Having lived in Chicagoland for 4 years, I got used to getting excited about seeing things connected with "home" that were rare sights in the IL metropolis.
One thing in particular that always got me going was when I saw someone or something that wore or contained Iowa State University insignia. It was like someone who knew me came to visit, even if I had never seen them in my life.
I had a buddy at work who was a student at the seminary my husband attended. He worked in our office part-time, but he was a Godsend for how much he made this completely not-me environment feel like home. I mean, the kid had an Iowa State mug, for crying out loud! And by kid, he is probably 2 years younger than me, maybe 3, so of course I can call him that. :)
Anyway, now that we're back in Iowa for a while, I see ISU gear all the time. Cyclone lawn signs, ISU t-shirts, vanity license plates that tells the world the driver is "ExCyted!" - it's everwhere, yet I still look at it and think "Oh hey, an Iowa State Person!"
And then I get some weird, uncomfortable feeling that tells me I ought to know I'm in Cyclone Country (with a healthy dose of Hawkeye influence, let me tell you), and it's not something I should think is exciting or peculiar to see.
What was once an experience like seeing a peacock amongst a sea of Canadian geese is now an experience like seeing a peacock amongst a gaggle of many, many other peacocks; however, something with my brain still doesn't compute this fact, and I keep thinking "huh, Iowa State!" while living only 50 minutes from my alma mater.