11/20/2014

Bedrooms With Dimplex Electric Fireplaces

Guest bedrooms at Munro House B&B in Jonesvillle MI have been upgraded to include new Dimplex Electric Fireplaces. Previous gas fireplaces were dirty, inefficient, and useless in the summer. The new electric fireplaces have a nice glow and the availability of a no heat setting. The ambiance is great. The light from the fireplace can be adjusted to the appropriate glow. The heat thermostat can keep the room at a constant temperature. The light from the fireplace can be enjoyed without heat all year long. We hope that guests enjoy the new fireplaces as much as we do.

The chimney sweep was called to address issues we were having with 4 of our 12 fireplaces. There was a buildup of soot inside our bedrooms and bird nests in the chimneys had brought debris into the fireplaces. The soot was the main concern as one room needed to be cleaned and painted twice in one season. After the bird nest was cleared, we thought that the problems might not be related because the soot issue persisted. It was then that the chimney sweep informed us that we had several problems. The main problem was that the gas was no longer properly ventilating. Another problem was that the new energy efficient windows did not allow the house to breathe properly. This previously drafty house allowed for the proper draft up the chimney. Who knew that installing double paned windows would affect the way a fireplace vents? It was still possible to safely continue to use the fireplaces, but at an extreme cost that involved reconstructing the chimneys and flues.

An alternative to burning wood or gas had to be found. Research was done by visiting other B&Bs that had to address similar problems and doing an internet search to find a suitable solution. Safety was a big concern, but the ability to utilize the fireplace during the summer months was a big desire. There are some very nice enclosed fireplace inserts on the market. Most of them are free standing and can be moved anywhere. However, we have built-in fireplaces with odd sized mantels and hearths, so we needed something that would fit inside our available spaces. Through personal recommendations and online reviews, we decided on the Dimplex 28 inch premium fireplace log set. I ordered one as a test. I wanted to make sure it would function as I hoped it would. It was pretty easy to assemble and install. I had it running in less than an hour. My heating and plumbing guy removed the gas pipes and capped them off. My electrician installed an electrical outlet in an inconspicuous location. I put a metal screen in front of the hearth that actually enhanced the look of the unit. Upon completion, I was satisfied with the look of the fake flame and the feel of the supplemental heat.

No longer would I have to worry about dangerous CO2 gas in the bedrooms, soot on the ceilings, or a concern about fire. I purchased 3 more of these units for my other bedrooms and had them installed in an afternoon. Each has a digital remote control with an exceptional LCD readout that controls the flame, the embers, and the heat. A numeric thermostat controls the heat as needed. The fireplace can be used all year long because of the ability to turn off the heat function. It does not provide a mesmerizing flame that you could stare at for hours, but it does create a very nice ambient glow that can quickly set the mood for romance. I love my new fireplaces and hope that my guests do, too.

Mike Venturini-Innkeeper
Munro House B&B
Jonesville, MI



11/18/2014

Thanksgiving Promo Code for Michigan Bed and Breakfast

Thanksgiving is a day to gather with family and friends to give thanks and spend time with the people you love most. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving that signifies the first big day of shopping for Christmas gifts. That is when retailers have sales so big that shoppers camp out or get up early to take advantage of annual super special sales. After a day of eating and a day of shopping, there could be one more thing to do before holiday get-togethers take up a lot of your time. That is the weekend that the Munro House has a special getaway offer. Stay the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving to get a gift card worth dinner for two at two of my favorite restaurants at no additional charge.

Saucy Dog's is just two blocks away and happens to be my favorite restaurant in the whole world. There, they serve barbeque. The menu consists of ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken, hot dogs, and sandwiches, but I go there for the brisket. My go-to item on the menu is their beef brisket wrap. It consists of tender smoked beef with veggies in a soft tortilla that is as big as your face. The meat is smoked for 14 hours and has great flavor. I have eaten every item on the menu, and I can honestly say that there are so many good choices that it can be hard to decide.

Olivia's Chop House is more of a fine dining experience. They have steaks and seafood along with pasta, pork, and poultry. They serve a bacon, lettuce, and tomato soup that is wonderful. Their calamari is the best on the planet (in my opinion). Many of our guests rave about the salmon and roast duck, but I go there for the prime rib. It is smoked and has never touched a grill. It comes out so tender that I have been tempted to eat it with a spoon. For dessert, crème brulée is outstanding, but if it's a special occasion, you could order a flaming dessert that they will prepare table-side, just for you. This is the kind of restaurant that is expected in a big city, however it is just two blocks away in downtown Jonesville.

