To Iowa I Go

I recently went on a trip to Iowa to visit my best friend, Amy, and her husband, Tyler, for a relaxing week. They are expecting their first child in July and I really wanted a chance to see them before they were caught up with family and piles of dirty diapers. Now, most people’s response to anyone going to Iowa (including mine) is, “What the Hell is in Iowa?” That was the first question I asked Amy when she decided to pick up and move from our home in SoCal, full of sunshine, beaches, and endless activities, to Cedar Falls, Iowa. For a boy. After only knowing him for a few months. But love is love, and now they are married and expecting a beautiful baby boy. I can recall the phone calls and tears of frustration of her first months living there, with the below zero winters, and only one, ONE!, Starbucks in the entire town. I could understand her pain, as I was taking her phone calls laying out on the beach, breeze blowing through my hair, sipping my second iced latte of the day…in the middle of October. So when I decided to visit, I had already mentally prepared myself to do nothing the entire week. After all, I was going to a tiny Podunk town in the middle of nowhere. What was there to enjoy besides the company of friends? But, a big city girl like me was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it. Here are the list of reasons I found that everyone should go visit the Midwest (at least in the spring/summer):

1. After a rainstorm, the air smells so fresh, a foreign thing to those who live in LA and smell smog 24/7.
2. The ponds have gigantic bullfrogs.
3. Corn
4. Amazing steaks
5. Everything is cheaper
6. People are good-hearted, good-natured, and actually have conversation with strangers
7. The men are southern gentleman and grow up knowing how to treat women(I’m going to catch one someday)
8. Beer is involved in every get together
9. On an acre of land, with a pond and a grove of trees beside you, a well placed hammock can make even the most stressful hearts blow away with the breeze
10. Life slows down, allowing you to enjoy every moment of your day
11. Country songs finally make sense once you have actually driven on a red dirt road, windows rolled down, watching the farmhouses passing by
12. There are actual neighborhoods, with green grass and huge trees, not just miles of corn. (I know, right? You have to see it to believe it)
13. Amy and Tyler live there!!!!! (this may be the best reason of them all)

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