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Mousehouse Cheesehaus in Windsor


7-3-18  Celebrating 30 Years!

You can’t miss it as you leave Madison, heading north on I-90.  Take exit 131 and you are soon there.  This prime location has given them so many customers, they had to expand over the last year to keep up.

In the 70’s, the store was mostly a liquor store with some cheese. Tony’s parents owned it from 1988-1998, increasing the amount of cheese over liquor. Tony took over ownership of the Mousehouse Cheesehaus in 1998 from his parents and added homemade fudge in 2009.  I took this photo in 2010.  The mouse on top of the roof is named Igor. Hours are 8 AM-7 PM daily so plenty of time to stop in.

In 2016, before the expansion, CEO Tony Sobczak and Vice President Heather Smythe explained all that they do on a local Wisconsin program called, “Talk of the Town”. She has been there for 20 years!

July 2018

The expansion was completed in 2017 and there is room now for much more cheese and fudge! Read more about the expansion here.

The inside is just as amazing, bring a cooler because you are going to need it.  This is your one-stop shop for all things Wisconsin.

You can now watch Fudge and Cheese Curds being prepared through the new viewing windows. On the left is the fudge window, the right is the cheese room.  Stop in around noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays to see these confections being made! Separate prep rooms for the cheese and fudge ensures the highest quality for you, the customer!

Inside the Fudge room. Inside are 2 steam-jacketed kettles with stirrers to make the fudge creamy and smooth while cooking. It takes about 40 minutes for the fudge to be ready to pour and flavor. Read more on the fudge here.

In the Cheese room, you can watch cheese curds mixed with herbs and spices to give you many flavor choices.

 You can watch both cheese and fudge being prepared on Tuesdays and Thursdays at around 12:00 PM. The new viewing windows to the cheese and fudge kitchen are a hit with the kids too! These new kitchens ensure that your cheese and fudge are prepared with the utmost care and in a very clean environment. You can see how clean everything is!

Enjoy a tour of the store with me in the video below. You can taste all the cheese before you buy too. You can get pre-assembled gift boxes or choose your own selections for a custom box. Watch Megan make many varieties of delicious fudge right from the viewing window!           Also, see April mix many flavors of delicious cheese curds made that very morning! I’m getting hungry just watching.

You can also get sandwiches here, no need to go somewhere else for lunch or supper.  Igor’s Big Belly Deli can make prepare sandwiches to order to go or eat there in their dining room. Get 8-inch subs too, pre-made and ready to eat.  Menu here.

We hope you enjoyed touring the Mousehouse Cheesehaus.  Tony, Heather, and crew are happy to serve you and bring you the best cheese and fudge in Wisconsin!  Contact them here or come for a visit!

  • CONTACT INFORMATION
  • 4494 Lake Circle Windsor, WI 53598
  • Toll-Free: 800-526-6873
  • Local: 608-846-4455
  • Email at: customerservice@mousehousecheese.com

Photo by Mousehouse Cheesehaus

 

Olblich Garden’s 3rd Annual GLEAM


9-15-17

Photo by Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Each year I eagerly look forward to Olbrich Botanical Garden‘s hottest new art display taking place at night. They really outdid themselves this time. Here is a map of all the art installations, more than ever this year!

For the first time, there are displays inside of the Boltz Conservatory. This display cycles through all the colors, just like the lights lining the inside of the conservatory.

Next I went outside to see those displays, the tree outside was raining light!

There is now a bar outside so you can enjoy an adult beverage while enjoying GLEAM.

 There was a surprise around every corner, I especially liked the columns on either side of the entrance to the Rose Garden, there were roses rotating around inside.

Loved the rainbow brick path.

Projected onto the path in the grand circle were messages, and butterflies flew through them.

New this year were lighted panels with a description of the displays. This one was really neat.

The star shower light made for a ghostly appearance of anyone standing under it.

This one was a little hard to take a picture, video is better.

This one was pretty too.

I am finishing my journey through the gardens, looking completely different from in the day.  As a member, it is $11 to come to GLEAM, 14 if you are not.  You can become a member at Olbrich at this time for a discount and save on future events, coupon is on GLEAM guide. I look forward to next year!

 

2nd Annual GLEAM-Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison


9-2-16

boltz-conservatory-red-and-purple

gleam-sign

Gleam admission and times

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is always holding exciting events for the public. 2015 was their first year for GLEAM, a night event featuring art that is illuminated. Here is our visit from last year.  We didn’t think they could top that exciting first year, but it seems they did.  Monopods are permitted for a steadier shot and also to not get in the way of the other guests.

The route is different than last year, this is the map.

gleam-guide-map 2016

This year they added a cash bar to enhance your stroll through the garden.

cash-bar-at-olbrich

We were just amazed by the workmanship and talent of the artists participating this year. You can vote for your favorite after your visit.

gleam-installations-2016

We walked through in the daytime also to see what they looked like then.  Enjoy the video I made of our visits.

