138 Massassauga Rd

The night before, or rather the 1am day of! We drove from home in Brampton tonight to Belleville. Little Man has been visiting his Grammy and Grampy this week with his cousins and our dog who will spend next week here too. .

All is packed, the cats are fed and have water for a few days. Special Thanks to Jody who is feeding them while I am away.

Car is ready and I hope I thought of nearly everything. We leave in 8 hours and I should be sleeping but I am like a kid before a Disney vacation right now, wide awake.

Tomorrow the Meens family goes on their very first family vacation!

Wellesley Island

Liam was so charming with the Customs Officer on the cross into the USA.

The most shocking thing we said to him was that Liam WANTED and ASKED to go to the Smithsonian. He was surprised and I imagine it’s hard to surprise those guys!


First stop after crossing was at a Duncan Donuts/Gas Station. Liam is so curious about all the products they have that we don’t. I took my last gulp of Tim Hortons Canadian tea for the week.

Will got MOUNDS

Comic making along the way!

Syracuse, NY 13204, USA


A massive entertainment mall in Syracuse we arrived and Liam was mesmerized by the size and different stores. It is about the size of the Eaton Center but with an added wing dedicated to entertainment Activities. Liam had a crisis of Canadian patriotism, feeling like the US was so much “cooler” then Canada. He was so sad thinking he was a bad Canadian :)

We talked about all the awesome part of Canada and how the US is just different. The real swing vote was he saw mall security on a Segue and he thought it was hilarious that their security is lazy lol. (Big big mall remember!)

We ate at TGIFridays and then headed to Museum Intrigue. What a fantastic place. Liam lead us through a treasure hunt as we spent an hour solving riddles and clues to get the ultimate booty!

Kitty Made a friend!!!!

After the adventure we went to Dave and Busters before doing a bit of shopping and getting back on the road.

Liam almost immediately passed out.

He fell asleep in the State of New York and woke up in the State of Pennsylvania!

2 Megan Pl, Moosic, PA 18507, USA

Another few hours and we found a motel just outside Scranton PA. A quick trip to Walmart for microwave dinners and then we retired for the night!

Liam’s Notes

Fav Part:

Eating lunch and the adventure.

Least Fav Part


Cool Things:

1. The eastern island statue and picking his nose.

2. All the rocks along the hiway that were exploded. Jagged sides as we drove.


Started the day off at 8am and as we were packing the car outside our motel there was some excitement as 3 cruisers and two ambulances showed up.

Looks like it was nothing serious. So we packed up and headed to breakfast. We had seen this cute 1950’s style diner next door. Turns out it was pretty rich with history! One of the original O’Malley dining card and was the site of a Joe Biden visit in 2014. Oh also it’s takeout menu is on this little show called The Office....

Apparently you can bring your own bottle!


Two hours of driving with some pretty cool rocks we made our first stop of the day was in HERSHEY, PA, so named for Milton Hershey of the Hershey Chocolates! Liam loved this and what kid wouldn’t. We didn’t get to do much there because the crowds were INSANE! But we saw a cool 4D movie where we got “sprinkled” on and bubbles came down. Very fun.

Then we had a professionally made smore, and now are smore trained professionals!

After picking up some treats we hit the road again! Onwards to Chantilly VA!


Our next leg of the trip took us from Pennsylvania through Maryland and into Virginia where we made it to Chantilly VA by 530!

Where yesterday’s “hotel” was questionable at best I more then made up for it with the amazing deal I got in Chantilly. For $98cdn we scored a Deluxe King Room at the Hyatt! We made it by 530 and were able to grab a fun family swim before heading to Peru 703 for dinner!

The food was AMAZNG! We had Anticucho (google it) and even Liam liked it but we won’t tell him what it is lol. We also had a rice and seafood dish and a beef dish.

Now that dinner is done it will be a movie and a nice bath (Will got Jolly Rancher Bath Bombs) and then bed for tomorrow’s adventure to the Smithsonian National Space and Air Museum then onto WASHINGTON DC!!!

Liams Notes:

Best Part of the Day:

The Chocolate Place!!!!!

Most Fun Activity:

The Chocolate movie and swimming!

How was the Peruvian Food?

Good! The Anticucho and the potato!

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

We woke up Day 3 in our lovely room at around 730am. Liam was in heaven as Teen Titans was having a marathon.

We took our time getting breakfast and getting ready before checking out and heading over to the Smithsonian Air & Space: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the one place this trip Will wanted to go!

