Lost Hobbes Doll At The Tampa International Airport Has An Amazing Adventure That Would Have Done Calvin Proud
And today in stories that will warm the cockles of your heart, no matter how cold and icy it might normally be, we have this: A boy's lost Hobbes doll at the Tampa International Airport was not only found and returned to his owner once he arrived back home from his trip — but even better, airport personnel took the stuffed tiger on one heck of an adventure while the boy was gone, snapping photos of the whole thing and presenting him with a book of the photographs when he returned. Tampa International Airport employees? You guys win the Best Airport Personnel Ever award. That's not actually a thing, but if it were, I would totally give it to you.
According to the airport's website, the handmade tiger belongs to a six-year-old boy named Owen. Owen and his parents recently took a trip to Houston — but somehow during all the excitement of getting on a plane, Hobbes got left behind at the gate in Tampa. Owen was heartbroken when he realized what happened (of course, because when you're a kid and you lose your comfort object, it is seriously the end of the world) — but his mother, Amanda Lake, had hope that the airport would be able to help. She called the Lost and Found on Saturday morning, which launched a full-on search for Hobbes and happily found him near the children's play area at Airside C.
But the story doesn't stop there. After Hobbes was taken to the Airport Operations Center, AOC manager Tony D'Aiuto had the greatest idea in the world: To take Hobbes on an adventure around the Tampa International Airport, documenting the trip as they went. The tiger got to check out the control tower:
Get some gelato at the food court:
Help deliver luggage at the airport's Marriott hotel:
Find out exactly what's on all those computers:
And more. D'Auito even went the extra mile (beyond the extra mile he and the airport staff already went, that is), using a code he had at Walgreens to print up a book full of all the pictures of Hobbes' airport adventure. Owen was presented with the book when he and his parents picked up Hobbes after they returned from Houston:
What? No, I'm not crying. I've just been making a lasagna for one. Really. I swear.
We all carry around fancy-schmancy cameras in our pockets these days — although we usually call them “smartphones” — so it's not unheard for, say, parents traveling without their kids to take a favorite toy along with them and text or email photographs of those toys having a rollicking good time. It's a way to ease the difficulty of having a parent be away, especially for young children. And even if you don't have young kids, it's still an entertaining way to document your travels. Take Eeyore, for example — he's been all over the place:
And so has Pudgy the Penguin:
And Kermit the Frog, too:
This, though? This is really above and beyond. Well played, Tampa International Airport — and Owen? I'm so glad you and Hobbes have been reunited. I'm sure you've got tons of stories to tell each other. May you have many more adventures together in the future!