I am so happy to be back in California after spending a week in South Dakota. Other than my trip to Miss America and the occasional trip to Reno, I had never really spent a significant amount of time in another state. Before I went, I was thinking that Sioux Falls South Dakota was going to be some middle-of-nowhere place that had one bank, a school, and a grocery store and that’s it. I was really wrong. There was a lot that I noticed about this particular area of South Dakota.
Obviously, I knew it was going to be cold. Well, let me tell you, those of us who have grown up in California our whole lives have absolutely no idea what winter feels like. Even myself, being from Northern California near Tahoe and getting snow once or twice a year did not prepare me for the cold of South Dakota. The whole time I was there, the temperature was never above 40 degrees. Now, 40 degrees isn’t so bad. However, the wind chill made it feel like it was 6 degrees (according to my weather app). On top of that, everyone I talked to said that it was unseasonably WARM! The temperature there can get as low as -20. I can’t even begin to imagine what that feels like.
One thing I noticed while I was there was that everyone was so friendly. I didn’t speak to one unpleasant person the entire trip. Now, I’m not saying that people in California aren’t friendly, but this was on a whole different level. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was extremely over-the-top friendly. Whether it was a waitress or an employee at Walmart, everyone was so kind. It just seemed like every person there was having a great day regardless of where they worked.
Okay, so like I said, I thought I was going to be in a remote area with nothing around except the necessities. Well, the shopping there was ridiculous. Keep in mind that Sioux Falls is small. You could easily get from one end to the other in about 20 minutes. In that small area there was a huge mall, a Walmart, Sam’s Club, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, and so much more. The one thing that I thought was really odd, though, was how many mattress stores there were. I counted at least 8. In California, there’s a coffee shop on every corner. Apparently in Sioux Falls, there’s a mattress store on every corner.
While I was there, I knew I was going to have to go check out the falls. I’m so glad I did because they were beautiful. The park was all lit up for Christmas and the falls themselves were lit up, too. Unfortunately I didn’t get to walk around and enjoy it all that much because the night I wen’t happened to be the coldest night I was there (wind chill at 6 degrees), and this California girl just couldn’t handle that kind of cold.
The downtown area of Sioux Falls was SO. DANG. CUTE! To me, it felt very much like the downtown area of San Luis Obispo, just on a little bit of a larger scale. It was definitely an area that I would love to walk around and explore with a hot chocolate in hand. It was also all lit up for Christmas, which probably made it even cuter to me (I’m a sucker for Christmas time).
The Real Estate
Sometimes when I’m bored, I like to go on Zillow and look at real estate in other areas. While I was in Sioux Falls, I did just that. I was shocked at how much your money can get you out there! One of the houses I found had 6 bedrooms, 5 baths, and was 2,800 square feet listed at $289,000. This was really difficult for me to wrap my head around. I knew that California was one of the more expensive places to live, but I never realized just how big that gap is compared to other areas. However, I’ve always been a firm believer in “you get what you pay for,” and there really isn’t anything that beats California weather. We are so lucky to live in a state where you can go to the beach, hiking and skiing all in the same day if you want.