10/01/2014

2014 Fall Getaway Ideas in Michigan

October in Southern Michigan is a special time of year. The Fall colors will soon be at peak, the weather is nearly perfect, and there is always time for a getaway. September was unusually warm so the peak colors are sure to be delayed until late October and quite possibly into November. There is a very big possibility that the entire month of October in Hillsdale County will be outstanding for enjoying daytime temperatures and viewing Mother Nature at work.

Cider mills, hay rides, and corn mazes are part of the daytime fun throughout Southern Michigan. Munro House in Jonesville can be your headquarters for activities and suggested vistas for your romantic weekend getaway. Hike/bike trails are nearby for a ride or a stroll. Horseback riding on a buffalo ranch is exhilarating. Meeting the Amish community can be an interesting experience. Just getting lost on the back roads and finding the gems of the county can be the highlight of the trip.

Some of my favorite spots include a replica of the Statue of Liberty on an island in a pond just North of Montgomery. There is an interesting marker on a dirt road near the spot where Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan meet. There is a copy of an article from USA Today that says that Ray's Tavern in Reading has the best hamburger in America. Allen is the "Antique Capital of Michigan" and boasts many small shops along with huge malls filled with memories and collectibles.

Local high school football home games are well attended on Friday nights in Jonesville and Hillsdale. College football at Hillsdale College, University of Michigan, and Michigan State are always fun times on Saturday afternoons. MSU's Hidden Lake Gardens is hundreds of acres of drivable and hikeable paths through a wide variety of plants and foliage. Firekeepers Casino is just an hour away should the weather turns cold or rainy.

My favorite part of Fall are the local events. Halloween Trick or Treating will bring around 700 kids to our front door in Jonesville. We traditionally dress up as hunters at deer camp and spend the evening handing out candy in our underwear. An 81 year tradition is the Hillsdale County Treasure Hunt. Around 100 teams traverse the county using their wits, maps, and tools to win a cash prize on a Saturday night in October. Our team is in it just to finish by midnight. We have fared pretty well in the last few years, arriving in the top 20.

The Munro House has comfortable rooms, modern amenities, and offers big breakfast served 7 days a week in the comfort of the oldest house in Hillsdale County. Packages can include dinners, movies, flowers, chocolates, massages, and more. Just pick a couple of days, and head down to Jonesville for a true getaway to a cool part of Michigan with outstanding restaurants and a lot to see and do. Take the time to get away to this memorable place located between Lansing, Detroit, Toledo, Fort Wayne, and Kalamazoo.













Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

9/22/2014

Wild Hogs Motorcycle Riders in Michigan

Three guys from India decided to make it a guys' weekend and came to Jonesville. These lifelong friends now live in Michigan, Massachusetts, and India.  They called the Harley-Davidson Dealer in Cement City and rented 3 Can-Am motorcycles--those are the 3 wheelers with 2 in the front and 1 in the back. It was their objective to make this a "Wild Hogs" weekend adventure for men. 

Day 1 of the agenda was to pick up their bikes and get to their headquarters--the Munro House B&B in Joneville. The group leader saw a picture of the innkeeper online riding his motorcycle and had a feeling that this would be a great fit for the bikers. He was right. The camaraderie was immediate and the recommendations were taken into consideration. The guys chose individual rooms, then went out for a great dinner before getting a good night's sleep before going on their road trip.

Day 2 was an entire day of riding after a hearty breakfast. The objective was to go to Hell. Hell, Michigan, is an actual place about 60 miles away. A route was chosen that led them through the back roads of Southern Michigan. Upon their return, they told us about their adventure in Hell. They were greeted by folks asking them "how the Hell are ya?" and left as folks told them to "get the Hell out of here." It was all in good fun as the trio enjoyed their day in Hell. A recommendation was made to take a glider ride in Gregory Michigan where they continued their adventure. They returned home to Jonesville and had another pleasant dinner before retiring to their individual rooms.

