When traveling in New England, local eating sometimes translates as a pit stop at Dunkin’ Donuts and a trip to the big box grocer — even when the accommodations include a kitchen and big-ass organic garden stocked with herbs and vegetables. That’s just how traveling goes. Knowing what’s available locally isn’t something you can easily assimilate from a distance.

After settling in though we began to hear things. We learned about Bob, the local lobsterman. We discovered Steve, who sells his Pemaquid Ale in half-gallon refillable jugs. On a couple of evenings we sampled pies from the lady at Green Hollow Farm up the street. She rolls an impossibly flaky crust and uses seasonal fillings, meaning berries now and apples coming soon, and her business is growing at breakneck speed. Actually, there were a dozen small farms just a stone’s throw from where we were.

So we’ll be back next year, and we’d probably do it even if family weren’t involved. Hell, I’d go back just to hear the crickets and canoe the river again. But it’s a good feeling to learn a little bit about a far away place, and to know that next time we won’t be starting from scratch.