We arrived just as they opened but there was one small issue, there was NO POWER! We chose to still check it all out. Since it was a hanger with lots of windows near the top there was enough natural light. We enjoyed checking out the planes, helicopters and space crafts including DISCOVERY!

A few hours of exploring we headed out for some lunch and then onwards to WASHINGTON DC!!!

Hotel Harrington

The drive into Washington DC was pretty similar to driving into parts of downtown Toronto, actually less traffic.

When we came into the city our gps took us past the Washington Monument and Liam was thrilled! He is so excited to be here it is such an amazing feeling to be able to give this adventure to him!

After parking the car we left our luggage and headed to the hotel check in. We are staying at the Hotel Harrington which is a piece of history in its self. First opened in 1914, it is the longest continuously operating hotel in Washington DC and has many great original features! Our room is really two rooms with what was likely once an adjoining door long since removed. Two TVs (which I can watch both of from my bed lol) a fridge, 2 bathrooms and a microwave make it a pretty nice set up! I was expecting the bedding to be dated and the hotel to be a bit dingy but it’s actually really clean and nice. The staff are warm and welcoming and very helpful!

Below is not our exact room but pretty close.

After a brief test in our room we headed back out. Liam was asking if we could walk by the Ford Theater and the house where Lincoln died. We decided to go there before getting our luggage.

Ford's Theatre

The amazing thing about Washington is that the government funded museums are all free and so we decided to check out the Ford Theater where John Wills Booth shot Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. The private box has been preserved and amazingly shows still run in the Theater.

After the Theater we crossed the road to the Peterson House. The next day at 755am, Lincoln succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

The feeling of historical significance is awe inspiring. We all felt so close to that time.

Washington Monument

After diner we rested for an hour then went on a walk. We headed first to the White House and then to the Washington Monument. Liam was beside himself!

The White House viewed from the south side is pretty underwhelming. However the Washington Monument was so much larger then I expected! We got closer before heading back to the hotel and Liam even laid down just to enjoy the monument.

Back at the hotel we have all settled for the night.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

We all slept in this morning, our beds in this hotel are so comfy and after the days of travel and excitement we all needed the extra sleep!

A quick breakfast and we headed to Liam’s choice of our first stop of the day. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Specifically the Egyptian exhibit and the gems/rocks.

On the way we passed the FBI building so I (Sheryl) geeked out just a bit! It is a pretty dull and fortress like building with what I can only describe as a dry moot around it.

It’s a beautiful and well thought out museum. There are many things they have to encourage kids to touch and feel history not just to see. The exhibits are lit to make photography possible and the information is delivered in easy to understand ways.

I will say the ROM has much larger dinasaur and Egyptian collections. However, the \240crystals, gems and minerals collection was stunning!

Liam and Will loved seeing the space rocks and the space diamond dust.

Liam found his happy place!

Humming Bird Bone

Double Coconut

Watch the paleantologists at work but don’t tap the glass!

Th hope diamond, a bit lack lustre to be honest.


Look close, it is the alphabet in diamonds.

The duplicate of the tip of the Washington Monumnet.

Moon Dust

Moon Rocks

Diamond Dust

An Unexpected Break

Unfortunately as we grabbed a snack after the Natural History museum and before we headed to the next one, Liam had a migraine hit. We decided to go back to the hotel for a rest until it passed with the promise we won’t leave Washington until he sees all he wanted to.

His headache lasted past the museum closing time and the ankle I twisted gettinngim back to the hotel started to throb and swell. So I headed to CVS for some more medication for Liam and a wrap for me. We checked out the room service offerings and waited for Liam to wake up.

His headache continued on into the evening and he was not up for much food. Will and I passed the time reading, packing and planning the next day to make sure we are everything. The original plan for visiting the reflecting pond, Lincoln memorial and a few other spots was to walk for the few hours it would take. However given my current ankle situation we will be utilizing uber tomorrow to get to each place.

We spoke to Liam tonight and he mostly just wants to see the Lincoln Memorial and the Wright Brothers Plane so we will be crossing those off first thing! Anything free that will be a bonus!


Liam woke up feeling so much better so we had breakfast and were on our way to the Lincoln Memorial by 8am. We took an Uber there die to my ankle which is feelin a bit better but still painful to walk on and bandaged up.

We admired the reflecting pond and the sheer grandness of the Lincoln memorial before climbing the steps to stand before the massive statue. You know it’s is big before you come, see photos and movies but nothing prepares you for how huge these monuments truly are!

We then headed towards the Martin Luther King memorial on foot with a stop at the Korean War Memorial and a memorial to those from Washington DC who died in WW1.

From MLK we continued on foot to Franklin D Roosevelt’s memorial along the basin.

