2015 Lewis Emery Treasure Hunt

Mark your calendar and sign up early. Saturday, October 24, 2015, is the date of the 82nd annual Lewis Emery (Lewis Family) Treasure Hunt. Gather at the new Merchant Building at Hillsdale County Fairgrounds around 5:00. Event begins at 6:00. The cost is $20 (cash) per carload. Sign up any time at the Hillsdale Finish Line between 2:00-5:00. Latecomers could sign up at the fairgrounds on the day of the event, but it is recommended to enlist your team early so the organizers have a good idea of the number of clues to provide. There are typically around 100 teams of 4 (or more) that hunt for the treasure every year.

The hunt typically begins with a simple puzzle. Decipher the code and seek the next clue that is typically hidden somewhere on the fairgrounds property. The second clue is usually one of the toughest ones. Carloads of puzzle solvers scatter around the grounds and try to figure out where to go next. There are typically 10 puzzles to solve over the course of the evening. Each of them are placed in remote locations somewhere in Hillsdale County. The puzzles are usually hidden in black plastic garbage bags that are secluded in the weeds along roadways or in public parks. Flashlights are a necessity. Pencils, papers, cell phones with charging cords can be very helpful.

Occasionally, simple things like scissors, tape, and can openers can be helpful. Sometimes the phone book, the Bible, today's newspaper, or the latest Tip Off are necessary. One year, a CD player was required. Access to YouTube videos and other sources of social media have also been helpful. Snacks and caffeinated beverages will also help teams get through the night. My personal goal is to finish by midnight--that's a 6 hour hunt. More often, our team roles in during the wee hours. The good news is that there is a feast awaiting everyone at the final destination. Usually it's sloppy Joes, chips, cookies, and soft drinks. Contestants can give up early and call a hotline to get the location of the final destination to get some food.

The first team to finish wins $500 cash, along with bragging rights. They also get to design and organize next year's hunt. Other top finishers get smaller cash prizes. Our team usually finishes in the top 25, but we have never won any money. It is a fun night to spend with family or friends. We may come in late, but we always finish. We hope to arrive at the final destination while there is still food being served. At some point, the organizers have to call it a night. Last year, we rolled in at 3:05 AM and were able to commiserate and get a bite to eat. It was not a stellar performance by our team, but we were still in the top 25. We got stumped on a clue and wasted too much time. We were hours behind the eventual winners. We had driven over 170 miles without leaving the county. We consumed large quantities of Mountain Dew, Slim Jims, and Snickers. We had a very good time. 
My team dresses in NFL jerseys. We have headband lights, hand-held spotlights, and multiple cords for our assortment of smart phones and tablets. We play our car stereo loud and have always had a theme song and a war cry. My team is lined up and ready to go. For more information, call this year's organizer Jennifer Leggett at 517-320-1581.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Free Bed and Breakfast for Veterans

Veterans are celebrated in Jonesville Michigan on Veterans Day at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. An annual program is performed at the Jonesville Middle School Gym. Local and visiting service men and women are honored by middle and high school students, along with local residents, officials, and business people. One era of conflict is remembered as the main part of the program. Students who have competed for the honor will give their speech on freedom and patriotism. The local band plays while flag twirlers perform and a color guard is present.

To assure veterans that they are in town in time to enjoy this program, Munro House offers free rooms to veterans of any era and any branch of service for the night before. Tuesday, November 10, is the date for free bed and breakfast. At random intervals, we will release rooms in this contest via our Facebook feed. The first veteran to call, will get the room for free. We will continue to release all of our available rooms at random in the weeks preceding Veterans Day until they are all gone. To guarantee that the vet will come to Jonesville, we take a $30 deposit. Upon arrival, we will give them a $30 gift card for dinner at Saucy Dog in Jonesville. The bed and breakfast will cost them nothing. A photo of the veteran in uniform is required to verify service.

Step 1 is to 'Like" Munro House Bed and Breakfast on Facebook. Step 2 is to watch for a posting in your Facebook feed that announces the release of a specific room. Step 3 is to be the first caller to 1-800-320-3792. It is just that simple. Sometimes, the room is claimed within minutes, sometimes it takes longer. Then come to Jonesville to have dinner downtown and breakfast with other veterans. Then go 3 blocks to the middle school for the Veterans Day program.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Dinner - Theater Package for "The Mousetrap"

Agatha Christie's play, "The Mousetrap", will be playing at the Sauk Theater in Jonesville, MI October 15-25, 2015. The Mousetrap is a murder mystery that is the longest running play in history. The Mousetrap opened in the Westend of London and has been continuously playing since 1952. With over 25,000 performances, it is easily the longest running show of any kind during the modern era. Patrons are encouraged to keep the twist ending to themselves as not to spoil it for folks who have not yet seen the play. The shows are scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00, and Sunday afternoon matinees at 3:00.

