It was likely Esther Forbes’ Johnny Tremain that turned me into a Revolutionary War-era nerd when I was in elementary school. Something about the patriotism and the coming-of-age, call-to-adventure nature of this old-school YA book made this gem of historical fiction resonate with me.
The first time I visited Toronto, the Smashing Pumpkin’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was charting and Continental Airlines was still actively losing our luggage. Needless to say, I was a kid. I remember marveling at the red brick buildings (we don’t have many of those in Hawaii) and admiring the expanse of flat land on which the city resides.
Casa Loma, the historic castle-museum and garden, was a highlight of the trip, as was a visit to see mummies at the Royal Ontario Museum and a lunch buffet in the revolving restaurant atop the CN Tower. The Ontario Festival was happening near the Medieval Times, with which I had a strange, pre-The Cable Guy fascination, as children often do.