Did we make it through our first Wallydocking experience? YES WE DID! And boy was it glorious, knowing the options that it opens up for us! As much as we love our campground stays, they are restricting in that we are usually racing to get to one before the check-in office closes and then we face an early morning check-out the next day. Why pay a campground fee when we’re just paying to sleep somewhere and we can sleep at the Walmart FO FREE? Our first Wally-docking experience was uneventful and therefore gave us the confidence we needed to use this as a viable option when we want to stay out late exploring and save some money (we frequently spend the money we saved on a campsite buying groceries and/or necessities at the Walmart, however.) Being the night owls that we are, we can just roll up at anytime and sleep as late as we want. I curse the person who made typical work days 9-6. We are both more of 4pm-12am people. At my office job I frequently felt like I was in a haze for most of the day and suddenly at 4pm my burst of energy/productivity/creativity would kick in, just as the work-day was ending. (Future employers please disregard that sentence. I am completely competent at showing up for work at standard hours; but it doesn't mean I would choose it if I had the choice <-- Shameless plug for more flexible offices.)
So after the uneventful Wallydocking experience in Falmouth, Maine, we headed to Quarry Run Dog Park in Portland, ME. This place was more like a large, fenced in forest trail. We were able to see if Lucy would bolt or follow us with the security of knowing if she bolted, she would at least be confined within a fence and we would eventually find her. We walked the trail to the play area (only about 3 minutes up the hill) and we got some great recommendations from the locals to visit downtown Portland, so off we went.
We arrived to the bustling downtown area in Portland, unable to find parking, so we paid $10 to park at Simba Parking all day, with in-and-out privileges, a good deal if you're there for more than half the day, since all other parking is metered. We had to squeeze ourselves into a slightly un-level parking spot, but we had a prime location to explore the entire downtown area, starting off with lunch at the Porthole on the water and my first Lobster experience, lobstah pasta! Humz got the mussels…and Lucy laid under our picnic table, looking longingly for some scraps. We saw “The Cat”, a huge car ferry and debated for a few seconds if we should book Comet a spot on it to go to Nova Scotia. It was booked for the day and was hundreds of dollars, so opted against it. We continued down Commercial Street and hopped and bopped into all of the shops, of course looking for Christmas ornaments as we went along.
Katharine Fun Fact: I collect Christmas ornaments from all of the places we go. For this cross-country adventure, I told myself I can get 1 ornament from each state (if I don't already have one), with the possibility of a few more random places if the ornaments are awesome or the place is particularly memorable. I always want something that shows something original from the place I visit, is locally made if I can get it, and ranges in price from $10-$15. There are TONS of ornaments I would try to buy if I didn’t set these limits for myself. When I get too many to store in the van (usually about 6-8 depending on size and fragility), I send them back to my in-laws for safe keeping until we have a more permanent residence.
Right before sunset, we took the Travato up to Fort Allen Park and Eastern Promenade, overlooking Casco Bay, and to give Lucy a good romp in the grass. It was freeeezing and I mostly hid inside while Humz did the Lucy romping. We finished off the night driving back into town and sharing a shepards pie at RiRa, an Irish pub that was playing the USA soccer game against Costa Rica. (USMNT fans here!!) They did not do well, and we were too depressed to drive further north, so we headed back to the Walmart that we stayed at the previous night…because we were of course Wally-docking pros!