We stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott and really enjoyed it there. The rooms are like studio apartments and together with the free buffet breakfast, it was a win-win situation for us. We also got an update on Juju Jr.


We all loved staying at the hotel. It was probably the right time to take a break from the road after 9 weeks. Ethan and I liked the free wifi and Ethan was up early working on creating a Wix website to teach people tips on how to use a computer.(theres a link in the ‘about’ section)

Buffet Breakfast

The hotel had a make-your-own-waffle station so this was a fun way for Ethan to get his breakfast. The rest of the food was quite good, with the usual assortment of eggs, sausages, fresh fruit, cereal, and bread. Overall, we were very satisfied with the food.

Marriott needs to address this

What we were not impressed by at all was the use of paper plates, bowls and cups and plastic utensils. There were non-paper and non-plastic options, but there weren’t as many. For example, I had to use a paper cup for my coffee and the cereal bowls were all gone. There were no glasses for juice, only paper cups. The Marriott needs to seriously reconsider how much trash they are creating on a daily basis. At least there were separate bins for compost/organics and plastics.

Hotel Fun

Ethan found the foosball table and enjoyed a game with another kid staying at the hotel.

The rest of the day was spent working on his website, me catching up on blog posts and work, and waiting for Alexandria VW to let us know what’s happening with Juju. Jr. I was getting a bit worried when we didn’t hear from Felipe until nearly 2 pm.

Juju Jr.’s diagnosis

I decided to go to Alexandria VW because I had to get some food and clothing from Juju Jr. We already decided to stay an extra night at the hotel because we weren’t sure what was happening with Juju Jr. Alexandria VW has a free shuttle service, which was very cool.

When I arrived at Alexandria VW,Felipe had some good news… They got Juju Jr. started again and it was just the coil. The coil transmits power from the battery to the spark plugs, as far as I understand, and if faulty, can cause hesitation during driving (which happened) and even stalling for no reason (which happened).

Juju Jr. is a 1994 Westfalia camper van, so it wasn’t too surprising that parts start to go. But I’m pretty sure the coil was replaced about 3 or 4 months ago back home, but perhaps it was a lower quality coil that was put in. Or the fact that we’ve driven over 8,000kms since leaving Vancouver could explain the coil failure. Anyway,Felipe ensured me that the new coil would be up to VW quality standards, so I’m confident this will last longer.

Felipe told me he could get a new coil by either today or tomorrow morning, and fortunately, he had it in on the same day. I was really impressed by not onlyFelipe, but every person I dealt with at Alexandria VW… Ashley, Makayla, Megan, the sales staff who were there the first night… sorry if I forgot anyone, but you all rocked.

Felipe suggested keeping Juju Jr. overnight to ensure the coil was working properly and that we wouldn’t have any other issues. I appreciated his thoughtfulness and thoroughness, and since we already booked another night at the hotel, it was fine to leave Juju Jr. at Alexandria VW.

I also liked that the initial diagnosis would be included in the price of the coil replacement. So we wouldn’t have to pay extra for the work that needed to be done. Awesome!


The rest of the day was spent chilling out at the hotel and getting laundry done. The hotel has a guest laundry room where it costs $3 for washing and has free drying. Very cool and perfect timing for us.

Tomorrow, we’ll see how Juju Jr. is doing and figure out our next step. It’s getting close to US Thanksgiving, and Charles had invited us to spend it with his family, so… we’ll see what happens.

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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