11/29/2011

Herman Cain visits Hillsdale College


Republican Presidential candidate, Herman Cain, came to Hillsdale College to speak to a crowd of over 1,000 people. The focus of his speech was about foreign policy, terrorism, and cyber security. He talked mostly about defense security and what he would do in a leadership role. He briefly touched on his 9-9-9 plan. Cain is a very polished and charismatic speaker whose talent rivals that of President Obama.

Cain arrived promptly at 6:30 as scheduled, talked for about 45 minutes, then left without taking questions. With all of the recent allegations of his misbehavior in the workplace, he did not even meet with reporters as he reassesses his campaign strategy and plans his damage control.

Herman Cain is one of the biggest public figures who has addressed citizens of our small community. Previous commencement speakers at Hillsdale College include Mitt Romney, Paul Harvey, and Dr. Laura. I applaud Hillsdale College for bringing these national figures to Hillsdale. It was an interesting evening that was well attended by a polite and partisan audience.

I was surprised at the number of people in attendance as the first major snowfall of the year has just begun. There was about 2 inches of snow on the ground when I arrived with the prediction of up to 8 inches by morning. He finished his talk by striving for "peace through strength and clarity."


Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/27/2011

12' Christmas Tree Lights

It is a big job to light the Christmas Tree at the Munro House B&B in Jonesville MI. The tree is 12 feet tall and requires 30 strings of lights to properly illuminate it. With 100 lights on a string, that is 3,000 lights on this 12 foot tree. Another 3,000 ornaments will be hung from the branches. A spectacular indoor Christmas Tree that rivals the kind that are seen on Soap Operas will be gracing the parlor of this great old house.
I enlisted the help of friends and we completed the assembly and lighting task in just a couple of hours. Complete decorating of this Christmas Mansion will be done by the end of the week. Christmas Getaways in Michigan can be enjoyed 7 days a week through early January.


Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/21/2011

Jonesville MI B&B Feature in National Publication

The Conde Nast Traveler featured the Munro House, a Jonesville Michigan B&B, in the Daily Traveler section.


Five Fascinating Underground Railroad Bed-and-Breakfasts  

History buffs, take heart. A National Park honoring Harriet Tubman could open as early as 2013 in Auburn, New York, and Dorchester County, Maryland, thanks to legislation that finally passed the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee last Thursday (lawmakers rejected the bill on its first two go-arounds, in 2008 and 2009). If the full senate OKs the measure, the parks will preserve 32 acres of historic properties in Auburn, including Tubman’s home, and build a visitor center in Dorchester County, where Tubman was born. Can’t wait another year? There are dozens of Underground Railroad stations-turned-B&Bs where you can explore the trap doors, secret passageways, and sly escape routes that transported slaves to freedom in the North.

1852 Hall Place B&B, Glasgow, Kentucky: Mother Nature herself supplied the escape route at Hall Place: A string of caverns, accessible from the house, lead to an above-ground spring. Original homeowner Judge Christopher Tompkins once taught Abraham Lincoln, was an ardent supporter of the Underground Railroad, and supplied lifetime care for each of his own slaves in his will.

Ashley Manor, Barnstable, Massachusetts: Ashley Manor, built in 1699, has been on both sides of history: As a Revolutionary War hideout for Tories and as an Underground Railroad stop in the nineteenth century. Slaves were thought to have used a secret passageway connecting the upstairs and downstairs to escape via the cellar.

Samuel Fitch House, Westford, Massachusetts: Two spaces offered slaves refuge in this Massachusetts home: A tunnel beneath the house, and a warm hideout next to the chimney, hidden behind a removeable wall in a bedroom closet.

Munro House, Jonesville, Michigan: A ceiling entrance conceals a basement room large enough for 12 adults in the Munro House, which is believed to have sheltered some 400 runaway slaves seeking safety and freedom in nearby Canada.

Great Valley House of Valley Forge, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: A tunnel from the main house originally intended to store vegetables became an important hideout for fleeing slaves in the nineteenth century. Today, two green doors at the entrance commemorate the history.

