before my suitcase finally caught up with me. At that point I had two days remaining in Kino. I, too, learned the lesson on that trip to always pack essentials for a day or to in my carry-on bag.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The strangest thing I have ever carried with me on a flight was a large mounted lake trout. My father-in-law had caught it in Lake Superior on a on a rather disastrous outing to Isle Royal a few years earlier. Hans had made a nice big box in which the fish fit snugly. The box had a brass handle on top to make it easier to carry.

    I checked the box and my suitcase in the Twin Cities, and didn’t see them again until Copenhagen. Going through the Danish customs the inspector asked what was in the box; “a big fish,” I responded. He just shook his head in disbelief and said: “keep moving.” He wasn’t about to open that box.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. When I was returning to Denmark after my stay in Greenland, I had packed one small, and two good sized rocks that I had picked up on various hikes in the mountains. I love rocks. These rocks caused my luggage to be much heavier than its size would indicate. This elicited a comment from my friend who was weighing the suitcases: “What on earth do you have in here? Rocks?” “As a matter of fact, I do,” I said. At the time I had no idea that you weren’t allowed to take rocks home with you from Greenland. Later on those same rocks were packed in my old trunk when I moved to the US. I still have them.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nothing special for me…
    I don’t think I’ve lost a suitcase.

    I’ll be headed to Louisville KY for a theater conference in March, but I’m driving to that. I can buy more books that way. 🙂

    I know some theater people that travel with specific tools, like Wessew, sometimes they arrive and sometimes they don’t. I have had the little tag inside the suitcase saying it’s been inspected. I’m pretty boring evidently.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. i am an easy traveler. i used to go to china empty just to buy stuff there and bring it back.. suitacase included. its a game. i came bback form china one time with a couple of cellos and a suitcase foull of violins and harmonicas and other musical stuff. i didnt realize that if you were bringing them back as samples to sell they were duty free and the tax you would pay didnt apply. the insp[ectors thought they had found a gold mine when they opened up my stuff and started taking inventoruy and asking what it was worth. i asked when i sell it or when i buy it? and they kept on and we got through the list after 1/2 and hour or so and the products added up to 3 or 4 thousand when i bought it and 25 or 30 thousand when i sold it. ill have to see . thats what im bringing them back for, to see what the people i am selling thme to think they are worth… you mean these are all samples for selling? yes .. move along…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have no luggage stories, as I have never owned luggage. When I traveled as an outdoor journalist I used duffel bags.

    Northwest Orient hit a bad patch in the early 1990s, acquiring a bad reputation for service and employee discontent. A story went around that a passenger booking a flight on Northwest said, “I have three bags to check in. I’m going to Hawaii. I want one bag to go to Miami, one to Chicago and the third bag to go to Boston. The airline rep said, “I’m sorry sir, but we can’t do that.” The passenger said, “I don’t know why the hell not. That’s exactly what you did for me the last time I flew Northwest!”

    I’m not saying that’s true. But that is the story that was going around. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  10. i flew with a guy i dint like to the uk and going through custome i had a swiss army knife. i like the bigger one with the tweezers and toothpick , a corkscrew and a scissors and they had me put that in a bowl along with my quarters and cell phone and eyeglasses. my colleague was so incensed that they would allow a pocket knife on the plane that he made a big stink out of it. this was pre 9/11 and as it turns out he was right. however the rules were different them and i had been made aware that the inclusion of a knife in your pocket was ok at the time.
    ill never forget the look on his face when he saw ai was carrying a knife onto the plane. gosh i am glad i dont work with him anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. one time i had a suitcase full of money i was giving away at a trade show to the hardware store dealers. it was a couple thousand bucks in 5’s and 10’s and 20’s and it filled a briefcase completely. i had set it down and it somehow got checked when i hadnt intended to check it. i realized it was gone and explaind i need to find it and talked my way into the underbelly of the plane to go through the luggage t be certain that the briefcase was there. that was pre 9/11 too. ill bet that would be a little more difficult today tooit want at ohare it was at lake of the ozarks airport in backwoods tennesee or arkansas and the airport was just staffed but good ol boys who you could laugh and cajole with in certain that they would understand the situation and help you out. it never occurred to me back int he day that there were rules that couldnt be scooted around when you needed to. a wink and a smile are a salesmans best tools.

    ill never forget following the guy on the plane who got told that he could not put his sabre in a sheath in the overhead luggage compartment. i think it was just a big old standard sword with a king arthur kind of blade. not a pointy thing but the one you want to wear with your suit of armor. he was pissed i was laughing with the guy checking us in at the dumb sob who thought he could bring a sword on . that was pre 9/11 to but still. ..

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I’v e always wondered how people who find that their cat has stowed away in their luggage never figure it out until they arrive at their destination and the cat pops out of the suitcase


  13. I once had a huge microscope in my hand luggage. A friend of mine lives in Paraguay and we met up in Rio de Janeiro and she needed to buy one, but couldn’t get one where she lives, so I bought it for her and transported it to her.
    She is a vetenarian and needs it to check the semen of horses for reproduction purposes. You can imagine the looks of TSA people when I told them the purpose of that thing.

    I lost a suitcase once, or should I rather say, the airline did. They had no idea where it was. For weeks they told me “we are tracking it” till I asked “exactly how are you tracking it?” and was told by one honest operator “we don’t have a tracking system but hopefully in a few years.”
    In the end I was given a check for $ 600 and the suitcase showed up the next day out of nowhere.
    I kept the suitcase AND the check.


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