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Old 10-18-2012, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,374,610 times
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dadof2divas...

I hope you can find a property in Lebanon suitable for your needs. I will reiterate what I found out too late in life - live where you work. Everything becomes so much more simplified. Commute costs drop dramatically, both in terms of time, direct exepense for gasoline, etc. but also how much longer that car lasts. A major item in your budget.

As far as shopping, Lebanon will have everything you need for weekly needs plus. You can drop the budget for holiday spending just a short distance out of Lebanon at Cincinnati Prime Outlets over near Monroe. Believe me you will not be lacking for places to shop.

The YMCA you speak of is the Countryside YMCA. It was brand new when we first moved to the area. My wife took all of the kids there for swim lessons. Far as I know they still maintain it very well. One caution though. They have a very nice outdoor pool for the summer. But they fill it from well water on the property. One of the coldest damn pools I have ever been in, you can get blue lips in August.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:42 PM
 
Location: In a happy place
3,707 posts, read 6,573,948 times
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Just a mention about the upcoming carriage/horse parade. There are actually 2 parades. One in the afternoon, and then again after dark with all the entries lit up with Christmas lights. Very good time. Just a hint. If you want to eat at the Golden Lamb, you better get your reservations made if it isn't too late already.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:24 AM
 
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I agree that if you want to eat at the Golden Lamb, (dinner, especially) you may already be too late.

However, I am not a big fan of the Lamb, as the few times we've been, we've found it lacking. Some people swear by it, I know.

The daylight parade is great for people with young families, who might get too cold after dark, or be too tired...

but the night parade is really quite lovely. The horses with their jingle bells - all lit up. Really lovely, and I dont' get into all this small town quaintness!

There are plenty of sidewalks/streetcorners for watching - so if anyone thinks this is their type of thing, it certainly is a nice way to kick off the holiday season.

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Old 10-19-2012, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,374,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
I agree that if you want to eat at the Golden Lamb, (dinner, especially) you may already be too late.

However, I am not a big fan of the Lamb, as the few times we've been, we've found it lacking. Some people swear by it, I know.
The Golden Lamb obviously has a historical significance. But that alone is not enough for its survival.

In 1969, the then current owners leased the Golden Lamb to the Comisar family of Maisonette fame in Cincinnati. The Comisars operated it until 2006 when Stevens Hospitality bought the business rights from the Comisars. Note this only involves the business rights, the building itself is owned by the Portman family (yes Senator Rob Portman). There were apparently a number of structural issues, leaking roof, etc. involved and the business kind of languished for a few years. Apparently these were worked out and the business refurbished. The reviews I read today are a mixed bag. I have only been there a few times over the years and my impression has always been they tread on the historical aspect. The actual product offered is middle-of-the-road at the best but the prices are top notch.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:06 AM
 
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KJ - that's exactly what we felt.

We'd have felt better had there been a $10 historical surcharge, and the menu items priced realistically...

because there's no way the food was worth what it cost.

Odd, because when I ate in CT, in 200+ year old buildings (some closer to 300 years) -- the food truly lived up to hype and the price.

Here I guess the novelty of an old building is so great that they have (recently?) been able to get away with lesser quality at inflated prices...

As I said, we've gone there 3x in 4 years, (each time because we were just too tired to drive anywhere else) .. and each time, we've sworn we won't go back.

(its been two years since the last visit, so maybe we're going to stick with that sentiment!).

But I'm sure its a lovely place to view the parade from.

I inquired once about renting a hotel room (just to see the parade). Not surprisingly, the jack the room rates to astronomical levels.

I laughed and hung up. Good to know that some people are willing to spend a truly ridiciculous sum (I believe the room I inquired about (not a suite!!!) they wanted more than $500 for the night) for such things, but not us.

So, we park on the side street and stand on a random street corner, and after about 2 hours of horses... we're done for the night. And the cost - nothing unless we buy some hot cider, or hot chocolate.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,374,610 times
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Briolat21...

You are definitely right, the Golden Lamb is overpriced, has been for years. I was hoping the current owners would correct that. But as I said, the business is separate from the owners of the property. The current business owners may have been more practical if they had shut it down and demanded to acquire ownership of the property.
Having total control I feel they would be in a position to do better.

My recommendation is to go to the Houston Inn just north of Mason on route 42. For years it was owned and operated by Lou Eves, the former Mayor of Mason. It admittedly is not going to win any rewards as a high class restaurant. At the same time it will fill your gullet at a more than reasonable price.

They have two claims to fame. #1 is the house specialty - frog legs. If you have never had frog legs this is the opportunity to be adventurous. 37 years ago when we moved to Mason and the locals said go to the Houston Inn, we decided to try it for dinner. After we had ordered, the proprietor Lou Eves came out and said he noticed we had not ordered any frog legs, After we admitted we were new in town he said well you will be getting an order of frog legs on the house. That was it, we have ordered frog legs on every visit since then.

#2 is one of the best salad bars in Cincinnati, bar none. The first item at the start of the bar is deviled eggs. They disappear in droves. Then come things such as country corn relish, candied watermellon rind, a half dozen different potato salads, etc. One of the most unique and most satisfying salad bars in the area.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:44 AM
 
3,751 posts, read 10,217,616 times
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We like the Houston Inn. Not every day, (it skews a little "old" for my husband and I to eat at on a very regular basis) -- but its definitely one of our more regular places.

We especially like the mustard potato salad (mashed!) and the pasta salad. And somehow the strawberries are always awesome!
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,374,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briolat21 View Post
We like the Houston Inn. Not every day, (it skews a little "old" for my husband and I to eat at on a very regular basis) -- but its definitely one of our more regular places.

We especially like the mustard potato salad (mashed!) and the pasta salad. And somehow the strawberries are always awesome!
Yes, it is not an every day establishment. But just like you cited, the mustard mashed potato salad, how many places will you find it? And the deviled eggs, tell me anyplace else you will find them. And the candied watermellon rind, tell me another place which has that? How many of you even know what country style corn relish even is? Ask for some old-style country biscuits and sausage gravey and you are in pure heaven.
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