7/09/2014

Relaxing Getaway in Jonesville MI

Mike & Lori Venturini have now been innkeepers at the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville Michigan for 15 years. In that amount of time, we have hosted guests from all 50 states and 69 foreign countries. People have come to Jonesville for business and for pleasure, to visit family and to meet friends, some got stuck here and some just ended up here. No matter the situation, we have tried to make people feel welcome.

We have had Christians, Jews, and Muslims, along with representatives of many other religious groups. We have had Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents. We have welcomed people of all colors and many cultures. We've seen couples who are married and not married. boy-boy couples and girl-girl couples, race fans, girlfriends, parents, and newlyweds. People have come here for birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoons, class reunions, and funerals. Veterans are special guests. All are welcome, and all are more interesting than they think they are.

Of all the reasons people have come here, the dominant one has been just to relax. Jonesville is a slice of the past with a whole lot of the present. Historic buildings and a welcoming community help people to taste the flavor of the village. We have family run restaurants and chains. There is enough shopping for trendy and antique items. Munro House has modern amenities and historic charm. People feel at home when they come here. Classic style along with cable TV and free Wi-Fi are features that make folks feel comfortable. A complimentary breakfast that includes a traditional American menu along with coffee, fruit, and orange juice is an upgrade to the toast or Pop-Tart that many people typically eat.

Mike & Lori bought the Munro House in July of '99. To commemorate that career change, lodging prices have been turned back for the first 15 days of July. From July 1 to July 15 all standard rooms are priced at just $99 per night on a 2 night stay in a standard room. Rooms with a big double Jacuzzi tub are just $149 per night on a 2 night stay. That is a saving of $100 or more versus regular weekend pricing.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

6/09/2014

How to Plan a Romantic Summer Getaway

Planning a Summer Getaway includes a few big decisions: where to go, what to do, and how much to spend. The choices seem endless. You could go overseas, across the country, to a neighboring state, or relatively local. You could learn something, have an adventure, or relax. You could spend thousands of dollars, or hundreds of dollars. The choice is yours. The overseas and across the country options are more of a vacation than a getaway. When choosing where to go, 3 hours of travel is near the limitation of places to go for a 2 day Summer Getaway. Step 1 is find a place to go that is 200 miles from home, or less.

Deciding what to do depends on common interests. A museum like The Henry Ford is a good choice for history. Cedar Point is a great place for adventure. Lake Michigan has many resort towns to walk-about. The bad news is that a lot of people go to these places. If you don't mind waiting in line and finding a place to park your car, any of these places could make a nice Summer getaway. Step 2 is finding stuff to do.

Staying within a budget is step 3. It may be the hardest part of planning the Summer getaway. Weekend getaway meals (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners) might cost $300 for 2 people. 2 days of admissions to museums, shows, and attractions could cost $150 per couple. 2 nights of lodging could cost up to $500 at a nice place. Throw in a tank of gas, and the weekend getaway could be around $1,000 for a real nice time. That might be in the budget, and it might not. You may be good at finding restaurants, attractions, and lodging, and you may not have the time. A travel agent may be able to do the work for you, but you may have to pay 20% more for that service. What to do?

If you live somewhere inside the circle formed by Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Cadillac, you are within 3 hours of Jonesville, Michigan. That is a reasonable distance to drive in a weekend. The Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville is a great place to call your Romantic Summer Getaway Headquarters. Several packages have already been put together to occupy your days and nights.

Breakfast and dinner is always part of a getaway package. Two of our favorite restaurants are an easy 2 block walk. Several more eateries are within 10 minutes, but it sure is nice to be able to walk to dinner. Saucy Dog's Barbeque is my favorite restaurant in the whole world, and it happens to be a block and a half from my house. They do ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and sandwiches--but I go there for the brisket. Olivia's Chop House is more of a fine dining experience with steaks, seafood, pork, pasta, and poultry. I go there for the prime rib. It's 2 blocks away and is the best restaurant in the county. Everywhere, the dress code is casual, so need to dress up for dinner.

Massage is a big part of the Jonesville getaway experience. Experienced massage therapists are often given a world class rating by visitors who have had a lot of massages. Regularly, guests will say something like, "I've gotten massages all around the world, but the best one was in Jonesville". We are proud that our guests feel pampered when they finish their hour on the table.

There is a more relaxed pace in Southern Michigan. The lines are shorter, the crowds are few, and the traffic is rarely problematic. Antique shopping is a popular activity with several antique malls--each the size of a grocery store--within 10 minutes of Jonesville. Several walking paths and parks near water are also a short drive away. The local movie theater shows new releases on 7 screens. Live theater in June and August feature all-time favorites like 'Les Miserables' and 'Godspell'.