Photographs courtesy of the properties

Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/20/2011

Michigan Winter Getaway Package

A winter getaway is available 7 days a week at this Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast. Just 90 minutes from Detroit Metro Airport and Fort Wayne Indiana. The Munro House is also just an hour from Toledo, Lansing, and Battle Creek. When winter travel distances can be an issue, it is nice to know a romantic winter getaway is very nearby.

The Winter Getaway Package is a two night stay that includes dinners at 2 great nearby restaurants. Both Saucy Dog's Barbeque and Olivia's Chop House are just 2 blocks away. Saucy Dog features beef brisket smoked overnight to tender deliciousness, while Olivia's offers a prime rib that you might be able to eat with a spoon. The convenience of 2 restaurants being an easy walk makes this a great choice for dinners on consecutive nights. A pair of movie passes are also included in the package. There is a good chance that Oscar nominated movies will be playing at the local Premiere Theater.

An onsite one hour massage for each person is a sure way to relax during the shopping season, the new year, or a cabin fever getaway. A full hour on the table with a world class masseuse is a guilty pleasure anyone is sure to enjoy.

Make the reservation with 30 days notice and mention "ROSES ARE RED, MY LOVE" and a dozen red roses floral arrangement will be your bonus gift at no charge.


Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/19/2011

Veteran's Day in Jonesville

Munro House was the only Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast participating in the international B&Bs for Vets program. This event gave free rooms to veterans and current active duty military personnel on the night before Veterans Day so they could participate in local morning programs.

Seven couples from three service branches and four conflicts were honored with a veterans reception at the Munro House that also included members of the local American Legion. After breakfast, a rededication of the G.A.R. Memorial in downtown Jonesville was this year's program. The Grand Army of the Republic Statue was constructed in Carl Fast Park in 1912. The local American Legion funded the project that repositioned the statue on a new stone foundation. A new flagpole with a lighted base now flanks the lone soldier. 

A photo slideshow of the local attendants, participants, and band is online at Mr. Mike's Blog.

Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/16/2011

Free Rooms for Vets Article

November 15, 2011
Section: News
Page: 1
Memo:Munro House
The Munro House was the American Legion Post in Jonesville in the 1940s and '50s. Venturini said he is very interested in local history and is looking for photos of the Munro House from that era.



Munro House offers free lodging
Holly Roney
holly.roney@hillsdale.net
 
JONESVILLE - The Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville opened its doors to veterans for the second year as part of "B & Bs for Vets," a program that provides veterans and their spouses free lodging the night before Veterans Day so that they can attend local events the next day.
Munro House filled their seven rooms with veterans, providing them with a free dinner on Thursday night at Olivia's or Saucy Dog's and a breakfast on Veterans Day. They have guests representing Vietnam, the Gulf War and current active-duty. One guest, Misty Wolthuis, is an active-duty Sergeant First Class (SFC) who will be leaving for Liberia to teach the Liberian army armory operations on Saturday.

"I just think it's the right thing to do," said Mike Venturini, who owns the Munro House with his wife. "I think more people should do things for the veterans."

The Venturinis released their rooms by encouraging potential guests to friend them on Facebook. Then they released rooms individually, letting their Facebook friends be the first to know. They said that way they were creating some anticipation about the event.

Guests came from Grand Rapids, Ida, Lambertville and more. There were also guests at the reception before dinner Thursday that were local veterans and their families.

"Everybody's welcome at my house," Venturini said. The reception offered appetizers such as cheese and crackers, and apples with caramel. Guests ate, told stories and relaxed before heading off to dinner.

On Friday, they were encouraged to attend the memorial rededication at Carl Fast Park in Jonesville.

"This place is phenomenal," said guest Larry Fry, who came from Grand Rapids with his wife. "There's a lot of history here."

Jeff Venneman and fiancee Misty Wolthuis, both active-duty Sergeants First Class, enjoy the snacks offered.