The FDR memorial was my favourite, not just because he was an inspiring man but the memorial was beautiful with waterfalls and enscribed stone.

We continued onto our last memorial of the morning, Thomas Jefferson. Like the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson’s was HUGE. Liam spent extra time in this last place just enjoying the atmosphere.

One thing that struck me at each monument/memorial was the quiet respect every person visiting gave.

When we finished at the monuments it was time to head back to the hotel to check out then grab a pizza lunch across the road.

Onwards to the Air & Space Museum to see the Wright Bros. exhibit before heading to the American History Museum. We saw Lincoln’s top hat, Edison’s Light bulb, A.G. Bell’s phone. Also dresses worn by histories First Lady’s, Chef from the Muppets and Mohammad Ali’s gloves.

By 3pm it was time to head to our car and say goodbye to Washington DC.

Will drove useto our hotel for the night in Wilmington DE while Liam an I passed out hard. My sore ankle combined with so much walking left me exhausted.

1612 N Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720, USA

At the Clarion Hotell we had a quick swim befor a late dinner. Liam wrote in his journal.

Tomorrow will be a huge day and lots more walking as we surprise Liam with a trip to NYC for the day and a chance to go to the Statue of Liberty.

Jersey City

We woke in the morning about 8 am and got on the road for 9. Gas and some breakfast and we were on our way. We wouldn’t tell Liam where we were headed, only that it was surprise day! With just one stop to grab more caffeine we were able to make it to our next hotel/parking spot for noon.

On the way into Jersey City we told Liam to look out the windows and tell us if he saw anything he recognized. On the last bridge into the city he spotted her, Lady Liberty!

He could hardly believe it and was in complete shock that we were taking him to NYC for the day!

When we arrived at the hotel, the room was actually ready for us! Great luck! We headed up to our room to drop the stuff then jumped in an Uber in order to make our boat reservation time for the Statue Liberty.


After dropping our bags and hopping in an umber we got to Battery Park and our ferry intime to head over to Liberty Island and the pedistal of the Statue of Liberty. I had hoped to take Liam to the crown but apparently those tickets book 8 months in advance, however the best fibre of her is from the ferry anyway!

We arrived on the island and headed up for some very pretty views of the Manhattan skyline. It was interesting to go inside and we got to see the original torch!

After our climb we walked around the park before getting back on the ferry to head back to Manhattan.

Hey nice back to Battery Park we walked up past the Bull of Wall Street and the Defiant Girl (both engulfed in crowds) to about of the way Chinese place for an early dinner.

After dinner we hoped on the subway up to Central Park. Liam didn’t get to explore much but we did find a fun playground and Liam ran around and climbed for awhile.

After leaving Central Park we came across Trump Tower where Liam couldn’t resist expressing himself!

Heading down Broadway we came upon the Late Show theater before we \240finished our Manhatten day in Time Square, Liam loved all the bright lights and signs! However for a kiddo like Liam (and most people) it can be a lot so we were not there long before heading to the subway.

On the Subway we ran into a lovely high school science teacher from New Jersey. She overheard me telling Will I needed to find our trains to NJ and asked where we were headed. When it turned out it was the same stop as her, she escorted us through the trains and change overs. Asking nothing in return she simply wanted us to pay it forward.

Once back in Jersey City we grabbed an ice cream on the way to the hotel and settled in for the night. We watched Inside Out and when Liam was getting ready for bed he broke down in tears telling us it was the best trip ever and he loves us so much. My heart melted!

130 River Dr S, Jersey City, NJ 07310, USA

Liam and Mommy headed out at 9am to the nearby Starbucks to grab something to eat and let dad sleep. We had a healthy breakfast of cake pops, cheese and fruit!

We grabbed Daddy coffee before heading back.

Liam enjoyed the giant TV (one of 2) in our room this morning watching Teen Titans.

Liam watching his own gian TV!

138 Massassauga Rd

Started the morning with a swim! Liam and I had a great morning swim while dad got ready. He has become such a little fish and has improved so much! We are so proud!

Once the car was loaded we grabbed some breakfast before hitting the road.

We were all pretty tired from the week and Dad was amazing doing all the driving (4 hours) to Belleville.

Once across the border we stopped at the first Tim Hortons we saw.

The rest of the drive was uneventful and we arrived about 3pm. Dashy lost her mind with excitement when we arrived! She was my shadow from that point onwards!

Liam was almost immediately back in the pool, showing his grandparents his new found ability to back float.

We decided to spend the night and turned in early, everyone was asleep by 10pm.