A 3 day and 2 night romantic getaway with meals, massages, movies, and more--plus bed and breakfast, of course--can be had for around $600. Other package could cost a little more or a little less. Jonesville is the gem of Southern Michigan. It is a progressive small town with quality lodging and attractions. It has a very relaxed pace and great hospitality. Best of all, the Munro House offers a Romantic Summer Getaway Package that could pre-plan an excellent weekend (or weekday) trip with a single 10 minute phone call. Pick a package and all of the details are arranged for you. All you really have to do is arrive to be treated to an agenda to occupy a relaxing couple of days in this great old town near the Ohio/Indiana/Michigan border.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

5/28/2014

Lodging for NASCAR Race Weekend at MIS

NASCAR race fans coming to Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn for the traditional Fathers Day Weekend festivities and the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Race have an option to camping. The Munro House Bed and Breakfast offers upscale lodging in downtown Jonesville about 30 minutes from the track. A comfortable bed in an air conditioned facility is a welcome option to wrestling with the elements in a flimsy tent.

With a capacity of 72,000 people who typically attend the NASCAR races at MIS, a large number of fans need a place to stay. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of hotel rooms within a reasonable distance of the track. Fans will either commute from home, travel back and forth from a distant city, bring an RV, or pop a tent and camp on or near the MIS property. To many, the camping option is part of the traditional NASCAR experience at MIS. But for those who have been there and done that, comfort is a welcome addition to race weekend in Brooklyn.

Jonesville is located just 24 miles West of Michigan International Speedway on US-12. The Munro House B&B is just one block off of highway 12. With normal traffic, google maps says that it is a 30 minute drive to the track. On race day, a good alternate route or a precise timing decision could change the estimated time of arrival to 30-45 minutes. Perfect planning and a good exit strategy will allow race fans to optimize their experience by spending the least amount of time in their vehicles and the most amount of time at the track.

The Munro House B&B is the most comfortable lodging in Southern Michigan and is a more suitable location for couples who attend the NASCAR races at MIS. Each guest room has a queen size bed, private bath, HD Cable TV, and free wireless internet. A big breakfast is offered every day with an option for breakfast 'to go' for the early risers. Normal rates apply on race weekend with a 2 night minimum stay required. The People's Choice for places to stay with friendly innkeepers who enjoy NASCAR guests.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

5/27/2014

Les Miserables Dinner Theater Bed and Breakfast Package

"Les Miserables" will be playing live at the Sauk Theater in Jonesville, MI, from June 12-22, 2014 with evening shows at 8:00 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, plus a Sunday matinee at 3:00. 'Les Miserables' is the world's longest running musical, seen by over 65,000,000 people in 42 countries, and has won 100 awards. A dinner, theater, bed and breakfast package is available at the Munro House B&B in Jonesville, located just 2 blocks from the theater.

The Sauk Theater seats about 250 patrons. With 8 live performances of 'Les Mis' currently on the schedule, and over 600 tickets pre-sold before the official release date of June 2, this is sure to be an in-demand theater ticket--especially the Saturday night shows. The Sauk Theater productions of less famous musicals are generally sold out, so this one will most certainly require the purchase of tickets in advance.

The Munro House in Jonesville has a limited number of advance tickets that may be available for guests who choose the dinner theater bed and breakfast package. It includes dinner for 2 at Olivia's Chop House, plus general admission tickets to the show at the Sauk Theater, along with bed and breakfast. There is a 2 night package and a 1 night package available for this show. The 2 night package also includes dinner at Saucy Dog's Barbeque and movie tickets to your choice of shows on 7 screens at nearby Premiere Theater. Advance reservations are encouraged. Show seats cannot be guaranteed for reservations made after June 2, but the Munro House will do its best to acquire tickets to the show of choice on any available date.

A great evening out for couples can be reserved online or with one phone call to the Munro House at 1-800-320-3792. An easy 2 block walk to dinner at the best restaurant in Hillsdale County is the prelude to a great evening out. The theater is on the way home from the restaurant, so no driving is required. A comfortable bed, and a big breakfast each morning awaits at the Munro House to complete a romantic and cultural night out in Southern Michigan.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

5/19/2014

Things to Do in Southern Michigan Near Munro House B&B

Munro House B&B in Jonesville Michigan is the alternate getaway destination to the bridge or the lake. Big Mac and the West Coast are very popular destinations, but there are lots of things to do that don't involve going all the way up North or all the way to the lake. Jonesville is located in extreme Southern Michigan about 20 miles due North of the Indiana/Ohio border. This central location allows for easy access to dozens of activities and attractions. Make Jonesville your headquarters, then take day trips to enjoy some really cool stuff in Michigan.

