February 14th - 15th

Office building - I bet you´re wondering how John was able to get the flags blowing in separate directions!

Sissy and Jessy getting ready for a stroll in the park. To the playground grandma!!!

Grandpa, grandpa, grandpa - can I bring some sticks and rocks home to mommy and daddy? Of course you can Jessy, do you need some help?

I need to brush my teeth real good because I´ve been eating lots of sweets to keep me awake when I get home!

I´ll let go of your beard only if I can go outside and play again!

Are these the kind you want me to put in my pockets for later?

Our shakedown cruise was to Yogi Bear´s Jellystone Park in Emporia, Virginia on Valentine´s day with our granddaughter Jessica (Jessy). We picked her up from mom and dad the night before in anticipation of getting an early start. Go figure, we were about 45 minutes late anyway, but that didn´t matter because the trip went smooth.

Pulling the trailer with our new truck was a dream. The traffic was light, the sun was shining and the temperature was about 45ish. John did the speed limit the entire way using the cruise control. He was right, everyone was passing us but we didn´t have to disengage the cruise control except for stops.

Traveling during the daytime was a unique experience because we usually travel at night. Once out of the Hampton Roads area, we headed west on Route 58. Small farms, gas stations, schools and a race track dotted the landscape along the way. After arriving in Emporia and heading north on I95, it was a very short distance to the exit leading to the campground.

Upon arrival at Jellystone, John discovered the office closed with a sign indicating "Office hours 3PM - 7PM." Must be nice to have those hours! We chose the best spot near the showers, bathrooms and kiddy park. By the time we got settled, the office manager arrived and John checked in. Sissy was off to the kiddy park with Jessy.

After playing around a bit, exploring the rest of the campground and taking a few pics, it was time to settle in for dinner. Sissy cooked baked chicken, mashed potatoes and corn soaked in butter. The refrigerator, furnace, water heater, stove and oven worked great. It took a while to tune the TV antenna so we could watch the Olympics, but the reception of the Richmond station was fine. Off to sleep we went.

Jessy´s perspective of the entire trip probably says it best, so you can click here for a detailed Letter to Mom & Dad.

All-n-all the shakedown cruise went fine. Minor adjustments will be made including:

  • Sissy will be more careful not to spill her drink on the carpet or John´s coffee in the sink;
  • Hooks will be installed in the trailer to store the truck and trailer keys when not in use;
  • Straws will be purchased for John´s drinks. He hates getting his mustache cold and wet;
  • More Velcro strips will be installed on the wall pictures since they almost fell off during the ride;
  • So John won´t burn his fingers again, we will get better pot holders; the one´s without the holes;
  • The kitchen size trash bags will be thrown away and larger ones will be put into the trailer;
  • Sissy will get a sponge or two since John doesn´t like dish rags. He says they attract bacteria;
  • The coffee pot will be prepared at night so John doesn´t have to get it ready in the morning darkness;
  • John will get a connector for our 2 - 10 foot sections of sewer hose. A 20 foot section would have worked better on this trip and many others to come.

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I95 Exit Information Guide
While doing research for our shakedown cruise,
we came across this useful web site for those traveling on Interstate 95.