When I pull into Wally's and there are other RV's already there I don't check with the Staff to see if over-night parking is allowed. When I pulled into Wally's in Santa Maria, CA there were no other RV's there so I proceeded to go into the Store. I saw two guys getting the carts so I asked them about over-night parking and they explained the parking lot was privately owned (not by Walmart) and sometimes Security would come around, however, they turn a blind eye to RV'ers. They said that there are RV's parked there every night. So with that assurance I settled in for the night. Later on two more RV's pulled in. This particular Walmart is located in a Plaza so there were tons of others Stores there.
In the middle of the night (12:30AM to be exact) I woke up from a deep sleep to (what I thought was) a loud banging on my door. I had been dreaming so I lay there for a full minute listening…….nothing. So I figured it was a dream and got comfy again to resume my sleep. BANG – BANG – BANG – I jumped !! Now if I had been anywhere else other than a well lit parking lot I would have had a heart attack ! That's why I don't stay in places I'm not comfortable with. I went to the window and yelled "WHAT !" It was the Security Guard telling me I had to leave or else get a $700 ticket !!!!! There were no signs anywhere saying no overnight parking. I talked with the guy (behind a curtain with the side window slightly cracked) and he clearly was enjoying his 'power'. Thankfully he told me there was a truck stop just up the street where I could park and that's what I (and the 2 other RV's did). Surely they could have monitored the parking lot at an earlier hour !!
I've mentioned before that (so far) finding anything 'reasonably inexpensive' in California is a challenge. But I managed to find this County Park that was only $20.00 a night – full hook-ups ! I was ready to get off the road for awhile and relax. I spoke with someone at this 'Park' who wanted to take a 'reservation' (you will see the irony in that shortly). I couldn't do that as I wasn't sure when CW would be finished with my rig. She assured me it was quite lovely there and very quiet.
I arrived there on Sunday and believe me if you didn't know exactly where this 'RV Park' was you'd never find it. Even with knowing where it was I still spend an hour going around in circles trying to find it. It is a large county fair grounds, with entrances from four different streets. Eventually I did find it and to say it was a disappointment would be an understatement. The 'RV Park' is behind a band stand, in front of the stables, with stables behind and everywhere you looked.
There were only two other Campers there and on Sunday there was something going on in the Arena. A very LOUD band played (not in English) from 1:00PM to 8:00PM and there were hundreds of people around. In the afternoon, while I was washing the rig, it was ok but as the evening wore on I was OVER IT !!I couldn't wait to get out of there. On a happier note though, while I was there, I got the bike out and took a little run to Pismo and Avila Beach. AWESOME ! But that's for another post.