Day 3 included a big breakfast, a short ride, and the return of the trikes, before heading back to their individual homes. The man-cation was over, but the guys created memories that will last a lifetime--not just for them, but for everyone they encountered, especially the grateful innkeepers at the Munro House who lived vicariously through their adventure.


Mike Venturini - Innkeeper

9/11/2014

Talk Like a Pirate to Get a Deal

Yo-ho-ho! Ahoy there, Maties! The nineteenth day o' September-r-r-r is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Arr-r-r-r! We choose to celebrate this li'l known holiday with a li'l bit o' fun. So, shiver me timbers! We'll make it worth yer while to "get yer Pirate on" when arranging to drop anchor for a two night stay that includes Friday, the 19th day of September-r-r-r. All ye have to do is call us and 'talk like a pirate' whilst making yer reservation to conjure up me pieces of eight, savvy? All ye who do will get some booty at no extra char-r-r-rge that includes dinner-r-r-r fer 2 at ye Saucy Dog's Bar-r-r-r-beque on one night and dinner fer 2 at Olivia's Chop House on the other. Arr-r-r-r!

Blimey! Ye may wear yer dew rag, eye patch, and hooped ear ring, or come as a landlubber, but ye have to talk like a pirate to acquire me treasur-r-r-re. They be plastic doubloons changeable fer food. Aye, if ye make yer reservation online, ye can get no treasur-r-r-re. But if ye call us direct, the booty be yers when ye make a parley whilst talking like a pirate. Bar-r-r-beque and fine dining be waitin' fer ye. Privateers and buccaneers be welcome, but the son of a biscuit eater can stay ashore. Arr-r-r-r!

Give yer matey the old heave ho and git him to make the call. Then pack yer duffle, batten down the hatches, scale the mizzen mast, climb into the crow's nest, and set three sheets to the wind fer Jonesville. Follow the rules or walk the plank, ye skallywags. A floggin' be waiting for ye on the poop deck for any hornswagglin' salty dogs! Arr-r-r!

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

8/12/2014

Back to School Getaway Package

So it's time for the kids to go back to school. But, what about the college students? What about teachers? And, what about the parents? A lot of kids have had the whole summer off. College Students may have been working, interning, or taking summer classes. Teachers may have been earning continuing education credits. Parents may have been doing family stuff. So, August and September are the months when adults can celebrate 'back to school' in a different way--by taking a mini vacation.

What can be done in a couple of days to truly relax after a busy summer? How about massages, dinners, and a movie while staying at a historic lodging facility in Southern Michigan? Munro House is just the kind of place to truly get away and relax. Munro House is a comfortable bed and breakfast in downtown Jonesville Michigan. Jonesville can be found about 20 miles due north of the Indiana-Ohio border. Located just an hour between Battle Creek, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Toledo, and Shipshewana. Or, about 90 minutes between Detroit, Fort Wayne, and Kalamazoo. The best part of a 2 day getaway is not spending too much time on the road. So Jonesville is ideally located for a huge population base in South Central Michigan.

The Back to School Package at Munro House includes 2 dinners, 2 one hour massages, and 2 movie passes, along with 2 nights bed and breakfast. A great thing about the Munro House in Jonesville is that the city is walkable. 2 great restaurants are an easy 2 block walk to fine dining or barbeque. Olivia's Chop House and Saucy Dog are the restaurants of choice. Both have excellent menus, consistent very good service, and generous portions. The massages are done in-house, so the convenience and quality of the service is superior. The masseuses consistently give their clients at least one hour on the table--not 45 minutes plus consultation, undress, and dress time that is typical in a salon. The movie theater is the only piece of the package that requires a vehicle. Premiere Movie Theater is about 6 minutes away and shows new release movies on 7 screens. New leather reclining seats similar to business class airline comfort is the latest upgrade to the local cinema experience.

Make your getaway over Labor Day Weekend to take advantage of the lowest prices of the season. The lodging portion of the package is discounted up to $100 on a 2 night stay over the holiday, so if the budget is the issue, Labor Day Weekend is the most affordable weekend.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

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"