I’m mostly a homebody. In fact, at this time I haven’t left my house in my vehicle since Monday. It’s been nice. 🙂
But on this particular day, I had no choice. I needed to get some paperwork from the ‘local’ courthouse. I say local because it’s in another state. Not exactly local in my mind.
My co-pilots were BP (of course) and Tim. Now let me explain Tim a little. He is my GPS. A TomTom as a matter of fact. I’ve had him for 8+ years and he has mostly served me well. I say mostly because there was this one time he brought me to the edge of a cliff and told me: ‘you have reached your destination’. No, no I haven’t, I told him. *I always have wondered if he has had it in for me or not.
Now back to my trip to the big city. This particular big city is right next to a bigger city that I have always said was a city of one-way dead end streets. *Keep that in mind for later…
I had all my ducks in a row on this day. BP was prepped and ready to go on our adventure. I had a Mom-sitter lined up to feed Mom her lunch and put her to bed after. The day was bright, no rain in the forecast. I had already looked at the map (I confess I used Google maps 😦 ) I was ready to conquer the world!
The trip went well for the first 40ish minutes. Then I got to the outskirts of ‘the city’. Now I expected traffic, but not THAT much. We were still several miles from my exit (which was an earlier exit) and we were stopped. Dead stopped. As we inched forward I looked at Tim and he said I should go a few more exits. But the exit sign I was coming up to was the one I thought I should get off at…
What to do, what to do – I actually chose right and got off the exit. 🙂
It curved around as I expected it to and landed me on the route I was supposed to be on. According to Google maps I was 8 minutes away. Not bad, not bad at all. BUT I wasn’t quite sure where the courthouse was so I followed Tim’s directions.
I drove and drove and drove. All the while BP is happy as a clam and chattering along. Side note: I should have peed before I left and I was realizing this now. 😦
I drove along and passed a street sign that made me think I was about 2 blocks away. Tim didn’t think so. I drove and drove and drove. I passed another sign that made me think I drove too far. I even saw a business I recognized and seriously considered parking in their parking lot and walking to wherever I needed to be. But it was cold and I had BP with me. Best just to press on.
So I did.
I kept driving as the minutes ticked on. I kept driving as I followed the detoured that threw Tim off completely. I kept driving till Tim said I was back on track.
He brought me to a deserted(ish) area with no businesses – and certainly no courthouses, and told me: you have reached your destination. No Tim, no I have not.
And now I really need to pee.
I tried to use my maps program on my phone – no go. *I safely pulled over to do this.
I drove and I drove and I drove. I finally arrived at a grocery store that had free wifi. But not from the parking lot. I got BP out – left Tim in the car – I was upset with him, and went in the store.
I should make a little side note that I yelled at Tim and my phone and was policed by BP to not use those words. I was told they were Dad words , not Mom words. 😉 Ah, ever listening. 🙂
First things first: I found the bathroom. 🙂
I then sat down and used their wifi to find where I needed to be. I was only 3 miles away. I needed to be: right back where I saw the street sign that had made me think I was almost there. But at this point it was 40 minutes later. *I hate the big city.
When I finally arrive I find a safe place to park, grab everything that I think I will need and off we go. We walked as quickly as we could seeing as it was colder than we expected. At the front door we find a sign that says to use the side door. Ugh, no biggie. At the side door I face what I expected: metal detectors. I wondered how BP would do.
Not so good. She started to cling to me saying: bad strangers, bad strangers, bad strangers. The lady who was ‘checking’ us was not amused or helpful. I finally made it through the detectors with BP and went on over to the records department.
After explaining what I needed and showing the clerk the proper paperwork: he told me I was in the wrong county courthouse. Seriously?!? Yep – I needed to go to the city with one-way dead end streets. After it took me 2 hours to get here I had to go one more city over.
He must have seen the look of desperation in my eyes and said – give me a minute, I’ll check here. Whew. I’m glad he did! He had both of the files that I needed. Now to make copies.
I glanced around and noted the two copy machines (one not working). They only took coins and small bills. I had a $50.
I walked back over to the clerk, asked if they could make change. He said: nope. Dope. I explained I would be right back and please don’t put my files away.
We walked as quickly as would could back to our vehicle as I happily remembered I had library money in the car. Quarters – woo hoo!
After we made it back to the courthouse, back through security, back to the records department, and retrieved our files. I separated out which papers I need copies of. 21 of them. I had $9.45 in pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters. I could make 18 copies. Which 4 to leave out, which 4 to leave out… I found 3 no problem. I looked up at a lady who was sorting papers too and asked: May I have a nickle. She gave me a quarter! 🙂 Score! Copy 19 papers and go home.
HAhahahahah. It’s never that easy. And by the way: why are copies 50 cents a page? 50 cents A PAGE?
I went to work coping and let people with one or two copies to make cut on in. Until I realized the copier didn’t take pennies. Uh oh. So I looked at the nice lady again and asked her if she had change. She did. After we traded I tried to get the copier to take a $10 bill. It wouldn’t. Neither would the change making machine. What’s the point of a change making machine if it doesn’t work?
Now both the nice lady and I were getting desperate. I had to make 1 more copy (really 4 would be better), and she need to make many copies. She needed change worse than I did. She went on a mission to find change to no avail. After looking and hunting and searching and asking. I got really desperate. I had already tried to buy candy out of the vending machine in order to get change – I was that desperate. BP was doing great all of this time, but I knew it was time to go soon and get her a nap.
I walked over to the nice clerk and asked him for help. He said go on over there and they will make your copies for you. Huge sigh of relief. I went on over with my papers and money, asked the lady to make 4 copies. She did. 🙂 I took them and ran. Not really.
I put the file back together nicely and BP and I headed on home.
Lessons learned: never trust your GPS, if you think you are almost there – you probably are (the courthouse was just blocks away from the business I had thought to park at), and bring lots and lots and then some more quarters any time you go to a courthouse.