In the midst of unpacking hell, I had to drive my mom to Roseville, two hours away, so she could fight a speeding ticket. Here's what happened.
My mom was coming back from Tahoe with some friends, and she took the wheel of her friend's Passat to pitch in with driving. No more than three minutes in to her drive, she got pulled over for going 90. Two things occurred: 1) She normally drives a 50 year-old car that can't go over 65 mph on its best day, and rattles like an earthquake at any speed, so when she pressed down on the gas on this modern vehicle and there was no rattle, no straining lawn mower noise, she had no idea how fast she was going. 2) She wanted to pass a truck.
My dad thought she should just pay it and move on with her life. Like that was ever going to happen! Has he met her? She once fought a ticket for running a stop sign on the basis that "I slowed down!" So since I owe her one (more like one million) I agreed that when the time came I would go with her to fight the ticket. She thought we should take Leila out of school and bring her with us and go to some gold rush tourist spots after court. So we made a little road trip out of it, and spent the night up there in the central valley, where Leila was completely awed by the Marriott Courtyard conveniently located right off the freeway ("its better than Hawaii!") and couldn't have been more excited to eat at Red Robin ($4 martinis, man!)
In the morning we had our free breakfast at the breakfast bar (apparently the most delicious breakfast Leila has ever had) and jetted off to the court house. I asked Leila what was so important in her purse that she had to bring it along, and she told me she needed her wallet "in case I need to bribe somebody." I'd like to know which Disney show it was that taught her about bribing court officials.
Long story only slightly shorter, the officer did not show up so the ticket was dismissed and we exited the courthouse triumphant by 8:30 in the morning. We almost went back to the hotel to eat more breakfast, but instead we drove along highway 49 to the gold discovery museum. In California, all fourth graders must learn about the gold rush. It is imperative to their development as future bond traders, casting agents, and waiters. Leila's topic is Panning for Gold. We paid $7 for a gold panning lesson, and then she panned for 45 minutes. Luckily for her, she was the first and only panner of the day, and the trough had just been freshly stocked with gold flakes and garnet pieces. I felt the water and could not believe that this child had her hands in this frigid water for all that time. Unbelievable. She found some gold, and declared that we should do this once a month.
So a $430 ticket was erased by a night in a hotel, two meals in two restaurants, $60 worth of gas, and $7 worth of hard won gold flakes. We were gone less than 24 hours. Totally worth it.