Wine tasting is a huge attraction in southern Michigan. The Pioneer Wine Trail begins about 20 minutes away and includes multiple vineyards and tasting rooms. The most exotic, quirky, and tasty wine can be found just outside of Jackson at a vineyard that combines airplanes with grapes. The Chateau Aeronautique is the most eccentric and delicious wine with an amazing vintner who is proud of his product.

Several theaters from Jonesville to Lansing and Coldwater to Chelsea provide quality live entertainment that is a short walk or an easy drive away. Jonesville's Sauk Theater produces famous plays like Les Miserables and Godspell. Chelsea's Purple Rose Theater features professional acting from its founder, big screen actor, Jeff Daniels. The Gospel Barn in Bankers features live entertainment every Saturday night. Nightlife could also include a trip to Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek or the smoke-free Hollywood Casino in Toledo. Both venues are about an hour away.

Museums, history, education and art can be found at Ella Sharp in Jackson, The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, plus the Air Zoo and Institute of Art in Kalamazoo. The Michigan Historical Museum and the Michigan State Capitol are about an hour away in Lansing. All of these locations are a short drive with ideal entertainment for a cold or rainy day.

Outdoor activities include Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek and the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. Baseball fans can enjoy the minor league Lansing Lugnuts or the famous Toledo Mud Hens. Go back in time with a trip to Sauder Village near Archbold, Ohio, or Amish Country in Shipshewana, Indiana. Both are working communities that display a different way of life where hand crafting becomes an art form.

Some of our favorite restaurants include the Common Grill in Chelsea, Miller's Bar in Dearborn, Cascarelli's in Homer, The Beach Bar on Clarklake, and Ray's Tavern in Reading. However, it sure is nice to walk to dinner sometimes. Saucy Dog's Barbeque and Olivia's Chop House are 2 excellent casual and fine dining restaurants in downtown Jonesville that are just 2 blocks from the Munro House.

Getaway for a couple of days or an entire week and make the Munro House your Southern Michigan travel headquarters to enjoy much of what the area has to offer. Special discount pricing on Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends. Extreme discount pricing around the 4th of July. Special offer prices apply to a stay of 2 or more nights.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

5/03/2014

Sauk Theater Festival of One Act Plays

Community Theater is vibrant once again at The Sauk in downtown Jonesville May 2-4, 2014. The Festival of One Acts" was well attended on opening night. 8 short One Act Plays were performed by the diverse and talented ensemble of Hillsdale Community Theater (HCT) with one intermission. The productions included real life, fantasy, and farce with a message to ponder entwined in the dialogue of each. A cast and crew of more than 30 individuals created a delightful evening of entertainment suitable for young and old. The featured characters included normal people, super heroes, lovers, family, elderly people, a gum shoe, a conscience, and Count Dracula.

The festival starts with a carnival barker who lays down the rules of how an audience is supposed to behave. Then, a couple of guys meet in a Bizzaro World restaurant where nothing is as it seems. Next, a Super Hero dies and good vs. evil in the modern world is contemplated. Afterward, a doctor-patient relationship is analyzed. Then, a man and a woman get stuck together on a Ferris Wheel with unforeseen personal consequences. The side-effects of getting old is displayed humorously. Then a young son tries to talk his dad out of leaving the family. Finally, an old-school private-eye hunts down Count Dracula to save the virgins.

'I'm Not Old, Just Misunderstood' was written by HCT charter member Bud Vear--who also stars as the lead character. Much of this play could be based on anyone's personal experience with a parent or a grand-parent. It is very well acted by Bud and veteran HCT player, Mike Sutton. Two older guys finally meet up for lunch after each showing up at the wrong place. A series of old people jokes are woven into the script with impeccable timing. The lines are few, but the laughs are long and frequent. To see the local talent's accomplishments expand to include the writing of a play (and its world debut) is a testament to the quality of our
community theater.

