travel pictures

A Stay At Stoney Creek

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My son got married and had his reception at Jonah’s in East Peoria. Stoney Creek was right next door so all the family stayed there

.  My wife and I had stayed at the one in Galena and knew it would be great.

The staff was excellent. Very helpful with having a large group. The décor has a cool north woods vibe. A great indoor outdoor pool and nice small fitness room ( I train for a living so a must). There is a cool little saloon and they served a great breakfast.

One of the best parts is you can walk a minute and look at the Illinois River and tons of awesome boats. At night you can gaze across the river at the Peoria skyline. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story about the hotel. Also take a minute and stop by my Amazon Influencer page for great picks on travel gear, martial arts gear and all kinds of cool stuff Amazon Influencer

 

Take A Look Around Cooter’s Place In Nashville (Pictorial)

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If you love nostalgia and kitschy fun, this place is for you. Part museum, part gift shop and a lot of 70’s tv fun. It’s owned by Ben Jones from the classic Dukes Of Hazzard tv show. From cars to posters and all other kinds of memorabilia you can relax and enjoy some throwback time here. Forget problems. Forget politics. Just enjoy cheesy, kitschy fun.

The day I went, I had multiple content pieces to work at different places plus a muay thai training session to run ( usually set them up with places when I’m going to be in an area). I should have been going quickly but I ended up hanging out here a looong time. Just to easy to get lost in it. Take a look at the pics and just hang out.

 

Definitely stop here and hang out the next time you are in Nashville. With the Opryland Hotel across the road and great food and live music next door at Nashville Palace ( see my posts on those also on the blog) you can’t go wrong. Also follow me on twitter @combatsportlife

Quick Pictorial Of Beautiful And Interesting Utica Illinois

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We love to go up and hike Starved Rock State Park as well as stay at the gorgeous lodge there (see a previous post).We always go into Utica to wander as well. A quant and picturesque place that is rare anymore. Great little bars with awesome food and a great winery (See our earlier post on August Hill). Great little trading post style shops, galleries and whisky tastings. It is just a really interesting and fun place to hang out. We travel all over but it is still a favorite to wander. Take a look at the pictures, see or other posts and comment with any questions. Glad to help. Also follow us on twitter @combatsportlife (where we are most active)

 

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Random Walk Chicago (Travel Pictorial)

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I love doing these random walk pieces as it shows my readers what a place really looks/feels like, not the glossy or pr stuff ( don’t get me wrong I love doing our reviews and pr work for travel companies/hotels/restaurants). These are just fun and real.

 

We go to Chicago often. From fighting events and martial arts tournaments to my days in the trading world. Also healthcare conferences for my wife and often just to hang out. We love it and have been over a good portion of the whole Chicagoland area. This pictorial is mostly shots of River North and the walk as well as some Mag mile. Also the awesome Eataly. I’ll do a separate piece on it all by itself. Amazing experience. Gourmet grocery, multiple restaurants plus wine and craft beer!!! Trust me. Also some shots from a great dinner in the classic O’Callaghans Pub. Great experience. Check out the pics and enjoy(ps if you want us to come to your place hit us up here or on twitter @combatsportlife to set something up. Great pr for your place. Twitter is our primary so check it out)

 

A Day At Starved Rock(pictorial)

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I started going to Starved Rock State Park In Utica Illinois when I was little. My wife and took the kids here to hike when they were little. We have stayed in the Lodge and cabins several times and it is fantastic. A grand early 20th century lodge that is both elegant and rustic. Great food and just gorgeous. I’ll do a piece on it and review another time but just want you to get a taste.

As a proud Native American the park itself has a great significance  (one nation starved another on the rock, hence the name) so for me it’s always a great hiking  trip. Just a place I connect.

We also love going to nearby Utica to shop, eat and hit the wineries. Look for more pieces on that soon as well. For now I just want to give you a taste of the lodge and trails in the park from a recent trip my wife and I took. I’ll also post more links and info on the history then.

Get a great deal on a great back pack

A Trip To Amish Country In Illinois (Pictorial)

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I grew up taking trips to the Arthur/Arcola area here in Illinois. It’s always been interesting to see the amish lifestyle and eat the fantastic food, Plus the great craftsmenship of their furniture. We also have many friends in the area.

Take a look at the pictures and what I’m talking about then get yourself to the area! From the cool Beachy’s Bulk Foods to the great buffet and it’s awesome gift shop. Plus seeing the horse and buggy travel of everyday life. Enjoy.

