What Really Happened on Our Trip – What My Kid Got Wrong in Virtual Learning

So look, I was editing my son’s virtual learning assignment and realize homeboy got some details wrong:



First of all- there was no argument. I detailed it in part of the blog post about the trip but also wrote about it for a class so I’ll save myself some time and copy paste here. For the record: that guy is now my ex boyfriend.

There’s a lot of things that can be stressful about travelling. Missing a flight, not knowing your way around a city, and more. But I think one of the most stressful things might be losing one’s phone. It sounds silly, but many times our phones hold our flight information, bus passes, and the photos of all these new memories. Not to mention they are expensive to replace and necessary when getting into a pickle in a spot you are unfamiliar with. 

Which brings me to my own experience facing this problem and how you can avoid it. I didn’t do this to my phone, oh no. I’m way too type A about making sure it’s in my zipped up pocket of my jacket or even in a zipped up pocket of a purse. Nope. This problem would be courtesy of my absent minded boyfriend now my ex boyfriend. I’ll set the scene for you.

We’re on our first big trip together with my kids. First time my kids are on a plane, first vacation together, first time for a lot of things. It’s towards the end of the first day in Washington D.C. and we’re taking a break in our Airbnb. Boyfriend realizes his phone is dying and needs to charge it up, but he wants to go get food from a nearby grocery store. I tell him put it on low battery mode which somehow he has never heard of before, but he complies with little grumbling.

Boyfriend shows up a long time after leaving, I plug his phone in, we put the groceries up, and we cook food. Couple of hours later, I put his phone back on low battery mode as we head out to our evening monument tour in another Uber. As I’m in the car reading the reviews of our driver, someone stated he was so nice to bring his phone back he left in the car. It was like some kind of cruel foreshadowing.

As we get out of the Uber, seconds after the door shuts, Boyfriend realizes he has left his phone in the car. In about a second I think of grabbing said car before it speeds off, but realize my kids are likely to try and catch me, and Boyfriend is acting some kind of weird tired-sick-Man-fluish combo and I can’t trust him to catch my kids as they try to chase me. All of this reasoning goes through my mind just before the car takes off. Great.

Now it’s starting to sprinkle outside. Kiddos have jackets on and protest that they are cold anyway, but also insist on sitting on the top deck of the bus which is open to the wind. Ok sure that meets 8-year-old logic. Meanwhile, I’m irritated AF and ask Boyfriend if he has Find My iPhone activated. Boyfriend is not sure what that is, and I’m wondering how has he managed to make it this far through law school but doesn’t know how to operate his damn phone? Not only did he not know about low battery mode, which I had told him to enact because I figured we each needed working phones since the tour was a hop on hop off kind and what if we got seperated, but now this?! Lord bless him.

Somehow by the sheer Grace of God he did have it activated and managed to remember his password. So I’m taking screenshots of this Uber driver bouncing all over the damn city as my kids insist that they NEED new sweatshirts along with the super touristy pocket ponchos I bought. Goodbye $45 and more of my sanity. Along with a thank you to another 45 for blocking off so much of the White House that we couldn’t even really see it. Jerk.

Eventually, the Uber driver stopped. After we did much of our evening tour with two overly tired children in the upper open air deck of a tour bus on the same day they took their first flights. And I compared that stop to where he was Saturday morning to figure out where he lived. In case we needed to show up there. Cause I was READY.

Note: Uber has a way for you to call the drivers, but if they don’t answer you can let Uber know. They ask that you give it 24 hours but in my mind we didn’t have that kind of time, since this was Friday night and we left Sunday. It left us only Saturday to get the phone. I, however, saved his number from his voicemail- since he didn’t have a personalized one- and then texted him. No answer.

Ended up that he called us the next day and said it wasn’t in his car, but maybe he accidentally threw it out with a bunch of other things people would leave. Because he was in D.C. driving and didn’t see it. So I told him that I saw certain landmarks where the phone was, and that I had tracked it with the app. This is when he said oh ok yeah that’s where I live, and told me which apartments they were. We took a 25 minute Uber drive to Laurel, Maryland to track down this phone. 

At this point, I pinged the phone, which Find My iPhone told me was somehow still on and the battery hadn’t died thanks to Low Battery Mode. Uber driver had told me it was behind his apartment. Ok. Boyfriend offers to get out of the car and I say HELL NAW I don’t trust you to follow my phone to find yours. Nope. A giant nope.

Follow the iPhone somehow over to a dumpster where I hear it. Y’all- I had to climb into a dumpster to get this boy’s phone. 

Thankfully, it wasn’t full. Thankfully, it wasn’t in a garbage bag. It was all by it’s lonesome on the floor of the dumpster.

I triumphantly returned to the Uber with two phones in hand, hero of the trip.

This is how you prepare to get a phone back. Make sure you keep your phone in low battery mode on trips, that Find My iPhone is activated, that you know your password, and be prepared to harass Uber to get your phone back. Or, just be more careful and check your pockets when getting out of the car.

Boyfriend didn’t quite learn this lesson, as he managed to leave his wallet on the plane after we flew home. It fell out of his pocket.


This is an excerpt, and expanded, version from the original story, Girl Meets City: Washington, D.C. on the website Southern Bon Vivant.


And there’s the story as it ACTUALLY happened. We have corrected it, although in a shorter version, for his homework.


As for the UFO claim, I can’t verify or deny that one.


Love to all y’all,



Molly McWilliams Wilkins

Molly McWilliams Wilkins is a Southern culture commentator, web producer, and social media marketing maven. She is also a freelance writer who has worked with a variety of publications and online magazines including Bourbon & Boots, Paste Magazine, Macon Magazine, the 11th Hour, Macon Food & Culture Magazine, and as the Digital Content Editor for The Southern Weekend. Mommy first, fashionista, social media maven, writer, artist, dreamer and poet. Hangs on to her Oxford Commas by force. Addicted to shoes and purses- and lots of coffee. Coffee coffee coffee.

Molly McWilliams Wilkins has 883 posts and counting. See all posts by Molly McWilliams Wilkins

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