Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Crossing into South Dakota

Waking up in Omaha knowing that we would soon find ourselves in South Dakota felt like Christmas morning to me.  I know, I know…random, huh?  But there was always something about the state that drew me in.  It could have been from reading the Little House on the Prairie books as a kid.  Who knows?  But I was excited!

The drive north was pretty boring and the only city I remember seeing between Omaha and Sioux Falls, SD was Sioux City, IA.  And the only reason this city sticks out in my mind was because of a plane crash that happened there years and years ago.  (Side note: air disasters are my other morbid obsession.  Ask Dan about the time I thought it was a good idea to watch an episode of Air Disaster during a JetBlue flight.)   

Passing Sioux City meant that the border was not too far ahead, so I had my camera ready to capture the welcome sign.

Taken from a moving car - mad skillz.
We both went wild when we crossed into South Dakota (ok, maybe me more so than Dan) but quickly realized that there wasn’t so much going on right by the border.  We drove past a lot of corn fields on our way to Sioux Falls and in Yankton, we saw our first sign for Wall Drug!

We were meeting a friend of mine for lunch in Sioux Falls and she thought that Falls Park would be a perfect meeting spot.  And it was.  How picturesque!  It was also around this time that Dan started coming around to the idea that South Dakota was a pretty cool place to be.  Now, I remind you that we were in the middle of a heat wave so our time at the Falls was limited. We hopped back in the car and stopped at The 18th Amendment for a really tasty lunch.

I had researched to see if there were any points of interest on the drive to Mitchell and bookmarked the Porter Sculpture Park in Montrose.  The park was visible from the interstate and it did sound like a fun place to see, but again, heat wave.   We sadly drove right by.

My biggest moment of regret on this trip: if I could re-do my itinerary, I would have booked a room in Sioux Falls, the biggest city in the state.  But I was so blinded by the idea of seeing the Corn Palace that I felt that we NEEDED to stay in Mitchell.  Weirdly enough, the hotel we stayed at in Mitchell was the most expensive hotel ($129 per night) we stayed in this entire trip and frankly, I do not think that the price fit the whole Mitchell experience.

You can SEE how hot it was from the haze in this photo.
Despite the fact that there was a concert that night at the Corn Palace, the staff let us in to see the interior. Not sure what I was expecting but it was basically a concert venue.  The exterior was really cool as it is decorated each year with new artwork – all made out of corn.  

After leaving the Corn Palace, we headed to a gift shop across the street and bought a weirdly ridiculous amount of souvenirs. We then consulted a map and thought it would be interesting to find the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.  We drove around a bit but GPS never actually took us to the village. Fail.

Food choices were pretty limited in Mitchell and my allergies acted up so badly that we had to hit up the local Walmart twice for Benadryl & Claritan.  Our night in Mitchell consisted of Taco Bell (believe it or not, my first time there) and the VMAs.  Nothing was going to stop me from the NSYNC reunion.  NOTHING.

All in all, Mitchell was a cute place, but I still regret not booking a room in Sioux Falls.  Live and learn.  Next stop, Wall, SD.

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