 

A Weekend In Historic St Charles Illinois (pictorial)

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I love this town. Over the years I’ve been there many times. For business, wrestling tournaments/ teaching martial arts seminars and dance comps with my daughter. This was the first time we have just gone to chill and write about it. We will be back again and again.

From the cool native history along the Fox River that runs right through downtown to the many Underground railroad sites, there is a wealth historic sites to see. The Baker Hotel is anther great one and gorgeous. I plan to stay there next trip and write about it( a few pics of it here). Shops, pubs and fine dining all can be found in the gorgeous downtown. Old buildings, redone buildings and the classic Arcada Theater (caught Stephen Pearcy from Ratt live while we were there. Great place and got to hang out with one of my HS wrestling training partners .Sometimes our travels give us a chance to catch up). All this with beautiful Fox River roaring in view.

This trip we stayed at the Hilton Garden in that we have stayed at many times. Always great. Cool modern art look in the lobby. Decent pool and fitness and nice rooms. Nice quiet location and always a good experience. It has great conference space and great service. Nice quiet seating areas to relax, read and check your messages on wifi. We will go again(and again). Next time the Baker though just because we write about travel lol.

Take a look at the pictorial and see for yourself( a saddle shop right downtown!)

Nelson’s GreenBrier Distillery In Nashville(great tour/tasting)

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This little tour and tasting at Nelson’s GreenBrier was not even close to what I expected. That’s an awesome thing. The tour was full of history and whisky knowledge. Bits about the area and the people in the 19th century who made it originally.

The story of how grandchildren found out about the company and recipes after having basically vanished for 100 years is amazing( I’ll let you learn about it on the tour or website). Charlie and Andy Nelson tell the story far better than I ever could.

What I can say is the whisky is awesome. I liked it all, my wife liked the bourbon, hence the reason we bought the bourbon(expect a tasting review here soon). As you finish the tour of the historic building and great thoughts from the guide, you get a great tasting in a cool bar area. From white whisky to sour mash. Thoughts on each and the history of each. Our guide Joel did a perfect job of explaining while letting us come to our own conclusions. Truly one of the best historic tours I’ve been on(and I travel constantly!). Add to that the fact that the whisky is world class and you just can’t beat this as an outing. Right off downtown Nashville in an area you wouldn’t expect, it’s just a great way to relax and spend some time. Take a look at some pictures and catch the link after the jump.

 

If you are near Nashville TN or just want to take a great trip for history/whisky then go to Nelson’s GreenBrier Distillery  and tell them Combatsportslifestyle sent you( and Bob & Sandy Tompkins!!!). Follow them on twitter @TNWhiskeyCo and follow us @combatsportlife. Email us for pr details at tompkinscontent@gmail.com

Random Pictures From Gaylord Opryland ( Get to know the place)

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I do a ton of random walk features everywhere we travel to. Like I always say it’s a great way to get to know how a place looks and feels. Not just the stock media photos every travel blogger gets and tries to write an article around.

I took about 3000 pictures while we were in Nashville. A solid 2200 of them were inside the Gaylord. So much history. Glitz, music and just an unusual feel that I don’t find often . The pics in this post are just from all over the complex(truly one of the largest places I have ever wandered around. Go there, hang out and just see what you run into. No plan, no agenda just wander. Enjoy the pictures and then book a trip there.

There isn’t a reason to not stop by this place if you’re in Nashville. It’s like walking through a cool, glitzy museum with food and booze! Better yet, stay at Gaylord Opryland

Walking Around Delta Island At Gaylord Opryland (so cool )

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When you go to the Gaylord Opryland you will struck by it’s size. I you read the review I did recently you can see all about that. The best part is the different atrium sections each with their own look, vibe interesting features. This piece is about Delta island.

It’s massive. Shops, restaurants and bars as well as gorgeous water features. Heck you can take a guided Delta boat tour. It’s that big. I literally spent hours wandering around it. I went multiple days. Grab a cup of coffee or a cocktail and just enjoy it.

The architecture and old jazz playing reminds you of New Orleans. Interesting little places to shop, stands with drinks and sooo much more. It was probably one of my favorite parts of our week at Gaylord Opryland. Truly a world class experience. I will let the pictures speak from here out.

You need to put this place on your list soon. If you get to Gaylord Opryland tell them you saw it on Combat Sports Lifestyle.

Speaking of lifestyle, check out today’s sponsor Legacy Home & Ranch !!!  Great products from custom couches to coffee and saddles. Take a look at the cool Western Lifestyle products they have.