My oldest son, Lucas, lived there with Maya and Eder for half a year or so. My sister, her S.O. Court, and son, Aaron moved there two years ago. Three generations of Eder's family moved there this May and Aaron's dad moved to Eugene in July. Have I qualified as having ties there yet? Although I do wonder about the list. See that Salinas is number 21? Well it's been 11 years since I moved away from the Monterey Peninsula but for many years while there Salinas, although one of the country's largest sources of produce, was also the go-to place to be in a gang or be hit by a random drive-by shooting bullet. Not all of Salinas, not the suburbs, but in town, yes. Also the closest In-n-Out Burger at the time, so you see, still worth the chance bullet to visit when the jonesing for a great burger gets to be too much.
Ok, small CITIES, is right. People talk about small towns like 50,000. Wrong. A good sized small town is under 5000. 1500 tops. Have you read all my droning regarding Stromsburg, Nebraska? "It's perfect in every way.", says the real estate princess (me).
The Northwest is not for me but it is beautiful in its own way (not my favorite but still beautiful), wonderful weather, cool shopping, loads of neat places, Corvallis being one of them. It's a great place to have family and visit, especially if you don't live all the way on the other side of the country on the EAST COAST. But I'm just guessing.
Now here we have at number 5, Casper, Wyoming. I'm sure you can take a look at this list and other than Omaha, Ames, and Cedar Rapids, guess whether or not these are big tourist areas. You know tourist areas? The ones where they are so wonderful people clamor to them whenever they can? I lived the longest year and a half of my life in Casper and I wouldn't recommend packing up your stuff in too much of a hurry to get to any of these other than the previously mentioned above too quickly. Okay, we've seen the movie Fargo. Done. Assume then that you've also seen Bismark and Grand Forks. I can't speak much for Iowa since I've only barely driven through and, of course, I love Nebraska. So that leaves Casper and Cheyenne. I should have just stated from the beginning that I wouldn't advise choosing a place to live based on the wind factor. These places are in the PLAINS which, in case you've never lived anywhere without a bump between you and the nearest rock 300 miles away, means common winds of 40-50 mph. Common. An uncomfortable day might be one the day after a big snow hitting you in the face at 65 mph. Did I mention the drive-through liquor barns? Okay, you get my drift-HA! Having been from Texas and California it was a little too much time inside especially with two little boys. On nice, sunny days I could hear the boys clearly outside with the neighbor kids riding bikes and playing, screaming at the top of their lungs so as to be hear each other over the 55 mph gales. On snowy days it took 2 1/2 hours to dress them, they would play in the back yard for 20 minutes then come in and cry hysterically while I undressed them as fast as I could and they defrosted in front of the fireplace, oh, half hour or so. The Tetons are beautiful but 5 hours away. Go visit Corvallis, you get to play in Portland on your way to and from there!