It was Tuesday, and we found ourselves in Tulsk, in a pub, a steaming bowl of potato leek soup and brown bread in front of me; my daughter Jill had a baked brie salad plate. And good Irish beer for both of us.

It was the second day of a whirlwind trip Jill planned through Ireland, soaking up the countryside and searching out Irish ancestry. I was happy to tag along as we meandered through a 13th century ruined churchyard. The nearby pub provided sustenance along the way to Balyvary, an ancestral village in the West of Ireland. This was proving to be a memorable junket.

And this trip bore special significance for me. Fifty years ago, at the tender age of 20, I spent three months backpacking through Europe during the summer of love. Thirty years ago I traveled with my two young daughters through London to the Lake District, Scotland and a short trip to Paris. Twenty years ago I was a chaperone for the West Tisbury school exchange program. And now 40-year-old Jill and I were savoring a few days together in Ireland.

My soup was rich and delicious. Jill loved her baked Brie. Irish food has a much maligned reputation. We quaffed our brews. Later, over dinner in another pub, in Castlebar, we were deluged with televised images of the ravages of Hurricane Harvey. Our hearts went out to the suffering in Texas.

At the bar, a patron queried us on President Trump: his petulance, his instability, his negativity. This conversation was already getting old. Once taxi-drivers, sales clerks or bartenders learned we were from the U.S., we were queried on the state of the States. We want to be proud of our country, yet we could only share our embarrassment and disillusion over the President. The Irish people are worried about us, and for us. They feel our pain.

A bright spot was when we shared where we were from. Jill lives in New Orleans, which often brought a knowing smile. When I mentioned living on Martha’s Vineyard, people were enthused, excited. One fellow spent a summer working at Dockside in Oak Bluffs. Another knew about the Kennedy plane crash. A third shared the name of the Irish town where President Obama’s grandmother was born, and knew Presidents Clinton and Obama vacationed on the Vineyard.

We finished our late lunches and drained the last of our beer. Tomorrow we would spend hours in the National Museum of Cultural History, soaking up the heritage and folklore of Ireland. Now it was time to get back on the road, to Galway, with its vibrant Latin Quarter, to the Cliffs of Moher, where we shared a unisex bathroom with a bus load of tourists, to Limerick, where we strolled along the River Shannon in the shadows of the King John castle.

Our venture provided a poignant vista of another land, a land of many of our forbears. It brought out the international fears about the current administration, yet offered a sense of encouragement from the Irish people we encountered. And it was a brief opportunity for father and daughter to enjoy traveling together. While Jill and I loved the sites and the scenes, the historical ruins and ancestral roots, we agreed it was the curiosity, interest and humor of the Irish people which most captured our hearts.

Thomas Dresser lives in Oak Bluffs.