10/28/2009

November is Murder Mystery Month

The Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville Michigan is hosting a Murder Mystery each weekend in November. Spend the weekend in Jonesville and join other like-minded people for Saturday's evening of adult-themed fun. Guests just come-as-you-are for dinner while the hosts dress them up with props from the costume closet. There is no pressure to rent a costume, find period garb, or to sit in clothes that are not tailor made. The hats and beads at the inn will allow players to change their personality while keeping them comfortable in their own clothes.
Mike and Lori Venturini, innkeepers at the Munro House B&B, have hosted hundreds of Murder Mysteries since the dawn of the new millennium at their historic home. They have chosen scripts and worked out the details to create a fun atmosphere for adults to enjoy a great meal and have a good time in a small town in South Central Michigan. They have created a game that is more about being outrageous, having fun, and interacting with new friends than it is about becoming a Crime Scene Investigator for the night.
A typical murder mystery dinner begins with shrimp cocktail and an introduction to each person's character. Soup, salad, and entree are served while guests play the game--a nice, thick, rib eye steak has been the most common main course. Players find out who-done-it over dessert. A complete Murder Mystery Dinner lasts about 3 hours. A successful event is made evident by the amount of laughter coming from the dining room. Many guests are still addressed as their previous night's character over breakfast the next morning.
November 6-7 is already sold out, but there are currently available seats on the weekends of November 13-14, 20-21, and 27-28. Mike & Lori have always had enough people to play the game, so there are no worries about an event being cancelled. No need to bring all of your friends to fill the table, but you could if you wanted to. The Munro House offers a discounted "Gobbler" special over Thanksgiving weekend--November 27-28. Just ask for it when you make your reservation.

November is Murder Mystery month in Jonesville. Come out and have a good time.


Mike Venturini - Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"






10/26/2009

76th Annual Lewis Emery Treasure Hunt Complete


We must have driven down every dirt road in Hillsdale County searching for clues in the 76th annual Lewis Emery Treasure hunt (Lewis Family Treasure Hunt) on Saturday night. 94 teams started the hunt. 94 vehicles needed a car wash at the end of the night.
Everyone who got to the final destination at the Amboy Townhsip Hall was treated to a pulled pork meal with desserts and drinks. If we hadn't cheated on an early clue, we would have finished in 9th place. However, we got stumped and just started following people around to get to the next destination, which is against the rules. So we disqualified ourselves from winning any prizes.
Our headlamps and spotlights came in handy looking for clues stashed in black garbage bags hidden at roadsides on public grounds in rural areas in the dark. It also helped to have google mobile search on a smart phone to find out the title of the songs we were given a lyric to. "Stayin' Alive" was easy. "Big Green Tractor" was never on my hit parade.
Our group of 5 was just one of 94 teams that assembled at the Hillsdale County Fairgrounds at dusk on the traditional Saturday before Halloween. For $20 a carload, it was an affordable fun way to spend an evening with friends. The night was cool--in the 30's. There was a bit of mist--but no rain. With a good attitude and a lust for adventure, it was good night for fun.
Only 3 of us finished the quest as 2 from our team dropped out before midnight. Lori got tired and Todd got sick. Luckily for us, our homes were not too far out of the way for that clue. Our journey was to cover 165 if we made no mistakes. We drove over 200 miles, so the odometer says we made some driving errors.
We spent a lot of time in the truck, in the brush, and in the woods. The moisture on the railroad tracks froze and made for slippery conditions in one location. Damp leaves on dirt roads make for slippery driving conditions in another. We were never in danger of getting hurt, so chalk one up for us!
It was a relief to finish the game in the wee hours of the morning. I am sure I was not the only competitor who had to get up to go to work on Sunday morning. I had to to cook for my guests at the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, Michigan. I may have been a little bleary eyed, but I make some pretty good food when folks are paying me to do so.

Mike Venturini - Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"

10/18/2009

First Bare Trees of Fall


There are 4 forty foot tall black walnut trees in the front yard of the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, Michigan. They are always the first trees in the neighborhood to completely lose their leaves. The leaves started falling yesterday, and today the trees are bare.

The rest of the trees in the neighborhood have plenty of leaves, except my mulberry. All of their leaves fell overnight. The largest trees on my property have lost all of their leaves in a single weekend, that is the signal that peak leaf color has begun and should last for a few weeks. As you can see in the background, there is still plenty of fall foliage to view in areas without walnuts and mulberrys.

Pretty cool.


Mike Venturini - Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"


10/17/2009

Treasure Hunt in Hillsdale County Michigan

It's almost time for the treasure hunt. It's a pretty big deal around here. A hundred cars with several gamers inside each will be driving around Hillsdale, Jonesville, Reading, North Adams, Waldron, Litchfield, and Allen, Michigan, seeking clues that have been cleverly hidden around the county. Some may be in town, most may be out in the country hidden at public places.

