I am from Colorado, but my four siblings were born in Iowa as well as my Mom. My Dad was born in West Virginia, but moved to Iowa when he was young. My husband was born and grew up in Iowa. When we were in college we hung out among mutual friends, but when we finally had a personal conversation he told me he was from Iowa and I asked where. He said "oh, south central Iowa" just kind of shrugging it off since usually when you tell someone a small town in Iowa they glaze over and are like "yeah, that's nice" and have no idea where it is. I asked him where since my family was from south eastern Iowa and we drove through all of southern Iowa to get there. He told me Centerville and I said "oh, that is on Highway 2 right?" His eyes got all big and asked how I knew that. I explained that we would often stop there for breakfast since it was a couple hours away from our relatives in the Fort Madison area. He was totally impressed that I had been there and actually knew his home turf.
I have been to Iowa numerous times to visit family. The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school I spent a month in Iowa with my cousins in the Montrose/Argyle area. The whole month was about fishing, swimming, and demolition derbies. Life is slower there, but definitely in a good and wholesome way.