It is stunning how well you can function even after the slightest hint of sleep on the airplane. The sun was up, the air soft, and we were in Ireland. We knew, because the toilet seats in the airport were round instead of oblong. Small, fascinating differences.

Owen Linnane, our coach driver, met us with a warm welcome, and we headed south west, to the westernmost town in Ireland. it was a long drive, and we were exhausted, so the kids slept, until we stopped at Tesco, their version of Costco, to buy food and supplies for the weekend. What fun it is to see those ordinary differences in toothpaste, tomatoes, deodorant, pasta.

Our hostel, the Dun Chaoin Youth Hostel was beautiful and clean, with an expert walker. Carmen, running the place. We stashed our gear, then went to the famous pottery, run by the artist and poet Louis Mulchay. With a view of the Three Sisters, where the new Star Wars was just filmed, we walked back to the hostel over a steep, craggy mountain. The adventure of this, articulated by the lack of sleep and newness of the country, became a huge moment for many of the kids.