Vacation Ideas

Or...What is there to do?

                      Canoe Trip  *  Golf Outing  *  Horseback Riding  *  Hunting Trip  *  Bicycling Trip  *  Winery Tours
                      Old Threshers Reunion  *  Family and Friends Reunion  *  Honeymoon  *  Church Retreat
                      Small Business Seminar  *  Crafter's Retreat *  Ghost Hunter's Get-Away
      
Canoe Trip Idea:
•Spend the night before at the Mason House Inn. 
•A day of canoeing on the Des Moines River (your choice of starting and ending point). Paddle, Pedal and More, here in Bentonsport has kayaks and canoes to rent. Call them at (641) 919-9414 to make arrangements.
•Lunch:  Pack a picnic to take with you or stop in Keosauqua or Bonaparte at one of the quaint restaurants.
•Supper:  We recommend Bonaparte's Retreat restaurant for a great steak dinner, or the Riverbend in Keosauqua for pizza or hamburgers.
•Then, spend another restful night at the Mason House Inn, to recuperate from all your fun.
Canoeing on the Des Moines River
   
Golf Outing Idea:
•Stay the night at the Mason House Inn.
The Riverview Country Club in Keosauqua offers a choice of rounds.  The golf course is 9 holes, if you want 18 holes, go around twice.  Call them at (319) 293-3200 to make arrangements.  They also have a swimming pool and tennis courts, and cart rentals.
•Lunch:  Pack a picnic lunch to take with you, or eat at one of the unique restaurants in the area.
•Supper:  We recommend Bonaparte's Retreat restaurant for a great steak dinner, or the Riverbend in Keosauqua for chicken or tacos.
•Stay a second night at the Mason House Inn, nice and quiet and comfortable.  Don't forget the delicious breakfast! 
    
Horseback Riding Idea:

•Stay at the Mason House Inn the night before to rest up.
•Spend an enjoyable day riding horses near Farmington in the scenic Shimek State Forest.  Call Westercamp's Rent-A-Horse at (319)878-3596 to make arrangements.
Horseback riding
   
Hunting Trip Idea:
•Stay at the Mason House Inn the night before.  (The house is nice and quiet so you can get to bed early, since you want to get up early.)
•Rise early and grab a take-it-with-you breakfast from the dining room.  (Give Joy advance notice so she can have fresh baked goodies and fresh coffee waiting for you.)
•There are public hunting areas just north of Bentonsport that is filled with deer and turkey just waiting for you to find them.
•Lunch:  Pack a sack lunch, grab lunch to go or eat at the restaurant of your choice.
•Supper:  We recommend Bonaparte's Retreat restaurant for a great steak dinner, or the Riverbend in Keosauqua for everything else.
•Stay a second or third night at the Mason House Inn to rest up from all your fun.
•Wives of hunters will enjoy staying at the Mason House, too.  Spend the day browsing the unique shops in Bentonsport, Bonaparte, and Cantril.  See which of you can bag the best catch!
    
Bicycling Trip Idea:
•Stay at the Mason House Inn the night before to rest up and check your bike over.  (Ask Joy where you can safely store your bike inside the building.)  You can rent a bike for the day from Paddle,Pedal and More here in Bentonsport.  Call them at (641)919-9414 to make arrangements.
•Eat a nutritious and energy filled breakfast in our dining room while you plan your route.
•Ride your bike all over Van Buren County.  There are several good routes and lots to see.  Our local drivers are used to sharing the road with bicycles and Amish buggies, so it is safe and serene.
•Eat lunch at one of our local eateries in Keosauqua, Bonaparte, Farmington, Cantril, and Milton.
•Ride some more and arrive back at the Mason House Inn before dark.  Watch out for deer crossing the roads!
•Supper:  We recommend Bonaparte's Retreat restaurant for a great steak dinner, or the Riverbend in Keosauqua for delicious pizza.
•Stay a second and third night at the Mason House Inn to rest up for another day.
Bicycling in Van Buren County
   
