As we were waiting to board our last flight of this recent odyssey, I opened my computer for one last check of messages. As I did so, I was mentally congratulating both of us because we hadn't left anything anywhere. For the last four nights, we had stayed at a different home every night. That was a lot of packing and unpacking.

Usually when we travel, at least once Spouse Roger will leave his shampoo in the shower. I used to be known for leaving a small nightlight plugged into the socket in the bathroom; that's pretty important for middle-of-the-night visits to the loo. I will admit that since I started leaving the smallest size flashlight in my travel bag, I no longer bring a nightlight. And the flashlight stays on the nightstand next to the clock and the medications, so it is easy to just include it when cleaning off that surface. But I have left other things, sometimes in rental cars.

So, having gotten through those daily venue changes without mishap seemed to me to be a big milestone.

It was not meant to be. The first email I opened before we boarded the trip for home was from one of our Los Angeles hosts. He said that one of us was going to be without a toothbrush when next we needed it, because one had been left at his place. He said he would mail it to us. My first thought was to forget it; after all, it was just a toothbrush. And that would have been OK if it had been Spouse Roger's because he still uses the ones the dentist gives us. But I had already discovered that morning that it must be mine. At our last overnight stay, when I couldn't find my toothbrush, I decided it must have sunk to the bottom of the bag, and I just used an extra manual one that we always have along. I was sure when I got home and fully unpacked the bag, it would turn up.

I still considered just having him toss it away. However, it was a fairly pricey battery-operated deal and I knew the cost to mail it was going to be a lot less than the cost to buy a new one.

Our day spent on Maui with our former Lincoln, Neb., neighbor was a great one. We saw quite a few things that tourists do not get to see. She took us to a relatively new and obviously exclusive golf course that had been designed by Frank Lloyd Wright but never built because evidently the developers ran out of money. But the plans had been found about 10 years ago in his things at Taleisin West and then it was built. It was absolutely gorgeous and while there were golfers out on the course, the over-the-top clubhouse was almost deserted.

From there we went to a golf course where we were told the locals play. There were two obvious differences: the Frank Lloyd Wright one was up in the hills and this one was right on the ocean. The fees for the first one were what is apparently typical for the golf courses which cater to tourists, running over $200. The locals pay $10 for nine holes and get to play by the seacoast. We stopped there for lunch at its clubhouse and the cost for all three of us was about what we paid everywhere else for one person.

We talked to our friend who has now lived there for almost three years about how she deals with the prices. She said people have to be creative: she shops at a lot of local farmers' markets and thrift stores. And, people evidently barter a lot. We never did get a straight answer as to why she moved there in the first place. She did say whenever something goes awry, someone will say "Oh, it's just another day in Paradise," as if the weather makes everything worth it.

Back in California, we had a new experience when friends took us to the Los Angeles Police Academy for brunch. The food and service were great, and so were the prices. We would go back there anytime. A bonus was taking a mini-tour of the beautiful gardens in the back of the building which are used for events, and also walking by the shooting ranges and swimming pool. Tucked into the hill behind the Dodgers Stadium, we had never known it was there.

All in all, the trip was long enough, so busy and so filled with seeing friends and relatives that it is hard to remember all of the fun things we experienced. But it was also nice to return home and the missing toothbrush arrived the second day we were here. My friend was right: it did not cost much at all to mail it. And since that still seems to be the only glitch of the trip, it was truly worth it.