How do nuns and reading assignments connect with murder mysteries?
Well, if you went to Catholic school and and despised the first two, it may have led to thoughts of the third, but that’s not how it shook out at all. For me, it was a defining moment. You know, those experiences you have when you absolutely know that something is going to change or define the path of your life? Let me ‘splain how “Pigs is Pigs” + Sister Paulita = Murder Mystery Dinner Party.
Back in the late 60’s our 8th grade reading class worked this way. Some days we did SRAs – little reading cards against which you checked your comprehension. With skill you could rise to the top gold level. I did. I loved reading and was a Reading Geek.
Other days we got out ours reader and followed along with the story as kids read sections out loud. It was okay until you got someone who hated it. Then you plodded along with the petrified kid as he struggled to pronounce even the easy words.
Sometimes it got so boring that as a Reading Geek you couldn’t help but go ahead. wThe trick was to keep an eye on the next paragraph in the event that Sister Paulita called on you next you’d be ready. She’d yell at if you didn’t know where to pick up and she would write a note to your mom. All the other kids would laugh at you. Unnerving for a 12-year-old Catholic girl in 1967.
That day we were reading “Pigs is Pigs,” an excerpt from a short story by Ellis P. Butler. I remember it because it was funny and besides, this was a Defining Moment as I mentioned earlier. Anyway it was my turn, and of course I was 9 pages ahead. Sister sternly directed to the proper starting point. Because I was scared I’d get yelled at, I did my reading with all the enthusiasm I could collect. I changed voices for characters, made the words soft then loud, put in dramatic pauses – the whole nine yards.
At the end Sister Paulita said, “Nancy!” I was really afraid then, and wondered if I could make myself faint to avoid what might come next. Nuns were scary. “Nancy!” she called again. “You belong on stage! That was tremendous! When you are in high school you must be involved in theater!!” A compliment from a nun?! What?! Me in theater? What?! Really?!
Okay, so long story short – that’s what I did. All through high school I hung out with Jana and Doug and Carolyn, and we acted, directed, did stage makeup and scenery. After high school it was community theater. For 24 years my extra-curricular as a teacher was to direct 5th grade plays and middle school plays Unified Arts and teacher plays and talent shows, often with colleague Wendy by my side. Literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people walked across my stages. All because of a nun and a reading assignment.
Now – our very first Murder Mystery dinner theater: “Til Death Do Us Part”
That theater thing doesn’t just go away, you know. I know that Jana and Doug and Caroline are today still engaged in some aspect of performing. Here at the Inn I am beyond excited to direct our guests in our very first Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. I could faint! And not because I’m scared of a nun, but because it’s going to be sooo much fun for guests!
“Til Death Do Us Part” or as I like to say, The Giovanni Wedding will be catered by Rosie’s Tavola. Who else to do an Italian wedding dinner for Becky Giovanni’s betrothal to Stanley Simpson? The wedding cake, of course, will come from The Bake Shop where all our brides go.
In this fun and exiting Murder Mystery, Inn guests take on the roles of Becky, Stanley, the Giovanni and Simpson families and the friends attending the reception. No lines to memorize, but each person receives a character sheet about the person he or she is portraying, ideas about costumes, and how the party runs. It’s a great event until someone takes a hit. Then party-goers try figure out who among them is the murder. Great food, great fun, and great prizes at the end!
Our Murder Mystery Dinner Party, “Til Death Do Us Part,” happens Veteran’s Day weekend, November 11, 2017, which also happens to be my Third Anniversary as Innkeeper of this beautiful place. Space is limited – you know how big the Inn is. Click here to find out how you can RSVP and reserve your spot for The Giovanni Wedding, a night of love, mystery and murder! Can’t wait! PiP + SP = MMDP
After 24 years of teaching, I still somewhat run on a school calendar, and at this time in August I naturally start thinking about how many self-indulgences I’d be able to cram in before the superintendent would give the Welcome-Back-You’re-The-Light-That-Illuminates-Our-Students’-Minds speech.
The best thing about being a retired teacher is that Sunday nights are just another day of the week (you know what I’m talking about) and that August is no longer one long Sunday night. Even though I’m a Free Bird, I still have a summertime list of fun things that I would love to do – and you can also – in the August days remaining, and they’re just a quick trip from the Inn.
1. On Tuesday, Friday, or Saturday it’s time to go to Central Market in Lancaster to visit Vendor 52, Stolzfus Homestyle Bakery. There you must purchase an Achenbach’s Famous Long John (it’s a donut, but straight like an eclair, not in a circle) that is slathered in vanilla buttercream icing.
You could also choose chocolate or peanut butter, but whatever you pick, you eat it and lick the icing off your fingers as you walk around Market, and before you leave get some to take with you. Don’t wait too long to buy one. Even though Market closes at 4 on Tuesdays and Fridays and 2 on Saturday, the Long Johns sell out pretty quickly and you’ll be sad you missed it.
2. I love architecture and architectural history, and if you’re already hanging out at Central Market licking the buttercream off your fingers, stop in at the Lancaster Visitors’ Center for their 1:00 guided walking tour of the city. It’s not really expensive and the guides are dressed up in 18th century type clothing (ooh – photo op!) to take you on a 90 minute exploration of some pretty cool areas. Need the comfy shoes for sure!
3. If you feel like getting back to nature, Chiques Rock Outfitters can set you up with canoes, bikes, or even rock climbing equipment, and they have guides to help you along if you’re new to the whole thing. Doesn’t it sound so soothing and cool to be paddling along the river? Relaxing.
3. For one of the most totally sumptuous meals that you will ever eat, take some time to luxuriate and treat yourself at the Accomac Inn in Wrightsville. You can sit inside behind a wall of floor to ceiling windows or out on the enclosed porch and be served exquisite farm-to-table fresh food as you look out on the water of the Susquehanna River. Each dish is deliciously crafted and flavorful, and believe me when I tell you that each of your savory or sweet memories will carry you through the tasteless instant oatmeal packets you eat at your desk at work. And – we have $20 gift cards to give away to our guests. Give yourself something to hang on to!
5. I still want to go to Crafter Hours across the street and paint something. You know how you go past those places and all the friends are hanging out laughing and sipping wine and elegantly nibbling bruschetta while perfectly replicating Van Gogh sunflowers on wine glasses? Yeah, I want to do that – be one of the people creatively painting, not the one walking past, that is. They’re open Wednesday through Friday from 12-8 and Saturday from 10-5. Get your people and bring it on.
You probably have your own list that might include something like 1.) sit by a pool and veg, 2.) enjoy dinner without having to cut up someone else’s meat, 3.) go see a great show and have a drink afterward, 4.) do the outlets without stopping to take someone to the bathroom or find a water fountain, 5.) get out of Dodge for a final fling.
Whatever is on your list, I want to help you enjoy it, so here is my getaway special for you: when you book a room directly through our site on one of the remaining Mondays in August, you will score 20% off the cost of your room. When you book two nights in a row – both the Monday and Tuesday, you get 50% off your second night. Give me a call at 717-653-4525, or go to our reservations page to reserve your room there and enter the coupon code “August.” I’m looking forward to hearing what your Final Fling Adventure will be.