DAILY NEWS/HOLLY RONEY
Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/12/2011

Interactive Murder Mystery Dinner in Michigan

Six  couples joined us for a murder mystery dinner at the Munro House B&B in Jonesville Michigan. November is traditionally murder mystery month at the Munro House where several weekends are reserved for murder mysteries each year. Each person was an active participant in this interactive event.  A role was assigned to each guest by our hostess who tried to match characters with personalities.

These parties are designed to be more of a fun event than a problem solving task. Adults dressing up and acting silly is what these parties are all about. Each guest has a role to play and a script to follow. Each script has 4-8 clues in each of three acts. These clues must be shared during dinner. Additional ad-libbing is encouraged. 

A five course meal was served while the game was played. The mystery was solved over dessert. New friendships were made during the course of the evening and judging from the laughter coming from the dining room, everyone had a good time..



Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/11/2011

Snow in Jonesville

I had gone to bed while snow flurries scattered the area and awoke to find a significant amount of snow in Jonesville. A full ground covering of snow was the first of the season and the earliest in recent memory. Thankfully, the streets and sidewalks were warm enough to melt the snow on contact and did not require snow shovel removal.


Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/10/2011

Vets Arrive During 1st Snow

Participating in the international B&Bs for Vets program, the Munro House in Jonesville hosted 7 Military Veteran Families for free on the night before Veterans Day. This program was designed so vets can be in town for morning ceremonies, programs, and dedications in cities and villages around North America. The guests began arriving as the first snow of the season fell.

One of the couples was so appreciative of the free room for vets that they sent a patriotic wreath for all to enjoy. Local veterans were also invited to join us for a reception. Our veterans represented Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War, and current active duty. All of the vets were sent downtown for dinner at Saucy Dog's Barbeque or Olivia's Chop House. Both restaurants have excellent food and are just 2 blocks away.
Veteran's Day is traditionally honored at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in America. Our vets will have been fed breakfast and will be able to take the short walk to Carl Fast Park where 600+ people are expected to witness the rededicating of the G.A.R. statue. The monument was originally dedicated in 1912 and has been repositioned, relit, and had its foundation redone.



Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/09/2011

Quilts for Christmas

Lori Venturini began quilting about a year ago with the specific goal to give quilts to family members for Christmas. Personal gifts have more meaning as we get older, so she wanted to do something special. She decided to use her sewing machine that had been sitting, mostly idle, in the back room. She started going to Trevathan's Sweep and Sew Shoppe in Hillsdale where they taught her how to use her machine and got her involved in regular quilting classes and get-togethers.

Lori has several "block of the month" projects in progress that take a year or more to complete. She participates in "12 hour sews" that can produce a mystery quilt top pattern in a single day. A local person does the long arm quilting to finish the project. She is on schedule to have 8 quilts completed in time for Christmas. Her sister has already rigged their family's annual gift exchange so specific people get a home-made quilt.


Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/08/2011

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Goes on Sale

Today 11/08/11 at 12:01 a.m., the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 video game went on sale at retail outlets in the Eastern Time Zone. My wife volunteered to go to Wal-Mart and be there when the game went on sale. She joined my gamer friend TREVORLICIOUS as the first 2 people in line. They got there late afternoon with camping chairs, cell phones, an I-Pad, and a good attitude. They waited patiently for the midnight release of this much anticipated version of the very popular series.

As the evening progressed, more people arrived to wait until the line extended through electronics and infants departments and down through the dairy department of the grocery store. An estimated 150 people were in line with the ability to purchase up to 2 games at midnight.

Occasional breaks were taken. Food was purchased in the deli and a box of donuts from the bakery that were shared with the first 10 in line. A social network of gamers had a good time waiting for 12:01. The first 3 people in line got a free Call of Duty t-shirt.

My friend Jeffy joined them to purchase the 2nd of 2 allowed games per person and came to my house to load the game on my X-Box system. By 12:15 a.m. we were online and enjoying MW3.  About 1 a.m. we got kicked and couldn't get back into the game. Jeffy went home, got online, and invited me to party with him. We played for a couple hours while trying to learn the new maps.

