TBT: Mars Cheese Castle

This week’s TBT is not being “thrown back” very far. Last June, I moved to the east coast for about 8 months. Well, I needed my car out there. So you know what that means ROAD TRIP! But wait, it gets better ROAD TRIP WITH AMY!!

We started the day in Milwaukee, which is only about an hour from the Illinois border. However, there was one place we had to go before crossing the border into Illinois. MARS CHEESE CASTLE!! We were about 40 minutes into our road trip, but seriously it is a Castle of Cheese. (Well, actually, It is not a castle physically made of cheese, but it is a castle that houses A LOT of cheese and cheese novelty gifts.) So, with moving the farthest I ever had from the Midwest (and of course, Wisconsin), we knew this would be the perfect place to stop before leaving the Sconnie nation.

Mars Cheese Castle

If you live in Wisconsin, there is a good chance you have been to Mars Cheese Castle at some point in your life (or many times in your life). If you have visited Wisconsin by way of Interstate 94 from Illinois, there is also a good chance you have also been to the Mars Cheese Castle. 

Mars Cheese Castle is great. You can buy nearly every cheese imaginable, particularly awesome Wisconsin cheese. They have cheese novelty gifts, shirts, and lots of other good Sconnie souvenirs. But they also have a deli and a bar. How can you not love this place? I mean it has cheese and beer. What more do you need? Amy and I decided to have lunch at the bar, as we got a late start. I don’t remember what Amy had, but I had a cheddar filled bratwurst with German potato salad.

What makes this place even better is what happens when you sit at the bar…other than just getting a beer. So, you know how some bars have complimentary popcorn or nuts…well, Mars Cheese Castle brings over a gigantic tub of cheese spread and crackers to enjoy on the house.* They hand you a plate, and you just spoon as much cheese spread as you want. Heaven, pure heaven.

Mars Cheese Castle Bar

So, we enjoyed our cheese spread, cheese filled brats, German potato salad, and a refreshing beer before hitting the road.** We also had a nice chat with the owner of the cheese castle…so I guess we had a nice chat with the “Cheese King.” The Mars Cheese Castle has been family owned for quite some time.

All in all, it was the perfect “last” stop in Wisconsin.


*I can’t guarantee they do this every day. Previous times I have been there, I was either not 21 or not able to stop long enough for a beer.

**We never advocate drinking and driving. The driver only had one beer, plus we hung out for quite awhile to make sure we were all good to keep driving on. Needless to say, between the late start and the trip to the Cheese Castle, we did not throw down a lot of miles on that first day.


Nerding out with Emily: April Fool’s Day

It’s time for your first installment of “Nerding Out with Emily.” Get excited!


As you may or may not know, I am a huge history nerd. I even got a BA in History. So, from time to time you may have some good ol’ history thrown at ya. Not sure how often “Nerding Out with Emily” will happen, but it’ll happen. Get ready!

Today on “Nerding Out with Emily,” we are talking about April Fool’s Day…because it is April Fool’s Day. Crazy, huh?!

April Fool’s Day is either held in high regard by pranksters or comes upon some of us as an annoyance. But, how’d April Fool’s Day become a “day?” 

The origin of April Fool’s Day is largely debated. Here are a few popular theory’s of how April Fool’s Day got started.*

  • In the 1500s, France changed their calendar to line up with the Roman calendar. This meant that the New Year would be in January and not spring. So, you may ask, why does this have anything to do with April Fool’s. Well, it took awhile for all of France to be up to date on the “time,” so those who lived in the country did get word on the change very quickly. They were considered “April’s fools.”
  • April Fool’s stems out of the common pranks often found in European spring festivals of renewal during the Middle Ages.
  • It could also go back to Constantine’s rule around 300s A.D.. Apparently, a group of jesters convinced Constantine to let one of the “rule” the kingdom for the day. The jester who ruled as “king for the day” declared the day to be a day of “absurdity.”

What is the best April Fool’s Joke you ever pulled off? Or the best one pulled on you?


*Information from National Geographic.