The Fire Monkeys were especially good. Three were in a tree, one was on the edge of a small pond. In the video, you will also hear the jungle sounds that are piped in on a nearby speaker.

Fire Monkeys

gleam-fire-monkeys

Another favorite was “The Soul’s Song” by the family of artist Ted Brusubardis.  This is a song of Latvia, a small excerpt is in the video.  The name in Latvian is Dvēseles Dziesma. Below is the song in it’s entirety.

The images of the performance is projected onto the back of the waterfall behind the Rose Tower.

The Soul's Song

The Rose Tower is a beautiful setting for both of the Soul’s Song and Yahara Cloud’s pieces.  Inside the tower had a purple light projector.

Inside Rose Tower

Yahara Cloudslong view

The view from the tower, breathtaking on this starry night. The streak is an airplane.

View from Rose Tower at night

See website for more information about this and other events.

Be sure to stop by soon for this wonderful exhibit and bring your friends and family (and your camera)!

Wollersheim Winery Open House


3-5-16

Wollersheim Winery Open House 2016

Welcome to Wollersheim Winery

Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac is our favorite winery. Our last visit was in June 2013 so it was time go back to see the latest developments. The open house is only once a year, and you get to take a self-guided tour, going into areas that you normally wouldn’t see.   The biggest development since our last visit, the new Distillery building. It was built in 2015. The winery has now expanded to include brandy in its offerings and the new building makes this possible. This building was part of our tour too.

Wollersheim Distillery IMG_2810

Our tour began in the main building, we arrived just before they opened so we joined the first group.  We were never here in the winter before and it looked quite pretty.

Wollersheim Winery main buildings IMG_2571

We began our tour upstairs, at stop #1 you could try a sample of one of their most popular wines, Prairie Fumé.

Prairie Fume at Wollersheim

There is also a cow painted with winery scenes, cute!

Wollersheim Winery cow

We then walked outside and around to the back of the main building where Station #4 was located, the Fermentation Room.  Another wine sampling station is located here.  Our first time inside this room, the size of the tanks were amazing!

Fermentation Room at Wollersheim

The Big Room (#6) is accessed through a door on the left.

Press Room at Wollersheim

And it is big, we felt small as mice next to these fermenting tanks.

Big Room at Wollersheim IMG_2656

We also got a look at the Still House where they make their fine brandies. Such beautiful copper.  This is a Vendome Still, made in Kentucky.  They can also make Gin with these stills.  A photo-op with this still was a must!

Stillhouse IMG_2702

Distilled this Week IMG_2701

Brandy Room at Wollersheim IMG_2684

Vendome Still sign IMG_2696

Selfie with Still at Wollersheim IMG_2722

Here is the “Little Pot”, looks a little like BB8  from Star Wars, The Force Awakens  🙂

Little Pot and BB8 Droid

The Bottling Room was mesmerising, very interesting to see how the bottles are filled.

Bottling Room IMG_2739

The Grainery and Mill Room, where the unprocessed grains are stored.

IMG_2748

We finished our tour in the upper floor of the Distillery building, the windows offer a panoramic view of the whole winery, including a patio to enjoy in the summer.

Distillery patio IMG_2716

Be sure to go to the wine cave. Information boards show the history of the winery going all the way back to the 1800’s.  There are also some early artifacts in the back of the cave.

Wine Cave IMG_2569

Wine Cave artifacts IMG_2775

Phillipe and Family IMG_2781

A great tour was had by all,  we toast you to an exciting future!

Selfie with Wine IMG_2812

Lake Mills Knickerbocker Ice Festival


2-6-16

Lake Mills sign

2016-Poster Knickerbocker Festival

This was the first time Al and I went to the Knickerbocker Ice Festival in Lake Mills.  We started the fun at Rock Lake by taking a look at Icehenge, a take-off of Stonehenge. We made the mistake of not stopping by right after they finished it in late January, the warm weather over the last 5 days took its toll. Read more about it here.

Ice Henge text IMG_1720

The Fisheree was going on too, somebody was drilling a hole in the ice nearby to fish in. We found a cute fishing shack downtown promoting the Fisheree.

Ice Fisheree Shack

Ice Fisherman IMG_1712

Ice Fishermen at Lake Mills IMG_1710

After visiting Icehenge we went downtown to the square (actually a triangle) to see all the activity going on there.  We could hear the sound of multiple chainsaws as the ice sculptors were making their creations. Lets watch them!

We enjoyed a great lunch at Cafe On the Park, under new ownership as of 2015. They are open 6-2 daily. Al had a prime rib sandwich and I had a breaded chicken sandwich. Delicious!

Cafe on the Park in Lake Mills

Cafe on the Park inside IMG_1818

The park sure was busy by 12:30!

Commons Park gazebo

There was a big ice skating party going on in the park, small children were being pushed in chairs.