A two night reservation at the Munro House on Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29, can earn
you two free dinners at two great restaurants just two blocks away in downtown Jonesville. Just mention the "GOBBLER" special when you call in your reservation, or enter promo code GOBBLER when you book online. 3 days notice required.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

11/10/2014

Healing Field Veterans Memorial in Hillsdale Michigan

The Exchange Club of Hillsdale County has erected a "Healing Field" Memorial for veterans on the grounds of the Hillsdale County Courthouse. The project was spearheaded by club member and Vietnam War veteran, Jeff Francis. It was his objective to find a way to honor local veterans who died while serving in any branch of the U.S. Military. This project has been in the works for over a year.

First, an idea had to turn into a project. Many veterans groups and service organizations have erected permanent and temporary displays honoring veterans around the country. The Hillsdale County group had to decide on an appropriate way to honor veterans. The Exchange Club decided to honor local veterans who died while serving this country by creating a white cross with the fallen soldier's name on the crossbar, and the service era on the upright.

Next, a list of local veterans who died while serving in the military had to be compiled. Research had to be done using the internet, cemetery records, local newspapers, military families, and friends to discover the names of fallen soldiers from World War I to the present. They did their best to find this list of names, but they are always interested in finding additional veterans that may have been missed. The only criteria is that the soldier must have been a resident of Hillsdale County when he/she died while on active duty in any branch of the U.S. Military.

Then, the list of names had to be engraved on individual crosses. A contingent of club members got together to cut and paint the wooden crosses. Another member with C&C equipment was enlisted to engrave the names before they were painted again. The crosses were then organized by era in alphabetical order where they were double-checked for accuracy.

Afterwords, a storage place had to be located. The goal was to complete the project by Memorial Day. Although it was close to completion, the inaugural display had to be delayed until Veterans Day. That gave the group additional time to triple-check the obtained information and make arrangements for the erection of the mobile temporary display.

Finally, permission had to be obtained to display the memorial. The Hillsdale County Courthouse grounds were chosen as this is the site for the annual Veterans Day Tribute. The appropriate permissions and approvals were obtained and the crosses will be on display for about 10 days. The goal is to move the display around the county to appropriate locations at specific times throughout the year. Veterans Day and Memorial Day are the most obvious choices.
Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

10/30/2014

Free Rooms for Veterans to Celebrate Veteran's Day

Once again, the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville Michigan is giving rooms to veterans at no charge as a thank you for their service. Veteran's Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 11 at 11:00 AM in the Jonesville Middle School Gym. To honor our vets and get them to town to observe (and take part) in this local American Legion tradition, we are offering free rooms to our Facebook friends for Monday, November 10. We will make you a big breakfast on Tuesday morning and encourage you to enjoy the program as you leave town.

The program has been very well attended as the high school and middle school, along with local citizens, are invited to attend. Hundreds of people fill the gym as the American Legion brings in guest speakers. A local student is chosen as the winner of the patriot essay who then reads the speech to the audience. A veteran from a war era is also invited to speak on behalf of their military experience. The high school band plays as the flag twirlers perform to patriotic tunes.

All veterans are invited to like and follow Munro House Bed and Breakfast's Facebook page. At random intervals, a free room is offered to the first caller via a posting on the Munro House Facebook Page until 6 rooms are given away. A $30 fee is charged to guarantee arrival and a $30 gift certificate towards dinner is given upon arrival. So, the night away costs our vets nothing. We are proud to have been participating in this promotion since 2010 to offer thanks to our veterans.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

10/22/2014

Comedy Club Saturday November 1

Johnny T's Next Door in Hillsdale Michigan is featuring a Comedy Club night on Saturday November 1. National touring comedians will take the stage at 9:00 for one night only. The event is to benefit the Greater Hillsdale Humane Society. Doors open at 8:00. Jokes start at 9:00.

Johnny T's Bistro is a fine dining restaurant located adjacent to the banquet room featuring the comedy club. The menu is loaded with casual and fine dining selections that include steak, seafood, and sandwiches. A favorite item on the menu has a Southern flair: New Orleans Tilapia is a grilled white fish smothered in a Cajun sauce with crab stuffed shrimp. The Yankee Pot Roast is incredible. Even your mom's lasagna might not compare with Johnny T's.

The meal is not complete without trying something extra, like their local favorite Peasant Salad, French Onion Soup, or Home-Made Ice Cream. Each of these extras could be rated as some of the best available anywhere. The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. Sit down to dinner by 7:00 to be sure to get a seat for the comedy show Next Door at 9:00. Appetizers and alcohol will be served at the club.

The Munro House B&B has a one night special that includes dinner for 2 at Johnny T's Bistro, plus one night bed and breakfast, along with 2 FREE admissions to the comedy show at Johnny T's Next Door. A great meal, some big laughs, and a comfortable bed combine to make this a memorable one night out.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"

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"