The Sauk Theater has a history of putting on great and popular shows at its 245 seat theater. Well known plays like "12 Angry Jurors", "Frankenstein", and "Dial 'M' for Murder" have been performed over the last few years, along with fantastic musicals like "les Miserables", "Fiddler on the Roof", and "Godspell". Local favorites have included "Escanaba in da Moonlight", "Titanic - the musical", and "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

An incredible pool of talent has graced the Sauk stage with most of it coming from Hillsdale County. However, many cast members ome in from Coldwater, Jackson, and Lansing. The theater has been hosting 5-6 plays each year along with special events that have included a series of one act plays, improv troupes, and workshops, along with other organizations, like schools and theater for youth, that put on their own productions. The acoustics and sound system are great, the seating is intimate, the performances are high quality, and the ticket prices are reasonable. At $10 per seat, the current ticket pricing is a deal on a quality live performance.

The Munro House in Jonesville offers an overnight dinner and theater package that includes a pre-show meal at Olivia's Chop House followed by tickets to the show.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Lodging Sale During Hillsdale County Fair Week

The Hillsdale County Fair is billed as "The Most Popular Fair on Earth". It is also the last fair of the season in Michigan. It begins on Sunday, September 27 and runs through Saturday October 3. It is a very big deal around here. So many kids are active in 4-H, that school is closed on some days during fair week. Some folks come for the animals, some come for the entertainment, some come for the rides, and the rest come for the food. Fair Food is something everybody looks forward to gorging on. Everything from foot long hot dogs, to elephant ears, to Fiske Fries are items local people wait all year to have again.

To encourage couples to come to the fair, we are offering standard rooms at the lowest price of the year--just $99 per night when you stay 2 nights or more Sunday through Thursday of fair week. Regular pricing applies on the weekend. Admission to the fair is just $5.00 per person, so for a reasonable price you can get entertainment, food, and lodging while enjoying a fall getaway. Country singer Trace Adkins is the headliner on Wednesday night, along with other fun events like tractor pulls and a demolition derby.

We try to get to the fair several times during fair week. Sometimes we go to volunteer time in the parking lot, but mostly we go for the food and to do some people watching. I like to spend most of my time at the band shell where local entertainers put on cool shows. I like the magicians and the singers, but I always have a good time watching the cloggers. My friends perform as the Unforgetables. They do a capella 3 part harmony from before the rock era. My wife likes the animal barns, especially the horses.

I know I'm going to be at the fair and hope you can come along, too.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Southern Michigan Fall Getaway Ideas

We have several Fall Getaway Ideas that couples can enjoy for an Autumn Getaway. Fall is my favorite time of year. I want to get out and do things. I want to enjoy the sunshine and the mild temperatures. I want to view the farmers' harvest and the color change of the landscape. I want to eat simple meals during the day and go to a great restaurant at night. Above all, I want to spend time with my wife.

After long weeks making decisions at work and at home, it's nice to take a weekend getaway and have a good deal of the decisions made for you. That is why the Munro House Bed and Breakfast has set up packages to create an easy to follow agenda with highly recommended activities where some of the weekend decisions are limited to what time do we eat? and which menu items look the best? The rest is part of our plan. Great restaurants are just 2 blocks away. Choose barbeque or fine dining. A 7 screen movie theater is 6 minutes away. Choose one of several newly released movies. A selection of high quality masseuses can be scheduled to give you the rub down in the comfort of this great old house. Backroads can be recommended to view Amish and traditional farms along with the Fall colors as the leaves change.

Our Foodie Package includes all your meals at our favorite restaurants. Our Romantic Getaway Package includes dinners, flowers, chocolates, and massages. Our Fall Getaway Package includes dinners, massages, and movie tickets. Our All Inclusive Getaway Package has dinners, lunch, chocolates, movies tickets, massages, pedicures, and facials. Each package can be added to a 2 day bed and breakfast getaway. For those people who can only get away for a single night, our One Night Stand Package is dinner and a movie to go with bed and breakfast.