Our team has been assembled, our supplies have been laid out, our peeps are covered, and we are ready to go. My wife, Lori, is a veteran player. I am a rookie. Every year I have wanted to go, and every year I have had to take care of late arriving peeps at the Munro House Bed and Breakfast or special events that kept me at work.

This is what I know:

The Lewis Emery Treasure Hunt (Lewis Family Treasure Hunt) is traditionally scheduled for the Saturday before Halloween. This is the 76th annual running of the treasure hunt. This year, the game will be held on October 24, 2009. It begins promptly at 6 p.m. on Saturday night in Hillsdale at the fairgrounds. With over 400 participants expected, an early arrival is highly suggested to get signed up.

The quest takes teams around the county searching for clues that have been cryptically written describing a route to find the next piece of the puzzle which is hidden in a public place. The first team to the final destination wins a cash prize, bragging rights, and gets to host next year's event. This activity provides an evening of puzzle solving, teamwork, and old-fashioned fun.

Despite cash prizes, not all the teams are in it to win it. Many come to spend a fun evening with family and friends. Some are just in it for the challenge. Most teams finish the hunt by midnight. Some die-hards have staggered in after 2:00 a.m.

To win, it may be a good idea to bring some items that have been helpful in the past: the current Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce phone book, Old Farmer's Almanac, The Bible--must be King James version, a full tank of gas, a flashlight, a cellphone, and GPS or a good map reader.

I am looking forward to the treasure hunt. My friend, Josh, was part of last year's winning team. They have been working all year on challenging puzzles for a night of fun. I hope the weather is nice and the puzzles not too hard.

Good luck to all hunters!


Mike Venturini - Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"


10/10/2009

Spa Day Almost Interupted

We offer spa services 7 days a week at the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville Michigan. Most of our clients come here on the weekend for massages, but we also do manicures, pedicures, facials, body wraps, and waxing.

Last week, we had 5 women over for a girlfriend getaway. They came in Thursday, had spa services scheduled for Friday, and check-out on Saturday.

Late Thursday afternoon, the Jonesville Village Office called to inform us that the water would be turned off on our block for some maintenance the following morning at about 8:30 a.m.--no bid deal. We informed our guests and made sure that their shower was completed early, we filled some reserve containers with water, and planned our day accordingly.
Everything was going well until a jackhammer filled the air with noise just before the massages were scheduled to start. The workers were breaking up the street right in front of our house. Our massage room is on the second floor in the front of our house, so some adjustments had to be made.
We moved our services to the back of the house in vacant rooms away from the outdoor activity. The clients appreciated our proactive handling of the situation and upon completion of the services mentioned that they had not noticed the noise and were not inconvenienced by the new location of the services.

Our street was repaired, our water restored, and our guests refreshed. A day of potential problems was averted and 5 women left our house very happy.


Mike Venturini - Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"

10/03/2009

Halloween in Jonesville Michigan

Halloween has been a fun evening in Jonesville for years. On 8 of the last 10 years, the weather was very good for trick or treating. Cool evening temperatures with dry conditions brought kids of all ages out by the hundreds. Surrounded by the festive activities, it is very easy to get into the spirit of the holiday.

In 2008, I had the lead role in a play about deer hunting in Michigan's U.P. "Escanaba in da Moonlight" was inspiration for my wife and I to dress up as Yoopers. It was really quite simple. I grew my beard, donned a fur hat, put on boots, wore a red Union Suit (one piece long underwear), sipped a beverage from an empty soup can, and greeted kids on my front porch.

Operating a bed and breakfast in Michigan--or any lodging business in a residential district--means that we can not turn our lights off when we run out of candy on Halloween, so we have to be prepared to have enough goodies through the entire designated trick or treating period. We like kids and enjoy displaying a positive image of our inn, so we give out good candy to everyone--even the teen-agers and the adults. Our philosophy is that if you dress up, you get candy. If you say trick or treat, you get candy. Even if you're not dressed up, but are in the spirit, you get candy at the Munro House.

When the weather is right, the kids just keep coming and coming. In 2008, mild temperatures in the 60's made for an absolutely perfect Halloween. Upon final count, we had nearly 650 trick or treaters! At 6 p.m., it was evident that the number we expected was sure to be exceeded, so a special trip to the store for more candy was an absolute necessity.

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year. There should be no school events, conflicts, or early bed times. Saturday is usually a bed and breakfast's busiest night of the week. Our overnight guests can expect innkeepers dressed for the evening and a 2 hour barrage of activity at the front door. The busy hours for trick or treating is from 5-7 p.m. If the weather is nice
My suggestion is for weekend guests to make it a 2 night stay arriving on Friday and sitting out on the porch with us on Saturday night to enjoy the festivities in small town America before heading out for dinner. For people who can only stay one night, check-in before 4 p.m. would be ideal.


Mike Venturini - Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"