Winery Tours Idea:
•Stay the night at the Mason House Inn to get ready for your fun filled day.
•Eat a full country breakfast to energize you for a day of touring.
•Visit and tour the local wineries and sample great locally made wines.
•Eat lunch at one of our local eateries.
•Visit more wineries.
•For supper we recommend Bonaparte's Retreat for a great steak dinner with wine!
•Stay a second night at the Mason House Inn to rest up from all your fun.
•Wineries we recommend:
   Cedar Valley Winery in Batavia - (641)662-2800
   Baxter's Vineyards in Nauvoo, Illinois -  (217) 453-2528
   Heartland Harvest Winery near Ft. Madison -  (319)372-7553
   Airport Road Vineyard near Mt. Pleasant - (319)400-8808
  
vineyard
   
Old Threashers Reunion Trip Idea:
•Make prior arrangements with Joy to check in early at the Mason House Inn.
•Spend the day enjoying the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. •Pleasant, Iowa.  (An easy 45 minute drive, north on Hwy 218.)  This is held the five days before Labor Day and ends on Labor Day.  It's like a huge County Fair!  Food, Activities, Bands, and Tractors!
•Spend the night at the Mason House Inn to rest up for more fun the next day.
•Eat a hearty breakfast in the dining room and tell the other guests all about your experience.
•Spend another day at the Old Threshers Reunion.
•Spend a second night at the Mason House Inn.
•Repeat as necessary.
  
  Friends and Family Reunions Idea:
•Reserve the whole House for your group.  (Special group rates available.)
•Meet at the Mason House for a kick-off appetizers 'meet and greet' time. Bring your own munchies, or ask Joy about providing some.
•Then you can either go to the restaurant of your choice or we can put on a Buffet Supper for your group.  (Be sure to let Joy know if you want the supper and ask for rates.)
•Use the Dining Room for a Game Night before spending the night in a comfortable bed.  We have three large tables so you can play cards or Dominoes or a board game.  Bring your own or ask Joy about using ours.
•Eat a hearty breakfast to prepare for your day of fun. Be sure to let Joy know if anybody has any dietary issues.
•As a group, go hiking, biking, canoeing, picnicking, or just relax and get to know each other again.
•Reserve the Riverside Park Shelter House and have a cookout.  (Call the Greef Store to reserve the Shelter House: (319) 592-3579)
•Use the Parlor to play a Murder Mystery game, or have a sing-along or a Talent Show.
•Spend a second night to recuperate from all your fun.
•Repeat as necessary to make your Reunion a success!
   
Wedding / Honeymoon Idea:
•Reserve the whole House for your Wedding Group.
•Spend the night before the wedding at the Mason House Inn, to insure a quiet restful night.
•The girls can dress in one building and the guys in another to insure privacy.
•Have your wedding in either the Rose Garden or the Historic Presbyterian Church.  (Contact Betty Printy about these locations: (319) 592-3222.)
•Have your Reception in either the Shelter House across the street ((319) 592-3579 to reserve), or the Stone House building. (Betty Printy again.)
•Cake and Flowers can be ordered from HyVee in Fairfield.
•Spend your Honeymoon in the privacy of the Caboose Cottage.  A one-of-a-kind experience!
•The rest of your group can spend the night in the Main House.
•Meet up at breakfast and then open presents in the Parlor.
•A Wedding to remember!
Wedding couple
  
Church Retreat Idea:
•Reserve the whole House for your group.  That way you can insure your privacy and not have to compete with other people not in your group.  (Group rates available.)  We can accommodate 24 people.
•Meet at the Mason House and enjoy a Hymn Sing before supper.
•For supper you can either go to the restaurant of your choice, or make prior arrangement with Joy to serve a Buffet.
•Meet in the Parlor again for more Hymn singing and a devotion and some fellowship time.
•Spend a quiet night at the Mason House Inn to prepare for a busy day.
•Eat a hearty breakfast and then meet in the Parlor for the day's itinerary.
•You can use either the Parlor or the Dining Room for your Retreat Program.  There are plenty of quiet places to go in town and in the House for prayer and small group devotions or Bible Studies.
•Eat lunch and supper at one of our unique restaurants, or plan a picnic in the Shelter House.
•Spend the rest of the day in your Retreat plans.
•Spend another night at the Mason House Inn and have more Hymn singing or maybe a small service in our Parlor in the morning, before or after another delicious breakfast.
    