All of these arrangements can be made in a simple 5-7 minute phone call. Your agenda will be set so that it might look like you went out and made all of the arrangements, but in reality, a well proven package was picked from several choices. Any time is a good time for a Fall getaway. Leaves are coming down already and the colors are starting to change. Peak season will be sometime in October. But peak temperatures are in late September. Let's get together and plan a getaway.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrr! September the 19th be the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Celebratin' this little known holiday can git ye some grub, fer free, if yar follows the rules. 1st, ye call out to the Munro House B&B in Jonesville at 1-800-320-3792. Then ye have to start talkin' like a pirate to make yar reservations for a 2 nighter that includes Saturday September 19. When ye git here, ye be gettin' certificates fer free dinners at me favorite places, ye Saucy Dog's Barbeque and Olivia's Chop House. Ye must give me a week's notice to acquire me treasure.

Arrr! The booty can be claimed, but ye have to be talkin' like a pirate or ye scurvy dogs will get nothin' more than clean quarters and a fillin' meal for breakfast. Ye land lubbers need to be a pirate for the day to earn the prize. Makin' me laugh is the secret to me sharin' me bounty. I might be wearin' me eye patch, dew rag, and hoop earing to fit the part. Join me if ye like, scurvy dogs who don't talk the talk be eatin' on their own.


Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Back to School Last Chance Summer Getaway

There is still time for a Summer Getaway in Michigan. Yes, it is time to think about the kids going back to school, but Michigan passed a law a few years ago that requires public schools to open after Labor Day. That means that there is still time for a day trip or long weekend in Michigan. Even if the kids are in school, a Back to School Special Package is still available through mid September. This could be the last chance for teachers and parents to relax and recharge before school starts.

Munro House offers an opportunity for all the decisions to be made for you. We pick the restaurants, we pick the masseuse, and we pick the movie theater as part of the Back to School Getaway Package. You choose what to eat, the intensity of the massage, and the movie to watch. Our selections have a successful rate of service and quality. Your choices have a variety of flavor, intensity, and mood. Together, we can arrange a high quality agenda that puts you in the right places to make good decisions for an enjoyable getaway.

The dinners are located just a two block walk from our house. Saucy Dog is a barbeque place offering ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken, sandwiches, and beef brisket. It is my favorite restaurant in the whole world--partly because of its proximity to my house, the variety of choices, and the friendly staff. Olivia's Chop House is a fine dining experience with outstanding soups, salads, and appetizers along with a varied selection of entrees and desserts. Steaks and seafood are featured with additional choices like roast duck and pork shanks. No dress code at either place means patrons can 'come as you are'.

The massages are done in-house by local professionals who take their job seriously. Our masseuses give every guest a minimum one hour of treatment on the table, and only release them when they are done. A full body massage includes arms, legs, head, neck, and back. The secret to massage is communication. Instructing the masseuse to the intensity and areas of greatest need will lead to a great service.

Our local movie theater has 7 screens featuring new release movies. New flicks from Marvel, Universal, and other studios with Academy Award nominated actors are typical selections. The seating is comparable to business class on an airplane with wide leather reclining seats and plenty of leg room. Soft drinks and large popcorn get free refills.

Get caught up on relaxation, enjoy some great meals, and see a blockbuster movie before Summer ends. It can all be arranged with a single 5 minute phone call, or book it yourself by using our online booking engine.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Trial Gardens Open to the Public

The trial gardens at Rakers Acres in Litchfield, Michigan, are open for the season. Several acres of professionally planted flowers are on display at Raker's. Seed companies from across the country, and around the world, display their expertise in growing annual and perennial flower gardens and hanging baskets. An incredible array of floral beauty is available to casually peruse and enjoy.

Raker's is located at 10371 Rainey Road in Litchfield, Michigan. The trial gardens are open daily, with no admission charged. Daily tours of the Raker Greenhouse is available Monday-Friday at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Call 517-542-2316 to reserve a spot for your group at your choice of tours. The Raker Greenhouse is truly amazing with professional horticulturists, modern automation, and quality control.

Munro House Bed and Breakfast is the nearest lodging facility, just 8 minutes away in downtown Jonesville. Each room has a queen size bed, private bath, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi. A big, hot, made-to-order breakfast is offered every day at the inn. Fine dining, casual dining, fast food, and ice cream are all just a few blocks away.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"