Turns out that a trip to the zoo runs you about $30 for two people…or you give them a juice box, and they call it even.
We were as well.
Last Sunday, I found out it was Elephant Day at the zoo. Not sure what that meant, but adamant about not missing it, I dragged the hubs off to the zoo. When we got there, most of the gates were open, but none of them had a line in front of them. We approached one that was being run by a high school age guy (I’m assuming this based on his less-than-exuberant zest for his job). After both silently recognizing that the zoo was really out to get the public these days with some radical prices, we asked for two adult tickets. High schooler Greg (Assumed name) leaned towards us covertly, and mumbled under his breath, “I will give you two for one if you get me one of those”. Greg gave a less-than-informative nod in the direction of a large truck parked in front of the zoo, and then, having put forth his challenge, slouched backwards in his chair.
Needless to say, we had no idea what Greg was referring to, but since he was offering two newlyweds a chance to save some cash – we decided to head in the direction of the truck. We found a guy around the back, busy unloading large crates of juice boxes. He quickly explained that the truck was there to give away free juice and that he was in the process of getting his booth set up. He asked us to come back later and asked us (not in so many words) to stop being so lame while he was trying to do his job. (We learned later that impatient people crowd him all the time for pre-booth free juice).
With money on the line – we explained our situation: “We realize that you have to cater to the mob all the time. But Greg in the booth is going to give us a free ticket in exchange for the juice.” Then I smiled really big.
Won over by the smile, he took pity on us and gave us 4 juice boxes. At some point during this exchange a zoo security officer had come over and stood next to the back of the truck. But apparently, this whole juice box deal is a secret zoo policy, because he didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
We returned to the booth (to Greg) and held out half of the goods. Greg motioned for us to come to the side door, took his juice, and then with another one of his famous nods, said “Have a nice day”…I imagine he has a history working for the Mafia.
Utterly confused, but excited about our random good fortune – we then spent the rest of the day remarking about all the things we were doing for free. A remark that instantly makes everything more fun.
In any event, it was a great day to go to the zoo. The weather was perfect and it wasn’t too crowded. We spent the afternoon leisurely walking and looking at all the animals (for free!)
I honestly could have watched this guy all day…
Sean and I raced to see the elephants as soon as we arrived, and spent a while watching them. We couldn’t resist swinging by their home again before we left. At the end of the day we were the only ones there, and it was the highlight of my day to just sit and marvel at them for a while.