Les Miserables is coming to The Sauk June 12-22. It is one of the most popular Broadway Plays of all time and will be showcased in Jonesville for 2 weekends in June. The cast is currently at 49 actors with an orchestra of 14. This is one of the largest adult casts in the history of The Sauk. I anticipate that every show will be sold out in advance, so pre-ordering tickets for this production will be absolutely necessary. To be sure to get a seat on the night of your choice, know that the box office at The Sauk will be open during Riverfest on May 17 for walk-up sales only. The box office will officially open for online and walk-up sales on June 2.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

4/29/2014

Jonesville Riverfest Small Town Celebration

Riverfest is an annual small town celebration in Jonesville Michigan held on the third weekend in May. Canoe races dominate the weekend activities that run Friday through Sunday May 16-18, 2014. A car show and 3 on 3 basketball tournament, along with activities and entertainment that include a plant sale, arts & crafts, rock-a-thon, black powder firearms expo, cloggers, petting zoo, pioneering display, civil war encampment, art display, sidewalk sale, and concessions. Scheduled feature events include:

FRIDAY
5:00 Triathlon Registration at Carl Fast Park
6:00 Triathlon Begins at Post Office
6:00 Corn Hole Tournament at the Fire Station
SATURDAY
7:00 Pancake Breakfast at Presbyterian Church
8:30 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament at Jonesville High School
9:00 Car and Bike Show at Carl Fast Park
9:30 Canoe Races on the St. Joseph River
11:00 Pork Chop Lunch at the Fire Station
1:00 Grosvenor House Museum Tours
3:00 Town and Country Barbershop Chorus at Hillsdale College
7:30 Improv at the Sauk Theater
8:30 Party on the Patio with S.T.D. at Saucy Dog's Barbeque in Jonesville
SUNDAY
8:00 Antique Tractor Show at Carl Fast Park
8:30 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament at Jonesville High School
12:00 Canoe Races on the St. Joseph River
1:00 Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull at Carl Fast Park
1:00 Grosvenor House Museum Tours
1:00 Wigs for Kids Cut-a-thon at Carl Fast Park
2:00 Amateur Dog Show at Grosvenor House Museum
3:00 Tom Sawyer Raft Race on the St. Joseph River
3:00 Duck Pond on the St. Joseph River
4:00 Duck Derby on the St. Joseph River

Jonesville will be a happening place on Riverfest weekend. Most of the activities and entertainment are an easy walk from the Munro House Bed & Breakfast in downtown Jonesville. The finish line for the canoe races, plus the car show, sidewalk sale, and live entertainment are all within 3 blocks of the Munro House. Special rates are in effect for a 2 night stay.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

4/16/2014

Lodging Hotels Motels B&Bs in Hillsdale Michigan

Hillsdale County Michigan has a population of about 40,000 people. Some of the biggest employers include Hillsdale College and Hillsdale County Government. When these, or other businesses, have special events in the area that bring in a lot of people from out-of-town, there is a limit to the number of available short term lodging facilities in the entire county.

The largest hotels in Hillsdale County are the Days Inn (49) and the Dow Center (36). Together, they account for 85 moderate hotel rooms. Hillsdale Motel (25), America's Best Value (23), and Motel Somerset (14) account for another 62 budget motel rooms. Munro House (7), Brickhouse of Somerset (5), Rose Corner Inn (4), and the Rocking Horse (4) are Bed and Breakfasts that offer a homelike setting and add 20 additional rooms. In total, there are just 9 facilities that are inspected, licensed, and approved in Hillsdale County with a total of 167 sleeping rooms.

Large events at Hillsdale College like Parents Weekend, Homecoming, Graduation, CCAs, and sporting events like the Gina Relays make it difficult for all of the attendees to find local overnight lodging. Two NASCAR races in nearby Lenawee County overflow their patrons into Hillsdale County as an alternative to camping at Michigan International Speedway. With just a handful of sell-out weekends each year, there is not enough demand for many additional rooms.

When the City of Hillsdale elected a High School student its mayor, national and international news crews booked nearly every room in the area. When an ice storm took out power for most of the county, the lodging facilities were some of the first businesses to regain their electricity and served as a respite site for local homeowners whose medical devices required electricity. Well-attended weddings and funerals create additional demand from time to time.

The hotels and motels are obvious choices for people coming to the area. When a moderate hotel is the best choice, a place like Munro House B&B might be overlooked. At the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in downtown Jonesville, a higher end lodging choice is available. Guests from every state and over 65 foreign countries have enjoyed small town American hospitality at the Munro House. Top notch mattresses and bedding, plus free wireless internet and HDTV with HBO are some of the amenities at Munro House. Complimentary snacks and beverages plus a full hot made-to-order breakfast are all part of the bed and breakfast package.

When traveling to Hillsdale County, the top choice for overnight accommodations, comfort, and hospitality is at the Munro House in Jonesville. People who arrive for business, pleasure, scholastics, and family have enjoyed their stay at Munro House.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"