Ten long hours on Austrian Airlines later, that was the first welcome sign we spied coming off the jetway into Immigration at Dulles on Friday.  Too funny.
Thus far I’ve mostly felt lost in translation. Barely two years ago I could drive this area with my eyes closed. Figuratively, that is. Now there are new lanes and signs that frighten the bejeebies out of me. I am grateful to be driving a rental car with Missouri plates to mask my true identity; fellow drivers have been courteous and accommodating of my random breaking, and Anna Grace is silent when I periodically shriek.
Whenever we wish, though, we can retreat from the urban madness to the quiet lanes of our ‘hood. 
More comforts of “home.” On Saturday we joined friends for dinner at our favorite local Italian restaurant and an evening performance by the NSO of a Dvorak concerto at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
This is the Hall of Nations at the Kennedy Center (there is also a corresponding Hall of States). Within the hall hangs a flag for every nation with whom the U.S. has diplomatic relations.  I like the friendly proximity of the American and Austrian flags. 
A couple more of my favorite monuments. The Jefferson Memorial from across the ice crusted Tidal Basin, and the iconic Washington Monument, the scaffolding from earthquake damage a couple of years ago just barely visible at the base.

Meanwhile, on the home front, the boys spent the weekend in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The three of them pronounced it an attractive and walkable city.

Emperor Clayton Theodore enjoyed surveying his kingdom from atop the ruins of Celje Castle, as well.

More postcards from DC to follow…