Holding Snakes & Indulging in Dark Chocolate Nougats in South Dakota


Reptile Gardens Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org

Do you remember my mascot friend Jake? He joined me last time I visited South Dakota. He called me up and asked to come again. I guess the Corn Palace and Mount Rushmore weren’t enough for him! On our second trip, we decided to check out Reptile Gardens and Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns while selling Dark Chocolate Nougats. Before we left, Jake and I both read a few books about the state. On the plane, we exchanged our newfound knowledge. “Did you know that the state animal is the coyote?” Jake asked excitedly. “No, I replied. But did YOU know that South Dakota became a state in 1889?” We had fun quizzing each other until the plane landed and we headed out on our adventure.

Jake picked the Reptile Gardens because snakes are his all-time favorite animal. While at the park, we were introduced to our tour guide Mark. Make promised we would be able to meet lots of reptiles and even pet a snake. We were shocked at how beautiful the park was and were even more impressed when Mark told us that Reptile Gardens is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Reptile Zoo! Before we left, we asked if we could pet a snake. We met Grumpy, the snake on exhibit. Jake held him and I took his picture. Instead of tipping Mark with money, we each gave him one of our favorite chocolates. I, of course, handed him a Dark Chocolate Nougat.

After a long day petting snakes and meeting alligators, we decided to check out the Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns. I had heard of this place in a travel magazine and really wanted to see the beautiful rocks underground. Jake and I took a forty-five minute tour of the caverns. It was really cool and I loved the chilly air underground. Along with the massive crystal formations, we also got to see the Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns famous dog-spar crystals. Before heading out we stopped in the gift shop. I knew Jake would be surprised when he saw the Americandy display. “Surprise!” I yelled. “We already sell our Dark Chocolate Nougats here!”