Ice Skating party in Lake Mills

There was also target practice with tennis balls for safety. Also to aid the kids to throw snowballs with greater accuracy  🙂

Target Practice IMG_1880

Some other kids were building a wood castle, complete with flags.

Building a castle IMG_1883

It was now 1:00, and it looks like most of the ice sculptures were getting finished. My personal favorite 3 carvings.

Favorite Ice Carvings

The Lewis carving even had little wine bottles, cute!

Ice Wine bottle in Lake Mills

The Eskimo was especially fun, since this one was interactive and we could take a fun selfie with it.

Eskimo Ice Carving selfie

Other ice sculptures of note.

Knickerbocker Ice Sculptures Collage

We had a wonderful time at this festival and got further reinforcement that Wisconsinites love festivals in any setting the whole year around.

I Love Lake Mills

Potosi Brewing Company – A Tradition since 1852


9-5-15

Potosi town signPotosi Marker

After visiting Hazel Green we headed here to the Potosi Brewing Company to see what all the buzz was about. The scenery is beautiful, the bluff makes a great backdrop to the red brick buildings. Potosi is also one of the 33 towns on the Great River Road that goes alongside the Mississippi. Another one we have been to is Dickeyville.

Approaching Potosi Brewery

We first went to the right side, where the big beer can is located. The grounds are quite beautiful in the summer. We HAD to get a selfie at the big beer can  🙂  Al is 6’3″ so you can see how big it is.  It is the work of Scott Haverland Plastering, made in 2007.

Potosi Brewing Co. grounds

Potosi Beer selfie

After looking around here we went to the main brewery building. A lot of activity here, the National Brewery Museum is located her on the 2nd and 3rd floors, $5 admission is charged. We just stayed on the lower level where there were also a few displays also.

Potosi Museum displays

Potosi Brewing Co. Wagon

Beer Can display in Potosi

The Cave was especially interesting.

The Cave entrance in Potosi

Inside the cave inn Potosi

The brewery also has a restaurant which was hoppin’.

Potosi Brewing Company Restaurant

Potosi Brewing Co. Restaurant

You can eat outside too on their patio.

Potosi Brewery Patio

All their beer is made from natural spring water on site, and you can see it flowing under the restaurant through a window in the floor, cool!

Window in floor of Potosi Brewery

You can see the water flow outside too.

Spring water in Potosi

In the back of the restaurant you can see some tanks where the beer is being fermented and tanks of ready-to-serve beer.  Since we were driving we enjoyed a refreshing root beer on a warm day, they make that too.

Beer Tanks in Potosi

There are some other businesses across from the brewery.  Whispering Bluffs Winery and Blue Boy Market.

Whispering Bluffs Winery and Blue Boy Market

Gary David Woodworking and Design

Gary David Woodworking and Design

We really glad we stopped here today, it was worth the visit to this historic brewery.

Genesee Depot in the Town of Genesee


3-9-13 and 5-30-15

Genesee Depot is located in the town of Genesee in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. We are finally back after 2 1/2 years since got a great chance to tour Ten Chimneys in this community.

Ten Chimneys Sign

Stillman Smith was the first settler in the area in 1837. It was named after the train station,  Genesee Depot opened Johnston Quarry in 1842 which provided some stone that went into Madison’s State Capitol.

We first take a look at South Genesee (Saylesville) when the old Saylesville Mill still stands.

Saylesville Mill in South Genesee

Nearby across the road are a few other historic buildings and a WWI memorial on the same side as the mill.

Historic Buildings in SaylesvilleSaylesville WWI Memorial

We go to downtown Genesee Depot to see the several historical buildings there and still in use.  This is the original Town Hall, in front is a sign telling Genesee Depot’s history.

Genesee Depot SignGenesee Depot Town Hall

This is the former train depot. It was a restaurant called the Depot Café, unfortunately it closed on May 24, 2015. It was open 3 years.

Depot at Genesee Depot

 Just down a road a little is The Union House, first opened as a hotel in 1861. Now it is a fine dining restaurant.

The Union House in Genesee Depot

Many other great businesses downtown. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Cornerstone Restaurant, and so did many other visitors to Ten Chimneys. The food and service are top-notch and we will go back when we are in the area again. They even served a mini chocolate bundt cake in their bakery case, recipe by Alfred Lunt of Ten Chimneys, yum! Some of their selections come from Sally’s Sweet Shoppe across the Street. Owner Judy Knoernschild and her friendly staff welcome you for a great dining experience!

Cornerstone Restaurant in Genesee Depot collage

Cornerstone Restaurant food Collage

  Fingers and Toes Salon.

Fingers and Toes Salon in Genesee Depot

 

Vina Mundi for fine wines. Tastings also available.

Vina Mundi in Genesee Depot

 

We enjoyed our visits to Genesee Depot, where friendly people were found everywhere we went.

Businesses in Genesee Depot