We finally saw the White House! It’s definitely smaller than you think it would be, but maybe it was because we had to be so far back from it. But it was still worth it, even though it took some time to find a parking spot nearby. We ended up using a mobile parking app to make it easier to pay and to see when we had to be back to avoid a ticket.


Each morning, we’re grateful to be on this journey together. And it’s always heartwarming, and fun, to see Ethan connecting with Dong Eun.

We made a stop at Trader Joe’s because our plan was to see the White House, visit the Museum of Natural History and then, leave DC. Ethan found “Billy” at Trader Joe’s and got some free treats. He then had to hide Billy for another kid to find.

Outside, we had a nice chat with a local about our trip and her travels, too. Always nice to meet people and have a way to connect with them. It’s probably a good experience for Ethan to chat with new people, too.

Ethan made a flower for Dong Eun out of a paper cup and we had some lunch before heading to the White House.

It was a little chilly so we got some coffee and hot chocolate. Ethan wanted to show how he could make a bubble come out from the cup lid. We like that he finds something fun or interesting everywhere he is.

The White House

Basically, we saw it. It was smaller than I thought it would be, but it was cool to at least see it in person.

Museum of Natural History

Dong Eun and Ethan went in while I waited to find a parking spot. The museum was pretty awesome and well worth a longer visit. This visit was cut short, though…

Juju Jr.’s Surprise

Shortly before 4 pm, I had to find a parking spot because there was no street parking from 4 to 6:30 pm. My plan was to drive to the free parking area we’ve been using and walk back to the museum. But Juju Jr. had something to say about that.

As I drove through the 9th Street Tunnel, Juju Jr. started sputtering and stalled…twice. I luckily managed to get him through the tunnel, but since it was 4 pm, rush hour had begun. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t start again.

The bigger issue was that Ethan and Dong Eun were at the museum, but luckily, they were able to catch a free bus and walk to where the van was.

It took AAA a few hours, but eventually, Tyrone showed up with his tow truck to take Juju Jr. to Alexandria VW. It’s great how my BCAA membership works all across the US, so the towing was free.

The folks at Alexandria VW were awesome and let us know that since the dealership was open until 9 pm, we could go there and get ourselves sorted out. Ethan and Dong Eun took an Uber, while I rode in the tow truck.

Once we were all at Alexandria VW, we found a hotel nearby and settled in for the night. The hotel has a full kitchen so we were able to cook dinner there and get some rest.

Juju Jr. will be looked at in the morning, and I’m sure he’s in capable hands with Philippé and his service team.

If you’re just reading this blog for the first time, we are a family of three traveling across Canada (and likely beyond) in a 1994 VW Westfalia camper van called Juju Jr. Our son Ethan, age 9, is unschooling and so we want him to learn from being on the road and traveling. So he’s also now a roadschooler and we are documenting the trip and his learning on this blog.

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