The night manager of the Columbia had left our room keys in an envelope at the front desk. The hotel was quiet as we entered room number five. As I brought our bags in, my wife looked at me disappointedly and said, "Honey, there's no television". I found this somewhat hard to believe, so took a look myself. She was right, no telly. I said that we probably wouldn't have much time to watch, anyway. She asked if the lounge had a boob tube. I walked out there and again, no luck.
I was a tad bummed because I had been looking forward to seeing the Vikings and Giants play the following afternoon. I figured I'd look around town when I woke up and hopefully there'd be a bar showing the game. The reason why the Columbia doesn't have TV's is because it's meant to be a trip back in time to the 1920's (there are also no phones in the rooms and you have to go down the hall to take a shower). And, of course, the effect wouldn't be complete without a number of doilies. Here's a picture of the room we stayed in:
the infamous clawtub:
and (can you believe it?) a day bed:
It was probably no coincidence I dreamt about my grandmother that night (the smell of the hotel had done the trick). If I had smelled a pack of Bazooka Joe the night before, I'm sure I would've had a dream about my childhood.
The next day, as I passed the front desk to get a bite to eat, I noticed the clerk was working on a laptop. I said to him, "Isn't that cheating?". He said, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well, this is supposed to be like we in the '20's and you're on the information superhighway". He smiled and said, "I've got the best of both worlds".
Excerpted from My Experience in Ashland, Oregon at the End of 08