There will be many hours spent gaming online with friends around the county, across the state, and around the world. We usually meet online at 9:30 and play until midnight 2-3 times a week.

I appreciate my wife who waited in line with scores of young men and a few young ladies until the midnight release of this much anticipated video game. She's one of a kind, the love of my life, and likes it when I spend time with my friends.



Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"



11/07/2011

Main Street Pizza Jonesville MI

Main Street Pizza in Jonesville MI is the perennial People's Choice Award Winner for best pizza in Hillsdale County. They are located on US-12 in downtown Jonesville and just a block and a half from the Munro House B&B. Main Street gets my vote every year because I agree that it is the best pizza in the area. It's a bonus that they are so close by. A typical order takes about 20 minutes and comes with plenty of ingredients at a reasonable price. They don't deliver, but it's an easy walk from my house to pick up an order.

Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"

Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/06/2011

Scottish Terrier Goes for a Walk

Ozzie, resident Scottish Terrier at the Munro House in Jonesville, loves to go for a walk. Guests often ask permission to walk with him around our small town neighborhood. Thanks Joy. Ozzie loved it!



Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/05/2011

Toasted Mud Pottery Creations


We spent a day painting kitchenware at Toasted Mud Pottery Studio in Hillsdale, MI. Then we waited for it to be glazed and fired. A week went by and we brought home our very own functional works of art. Lori created a serving plate in the Polish Pottery style and I made a simple maple syrup pitcher. Both projects were completed with 1 minute of instruction and access to all the tools and materials we would need.


I remember it being very relaxing and creative time spent in a calm setting with the best girl ever. We had a very good experience and appreciate the additional instructions and tips that were offered while we worked on our individual creations. Our next pottery painting project will be much better now that we have a whole day of experience.



Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/04/2011

Short Notice Wedding Planner

A nice young couple was informed by their wedding chapel that their date was cancelled. So with 2 weeks notice, they had to plan a wedding all over again. A family relative found the Munro House B&B online and booked the $1,000 Wedding Package. With one phone call to our wedding planner, they reserved the venue, hired the officiant, ordered flowers, designed a cake, and had a place to stay for two nights. Guests were informed that the wedding location was changed to Jonesville and a disaster was averted.
An intimate ceremony in a historic home became the start of their life together. A champagne toast wished them to "live happily ever after". A proud groom and a beautiful bride had their special day just the way they wanted it. Congratulations Damian & Kristin.


Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/03/2011

Halloween Costume Ideas 2011

My personal blog has a slideshow of hundreds of trick or treaters in costume on Halloween at Munro House in Jonesville. We gave candy to an estimated 722 visitors on the most beautiful All Hallows Eve we've had in a long time. Temperatures in the mid 50's with no precipitation made it a comfortable evening to be out on the porch in our underwear having fun with children of all ages.


Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
...and his sidekick "Buggy"
"Life is good in Jonesville"
Munro House Bed and Breakfast

11/02/2011

Enjoying Hillsdale County Via Motorcycle

One of the best things about running a bed and breakfast in Michigan is the free time at mid-day. It isn't every day, but it is most days that we have a 2-4 hour window of opportunity where we can just get out and enjoy the day after the morning work is done and before new guests arrive for check-in. I have had several days like that this week already.

Touring on my Honda GoldWing Motorcycle is my favorite thing to do until the temperatures get into the low 30's. My wife enjoys rides on nice days like today--60+ degrees. We cruise the back roads, the side streets, and the lakes area. We help to support the Hillsdale County economy by having lunch at a different location and visiting out-of-the-way stores and shops.

The Fall Colors are past peak, but a crisp day with sunshine is a good day to enjoy the great state of Michigan. The myriad of colors from the leaves is gone but the earth tones of the harvest is just beginning. Folks are out raking leaves, farmers are tilling their soil, and families are enjoying outdoor activities before winter arrives.


"Life is good in Jonesville"


Mike Venturini
Jonesville Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper
Munro House Bed and Breakfast