Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Crossed the Line

We started the weekend last Friday night with dinner out with my family. We planned to meet at a favorite Mexican restaurant after I got off work. Hubby and the Wild Child decided to head to the restaurant a little early and I ended up working even later than expected, until nearly 8 p.m. As it turned out, it was just as well since we STILL had to wait about 45 minutes for a table after I arrived--it was much longer for Hubby and the Wild Child. Then, with a restaurant full of people celebrating graduations and Mother's Day, the noise level was uncomfortably loud. On the other hand, the food was excellent! Much better than I've ever had there before. As it turned out, this kind of broad spectrum of highs and lows set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

I was up bright and early on Saturday morning, the day of our stitchery group's road trip. Where were we headed? Nevada! Gardnerville, to be exact. A two and a half hour drive from Sacramento to The Quilt House. There were seven of us altogether in two vehicles, and I was one of the drivers.

Non-quilters, when told one is planning a two and a half hour drive to go to a quilt shop, think quilters are absolutely nuts, don't they? But I think most of you understand. And it's not just the destination: it's the fun and companionship along the way!

Our first stop, though, was at Shared Stitches in Shingle Springs--only about a half hour or so outside of town. And I forgot to take photos--we were just warming up, after all.

Around 1 p.m., we pulled into the parking lot of the Quilt House. I DID take photos there, and they're pretty self-explanatory, so I'll just give you a moment to take in the sights and browse a bit.

After shopping long enough to ensure nothing was missed, and after returning to the register with additional purchases a time or two, we finally gathered our wits and purchases together and left the store. We stopped for lunch and gas, and then we headed back to Sacramento.

The trouble started in Placerville, about 45 minutes from home. We left the freeway at Placerville for a little rest and relief stop at McDonalds. Short break over, four of us got back in my car and pulled onto the frontage road, right behind a pimped out car with look-at-me wheels and a gaudy paint job. And on the back of that car? A student driver sign! And I was stuck behind a student driver in a pimped out car going 18 miles an hour down the road back toward the freeway.

Just about the time I was getting fed up and started yelling at the idiot that he/she could get a ticket for going too freakin' SLOW, I noticed a Sheriff's car in my rear view. So there we were, a three car caravan, led by a pimp mobile, four quilters with a screaming driver, and a Sheriff.

Up ahead, I saw a sign for the freeway with a left arrow. We were all in the left lane, approaching a stop sign about a half block back from the freeway sign, and the pimp mobile driver signals a left turn. Thinking he/she was going to turn into a parking lot, I pulled around into the right lane, with the idea of moving back into the left lane before the left turn. Ha! What I didn't realize was that the left turn lane continued on past the first stop sign up to the second stop sign and the two lanes were divided by a 6" white line--which, as I came to learn, should never, ever be crossed in California.

So, yeah, I ended up putting on my blinker and trying to move back to the left lane, and in doing that, I not only crossed the forbidden 6" line, but I also cut off a Sheriff freakin Sergeant who didn't notice my blinker. After that, there were some honking horns and flashing lights, and while the pimp mobile moved off at a snail's pace, the Sheriff and I stopped for a chat on the side of the road.

Why is it that each year, when my new vehicle registration arrives, I don't remove the old, expired registrations from my glove compartment? Do you have any idea how difficult it is to locate a current registration when a Sheriff is glaring in the window at you and you have about eight different registrations? And proof of insurance cards? Well, since Hubby has us on the 6-month plan, those little cards arrive so frequently, it's hard to keep up. A vague memory of Hubby saying, quite recently, that he'd just paid the car insurance flashed into my head, and with a sinking feeling (after handing the officer two expired insurance cards) I realized Hubby probably hadn't given me the most up-to-date card.

I'm pretty sure the officer thought I was a complete idiot. And he was probably right if the way I felt at that point is anything to go by. While I didn't cry, I DID apologize and he let me go with only a 20 minute lecture about 6 inch white lines and the fines that can be levied for drivers without insurance.

On the remainder of the drive back to Sacramento, we calculated that the fine for driving without insurance is two retreats and a block of the month quilt. And while a citation for simply not having a valid insurance card (but having insurance) is a "fix it" ticket, the payment of court costs associated with the ticket would be a layer cake. No telling what a quilter's cost would be for getting caught crossing a 6" white line, but I don't think I want to risk it.

Do you have 6" white lines in your state? Here in California, they're mostly found dividing the left turn lane from the other lanes of travel. In the interests of becoming a better citizen driver, I now pay close attention to making sure I don't cross the darn things, which means I seem to do a lot of swooping and swerving to maneuver into the turn lanes before the lines begin. Try it and see. I'm really not altogether sure it's safe to drive that way, so I'm not sure how long my good citizenship efforts will last.

And you know what? I forgot to ask that Sergeant if I could take his picture for my blog. But I DID ask Hubby for my proof-of-insurance card as soon as I got home! And next time we plan a road trip, I think I'll ask someone else to drive.


Donna said...

A 6" white line? I'm unfamiliar with that one. Is one supposed to get out and measure white lines before crossing? LOL

Anonymous said...

You poor thing! Initially, I was I thought, OH NO!!!

I also smiled, since we have the same blog theme.

I'm glad he was not in a bad mood and you didn't get fined.

Synthia said...

I'm so relieved you are not in jail!!!

Cathi said...

What a bummer. We do have the 6" white lines here in Texas.

Tina said...

I live in Carson City and the Quilt House is my favorite quilt shop in this area - they have GORGEOUS kits and wonderful fabric.
The six inch white line is new to me.....or maybe I just never paid much attention?! Glad you did not get ticketed!!

Patrica said...

Glad you avoided the ticket. I live in Georgetown and my girls and I have been known to make the trip to the Quilt House just for fun, I love that place but it is quite a drive.

Annette said...

I love it that you translated all of the fees into quilting goodies.
I do that all the time, but usually it's relating the cost of my hubby's computer goodies into quilt equivalents.
Last month I could have bought yards and yards! I may just have to do that...:-)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you did every thing right with the Sheriff. My husband, a retired state trooper, always told me that anyone with a hand full of expired insurance cards, digging for the newest one, probably had insurance so he always gave them a break on that. Also if I got stopped, always would go a long way with any tired officer out on the road. They have to put up with so many people who are rude and angry.


The Queen Bee said...

Oh, no! In New York State the non-negotiable surcharge is $85 per ticket and that's before the fine! I think I'll go check for the most recent insurance and registration card just to be safe. $85 plus the average fine of $100 would buy lots of quilty goodness.


Kathy said...

I'm sitting here drinking my first cup of coffee today reading about your escapade and sorry to say laughing my tail off. So glad your story had a happy ending- no ticket -
Thanks for starting my day with a chuckle:)

Sandy said...

Sorry about the run in with the long arm of the law! But wanted to ask why you did not stop at the quilt shops in South Lake and the other quilt shop on the other end of Gardnerville. Such a long trip deserves a couple more stops!

Read earlier you were going to Verna Mosquera's retreat. You will love it. She treats everyone so nicely and it is just a really fun group of gals. I have been to three of her retreats, but won't make this one unfortunately. Have fun!

Josie McRazie said...

OOPS!! But think of the fun story you got out of the whole ordeal!!