Small Business Seminar Idea:
•Reserve the whole House for your group.  That way you can insure your privacy and not have to compete with other people not in your group. (Group rates available.)  We can accommodate 24 people.
•Meet at the Mason House for pre-seminar instructions and then eat supper at one of our unique restaurants.
•Meet back at the Mason House for an evening of fun and fellowship.
•Spend the night in a comfortable bed to rest up for the next day's activities.
•After a hearty breakfast, you may use our Parlor or Dining Room for your Seminar activities.
•Break for lunch.  Visit one of our quaint restaurants or ask Joy to set up a Soup / Salad/ Sandwich buffet.  (Make prior arrangements with Joy for this.)
•More Seminar activities.  There are many quiet places in town for small group activities.
•Break for supper.  Enjoy one of our unique restaurants or ask Joy to set up a dinner buffet.  (Again make prior arrangements for this.)
•Meet back in our Parlor or Dining Room for more lecture or activities.
•Spend a second night at the Mason House Inn to rest up from all your fun.
•Enjoy a delicious breakfast and have your wrap-up, or a second day of activities.
•Repeat as necessary to make your small group seminar a success!
   
Crafter's Retreat Idea:
•Get your friends together for a Crafter's weekend at the Mason House Inn.
•Our Dining Room is a great place to spread out your scrap booking or quilting projects. Book Clubs, Knitting and Crocheting Clubs, and small handcrafts find our Parlor to be big enough yet a cozy place to work and chat.
•Meet at the Mason House for pre-retreat instructions and then eat supper at one of our unique restaurants.
•Meet back at the Mason House for an evening of fun and fellowship.
•Spend the night in a comfortable bed to rest up for the next day's activities.
•After a hearty breakfast, you may use our Parlor or Dining Room for your Retreat activities.
•Break for lunch.  Visit one of our quaint restaurants or ask Joy to set up a Soup / Salad/ Sandwich buffet.  (Make prior arrangements with Joy for this.)
•More crafting activities.  (Or take a break and visit our charming stores filled with crafting ideas.)
•Break for supper.  Enjoy one of our unique restaurants or ask Joy to set up a dinner buffet.  (Again make prior arrangements for this.)
•Meet back in our Parlor or Dining Room for more activities.
•Spend a second night at the Mason House Inn to rest up from all your fun.
•Enjoy a delicious breakfast and have your wrap-up, or a second day of activities.
•Repeat as necessary to make your get-together a success!
Grandmother's Flower Garden
    
Ghost Hunting Activity Idea:
•Get your friends together for a Ghostly good weekend of ghost hunting fun.
•Reserve the whole main house so you won't be interrupted by non-ghost-hunters.
•Arrive at the Mason House Inn between 3pm and 8pm and set up your equipment.  Don't forget to bring your digital cameras, digital voice recorders, night vision cameras, and infra-red cameras, and lots of caffeine to drink so you can stay up all night long. 
•Eat Supper at one of our tasty restaurants or bring munchies with you.
•After dark, explore the second floor of the Inn to see if you can find any friendly ghosts.
•Stay up all night to watch the cameras, do EVPs, and collect evidence.  Take a nap if you have to in one of our comfortable beds.  In fact, we recommend it.
•In the morning, Joy will fix you a delicious breakfast to perk you up for the rest of the day.
•Evaluate your evidence and let Chuck and Joy know if you find anything really interesting.

If you have any other vacation ideas, let me know!









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•Lunch:  Pack a picnic or eat at the restaurant of your choice
•Supper:  We recommend Bonaparte's Retreat restaurant for a great steak dinner, or the Riverbend in Keosauqua for soup and sandwiches.
•Stay a second night at the Mason House Inn in a nice comfy bed to ease your tired tailbone.