Cow Appreciation Day

Hi all,

As a fan of food, I’ve come to appreciate anything fresh and high-quality. This rules out most fast food, though I have a few favorites like Qdoba and Panera. But, folks, my all time favorite fast food chain is another level of delicious: Chick-Fil-A. I don’t eat there very often, because a) it’s kind of pricey and b) it’s not very healthy. But when I do, man do I savor it.

That’s why I continue a personal tradition I began with a few friends in 2011. Every year in July, Chick-Fil-A hosts their annual Cow Appreciation Day. This year, if dressed like a cow, you received a free entree. In years past, you received a free meal if you were fully in costume, and a free entree with just a cow accessory. I suspect they changed the rules this year to avoid arbitrating the difference between an outfit and an accessory. But don’t get me started on that…

Last year, I was working in Evanston and completely forgot about Cow Appreciation Day. That is, until my mom texted to inform me she’d already hit two locations (did I mention obsession runs in the family?) Ask my coworkers, but I shrieked out loud. Even if I’d had time to plan it out, there were only 2 locations nearby, and both were a good hour away in the city.

This year, the one highlight to moving home was the idea that I could regain this old tradition. In 2014, I hit 9 locations. Since then, another location opened and I was determined to beat my old record. There are 11 locations within a reasonable distance of me, and the plan was to go to all of them.

This morning, armed with a full tank of gas, an empty cooler and a cowbell, I set off. Eighty-six miles later, I’m proud to say I did indeed make it to all 11 locations. Here are a few highlights from my day, along with some photos.

  • An old man asked to take a photo of me to send to his friends. I was in full cow attire; how could I say no?
  • I took a photo of three moms with their kids, who were all mooing. You better believe when I have kids, we’re going all out.
  • An elderly couple at another location said, “You must either be a daycare worker or a pediatric nurse!” I said, “No, I’m unemployed…”
  • I lost my car key leaving one location. I turned my purse inside out looking for it, asked the store manager if anyone had found a key, and even looked in the trash before my friend found it in the trash on the second go-around…. Go figure.
  • I had to explain to people at several different locations why I was dressed as a cow and wearing a cowbell. Better step up the advertising next year, Chick-Fil-A!
  • But employees at every location told me “Great costume!” I think it was the cowbell that did it.
    Cow outfit
    Before the day began. Sorry you can’t see the cowbell

    CAD sign

    Laguna Hills CFA
    Breakfast was this chicken burrito.

    Costa Mesa CFA

  • Foothill Ranch CFAIrvine CFA option 2
    Laguna Niguel CFA
    Lunch was this Cobb salad.

    Marketplace CFA

    Newport CFA
    Fashion Island folk are too cool to be seen in cow couture.
    Newport Cow
    The only location where no one was dressed as a cow and they had a cow mascot. Go figure.

    Santa Ana CFAUCI CFATustin CFA

    Aliso Viejo CFA
    My final stop. Not pictured: the sandwich. I actually had to pay for the milkshake.

Hope you enjoyed my strange adventure and the chronicling thereof.
Until next time,