I turned 60 this weekend and since I write mysteries, I thought I should have an appropriately themed party, so I booked four rooms in Escape Manor and took twenty friends with me. (Prison Break, Asylum, Wine Cellar and “The Darkness.”)
We were in four groups that were locked in the four rooms with clues that we had to decipher to make our escape. (The groups were staggered in 15 minute intervals but Escape Manor has a bar, phew!)
My group ended up in Prison Break, which is supposed to be the toughest. To add to the challenge, fellow Simon and Schuster author Rob Pobi (Bloodman, Mannheim Rex, American Woman) and I were both handcuffed to the prison cell bars where we were stuck until our team-mates could find the clues to locate the keys to get us out! But they did, and were we ever happy not to be stuck to those bars.
Talk about a challenging event! We had to code-break several locks, decipher messages left on walls and props, and do all of this while a 45 minute count down was taking place. Talk about pressure!
We managed to bust out of the prison cell (they could hear us cheering down the hall; we were also on a live TV link apparently) all thanks to Rob Pobi. He realized that we had put together enough of a metal rod using our clues that without finding the final piece, he could extend it through the bars, and with the help of a plastic garbage can, hook the key hanging on the wall and get us out (so brilliant)!
But we ran out of time before we could open the second door and escape.
They have around a 10% success rate in that room and we were told we’d done really well to get as far as we did.
One of our groups, those in the Wine Cellar, managed to bust out, but the two others (the Asylum and The Darkness) , I’m sad to say, were “fried” just as we were.
Totally fun, wonderful night, highly recommended! And here we are L to R: Liz Stewart (Royal LePage, Rob Pobi, myself, Darlene Masson (Royal LePage), Natalie Rowe (author, designer, beekeeper and crazy animal lover) and Alex Schultz (my editor). If you have people who don’t know each other, this is an amazing ice-breaker! (We had a potluck at my place afterwards; I think the consensus was that it was a lot of fun.)
Here, by the way, is the cake!