Trip to Sioux Falls, SD

On January 24, 2017 we flew out early from Las Vegas, NV to Sioux Falls, SD -with a brief layover in Dallas/Ft Worth, Tx we arrived into Sioux Falls in the early afternoon – just before over 6″ of snow was dumped on the city.


We checked into our hotel – the Sleep Inn which was about 2 miles from the airport, and central to everything we did during the next 4 days.  The parking lot of the hotel shared access to a gas station and a Quizno’s and the local Dept of Public Service – aka: government office that issues driver’s licenses.

Our purpose for this trip was to establish residency in South Dakota in order to have a permanent address after we hit the road in March 2017 in our motorhome.  South Dakota has a lower tax rate than California, and after Brian did some research found that South Dakota had the LOWEST tax rate available for his Federal pension/retirement.

In October 2016 we had set up a mailing address in South Dakota through DakotaPost, our box #398.  If you ever find yourself in need of a mailing service – these people know what they are doing, feel free to use us a reference and receive $10 off your annual fees.

Our first day was spent in our room with a quick trip to Quizno’s for dinner.  We highly recommend the Turkey & Ranch sandwich with swiss cheese (we added bacon) – we had it 3 times while we were here – very very tasty and better on white bread than wheat.

Day 2 the city continued to be snowed upon and it took a while for the community to get itself dug out – so we just watched TV and enjoyed a quiet day. That evening we decided to try and find something a little different food wise and ended up at The Phillips Avenue Diner. We went specifically for the old time diner feel and the local soda shoppe – but if your going to have dinner, try something new.  Our first experience with Wisconsin Cheese Curds – FRIED no less.  Brian had the breakfast and found it good / my dinner though of tomato bisque left much to be desired.  Ever heard of bell peppers in a tomato bisque?  Me neither, dinner was spoiled, BUT the Strawberry Cheesecake Float was a redemption.  Yummy.  Made with a local soda company’s flavor, it was really good.

Day 3 – Thursday – today was the day to get things done.  A trip to DakotaPost to get our proof of mailing adddress, receipt from the hotel showing proof of a one nite stay – then off to the South Dakota Dept of Public Safety.   It turns out as a woman if you’ve changed from your maiden name (name on your birth certificate) to your current name you have to have all the documents to back it up – so since my name at time of this marriage was different than my birth certificate (married previously) I needed copies of BOTH Marriage Licenses – certified OR a current U.S. Passport.   Being the efficient person I am – both of our passports expire in 4th quarter 2017 and in order to make sure that the passports are current BEFORE we leave I had sent them in 3 weeks ago to be renewed.   So having all the appropriate documents for Brian we left the office with him being a new resident of South Dakota, license in hand California license removed from his person.

That evening we found a local movie theater and saw the movie of Arrival after we had dinner at an interesting restaurant ~ The All Day Cafe by Minerva’s.  If you have the Fish and Chips – share them, large portion, not sure I would recommend it again as it was a little bland.

Day 4- Friday – An appointment today with a our new local State Farm Agent – Taylor. Had a great conversation about insuring the vehicles at the lower insurance rates of South Dakota along with preparing the quote for our RV coverage.  Taylor recommended we get AAA so that we don’t have a lot of vehicle assistance claims that can work against us as insurance claims.  Then it was back to see Karen at DakotaPost to get the work started to transfer vehicle licensing/registration from California to South Dakota.   In SD no matter when you purchase your vehicle, registration renewal is based upon your last name.  For Stoebe that means all vehicle registrations will be due in September.    Now get this – in California my 2015 Subaru Outback cost $330 to register for 1 year in January 2017.   My registration in Sept 2017 will be approx 1/3 of this cost – WOW.

After the work of getting residency settled it was time for a road trip to Mitchell, SD.  Mitchell is a small town approx 85 miles from Sioux Falls.  It has many claims to fame – but the one we were after this trip was the Corn Palace.  The Corn Palace is a permanent building with an exterior decorated on an annual basis in corncobs.  Not just randomly but in actual art.  The exterior is changed annually with different themes, but always with corncobs and other local fauna.  Similar to the Rose Parade floats – but with corn.  On the interior is a history of the Palace from the late 1870’s to present.   It is the ONLY Corn Palace in the world.  In the late 1800’s there were many of these attractions throughout the mid-west, but this is the only one still in existence.   Though the exterior is decorated in corn, the interior houses a wonderful venue for concerts and basketball as well as other events.  The local high school basketball team uses this facility for their practices and games.  It was a great venue and we look forward to going back to Mitchell for other items of history to see in the surrounding area.

Day 5 – Saturday – our Last Day in Sioux Falls for this trip.  After getting breakfast and packing up the vehicle we headed out to AAA to get ourselves covered for our upcoming cross country vacation.  Then off to the Pettigrew Home & Museum – a free museum just outside of downtown Sioux Falls.   Richard Franklin Pettigrew aka R.F. Pettigrew was the first Senator from the State of South Dakota.  He was a true promoter of his local city/community and a help to the state as a whole as it went from territory to State.  He had what in his day may have seemed controversial views as to what could and could not work with respect to state and national growth.  He started as a Republican and left the party vocally when they no longer purported to support the views he joined them for in the first place, and became a great supporter of the Populist Party – he eventually lost his seat in the Senate but he continued to support and help local business grow in Sioux Falls.   A common practice in the late 1800’s was the “collecting” of things, then opening a drawing room for others to view these collections.   His idea though was grander, and with his brother he decided to open a Museum of everything that he had collected on his travels – locally, nationally and abroad.  He spent a lot of time in Asia and Hawaii in his travels as a Senator exploring trade and opportunities for expansion. He was not a supporter of statehood for Hawaii after meeting their people and their comments about becoming part of the United States.  His home and museum at the time of his death were donated in total to the City of Sioux Falls with specific instructions on certain things, and his desire to have his treasures shown in their current state.  It is a beautiful home with beautiful appointments and furnishings.    It’s a  highly recommend from our perspective.

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