Memory Monday With Tom McClure

My wife Sara, my stepdaughter Hannah, and I load the last of our luggage into the trunk of our rental car. We’ve been packed for about six weeks but we’re finally about to take off on our first trip of the season to Cedar Point. It’s a trip I’ve been excited about since Christmas when I got a Platinum Pass. Six months of YouTube videos, of reading “How to get the most out of your trip to Cedar Point” articles, and of hearing my wife rave about Millennium Force. I’m so excited to leave but there’s a small problem.

I have no idea what to expect because I’ve never been to Cedar Point. Ever.

That’s right! I, Tom McClure, a 34 year old self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie (I mean… who doesn’t love the rush of using the exit door to go inside Wal-Mart?!) have never set foot inside Cedar Point. We had made the trip to Kings Island a month earlier which was also my first time in that park but we hadn’t come to Sandusky. For years, I thought Great America was the ONLY place to go. I’d been denying there was a roller coaster heaven until the day I got a season pass.

We make the 3 hour drive to the park and the whole car is buzzing: What do we want to ride first? I’d made my mind up on Maverick after seeing the YouTube video. Sara wanted Millennium Force and Hannah wanted an elephant ear (She’s nine.) The plans were made UNTIL we hit the causeway and I caught my first glimpse of the park across the water. Goosebumps! We pay to park up close and get out of the car. I can hear Sara talking to me as she’s double checking everything but I’m already mentally halfway up the lift hill on Gatekeeper. (How could you not develop a moderate case of ADD in a place like this?!)

We double tap each pocket to ensure everything is there and we head inside. The rest of the day was a total blur. I don’t remember what we rode first, how long the lines were, or how much money we spent in Starbucks. What I DO remember is that Sara, Hannah, and I rode almost everything and we had a LOT of fun together. Between work, school, and everything else that competes for our time and attention these days, it’s so great to pack up and do something amazing together as a family!

We’d make a few more trips before it closed for the year, we attended a ride night on Top Thrill Dragster, and Sara and Hannah ended up going for closing day. That one visit was the start of the most amazing summer I’ve ever had. Now, it’s the middle of January and we’re trudging through snow wishing winter would be over. We’ve renewed our passes, we’re checking calendars, and we’re fighting the urge to start packing already.

We’re planning a summer so big in 2015 my wife actually said the word “Epic” yesterday. Yep! THAT big! Our two year old daughter just hit the 36″ mark so she can ride almost all the Planet Snoopy rides. That’s going to add a whole new level of excitement watching her eyes light up as we create another roller coaster junkie!

See you at Cedar Point!

-Tom McClure