Landing in a foreign country is always very exciting, and also a little scary. This time, I felt an insane sense of relief–for the next six days, I don’t have to attempt to speak a foreign language every time I open my mouth. Now, having been in Ireland for all of two hours, I can say that understanding the locals might be a bit more of a challenge.

We’re staying at a Holiday Inn Express near the airport. It’s more expensive than we normally go, dedicated hostel travelers that we are, but it’s so worth it. At check in, the hostess confirmed that I wanted a smoking room, since that’s what the package we bought was for. I said that we had asked for a non-smoking room, not that it really mattered much to us, and we were instantly upgraded. We have our own beds (we did in Italy, too, but because of space constraints they were butted up to each other and might has well have been a single king, rather than two twins). There’s a tv (in English, a real treat), and outlets for American, UK, and Continental plugs–which is great, because between us we’ve only got three adapters (all different) for our plethora of electronics.

We’re here, we’re safe, we’re happy, and now we’re off to get dinner.