I’m in Lebanon, Ohio, for my mother-in-law’s 89th birthday. We come out here to visit my MIL from time to time. It’s about six hundred miles one way and my MIL doesn’t have the space or furniture to put up both me and my wife, so that means hotel rooms for a few nights. It adds up. I’ve tried the less expensive national chains (hotels, not motels), but a smelly lobby, broken bed, non-smoking room that smells like smoke, and broken desk chair (which I use), all at different places, I don’t bother any more.

This trip I tried to reserve a room at the Home 2, a Hilton brand, in Liberty Township, one interstate exit away, but there’s a soccer tournament or something in Cincinnati, so they quoted me $200/night.

My wife and I were talking about it and one of us said:

Hell, we might as well check prices at the Lamb.

The Lamb is the Golden Lamb. It’s in Lebanon. We’ve eaten there many times – my late brother-in-law was chef there about thirty years ago – but never stayed there. It’s the oldest continuously operating inn in Ohio, dating from the very early 1800’s. A whole lot of famous people stayed here and they name hotel rooms after them, not that that necessarily has anything to do with whether said person slept in the room. Sometimes it does. The rooms are all furnished with antiques and, if a room isn’t booked, they leave the door open and put a chain across it, like in a museum. It’s kind of a cute gimmick.

Anyway, the Lamb was substantially cheaper, so here we are. There’s no elevator of course, and the bathrooms aren’t the best, but the rooms are really cool and the staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful. How cool?

I’m sleeping in this bed tonight and did last night. We’re in the Charles Dickens room, not that we have any idea whether he slept in this room. We know he didn’t sleep in this bed because he was here in 1842 and this bed was made in 1845, by a Philadelphia cabinetmaker named Crawford Riddell.

It turns out that Mr. Riddell made two beds around the same period. They aren’t identical but they’re similar in a lot of ways, to the point where a look at both would lead to the definite conclusion that they came from the same place. Though many Presidents have slept at the Golden Lamb, from at least Garfield to George W. Bush, I have no idea if any have slept in this bed. However, I’m reasonably sure that at least one President has slept in the other one. It’s in the Lincoln bedroom at the White House.

I’m sleeping in this bed because the Home 2 was too pricey.