Just across the road from Gaylord Opryland is a little strip that has three very cool places along the store front. The Nashville Palace which you can learn about in A post from last week here. There is a Cooters store and museum( it’s own post soon) but today we talk about the Willie Nelson And Friends Museum and General store.
I love roadside tourist kitsch. Look at my Florida articles and you will see tons of pics from hokey little shops. To this day they scream vacation to me. It also is the type of place I can find a snow globe for my daughter! When she was young it was something she always picked up when we traveled. On trips when I was fighting and she wasn’t there or my wife going to conferences, we still got them for her. Now as Sandy and I travel for all these things and pr work, our daughter still wants them(yes even as an adult). This was the place I knew I could find it.
The Willie Nelson And Friends Museum and General store is cool kitsch(hey It’s the awesome Willie Nelson!!). From clothes and tourist type gifts to food items and Willie Nelson memorabilia. Of course they have snow globes!!!
If you are in Nashville and just want to relax and enjoy a little time being a country music tourist, you should definitely stop by this place. I loved it and will definitely stop again. Scored the snow globe too! Now relax and check out my pictorial from the store.
If you are in Nashville you really should stop by and see this cool ode to Willie Nelson. It’s just plain old country fun.
As you know, I love to do extra pieces from the places I travel that are just random pictures. It give you a feel for what a place really looks or feels like. I want you to have an idea of what a place really is, not just standard travel blog jargon and puff.
In the case of my recent extended trip to Nashville I took so many pictures that I will do the random walk in several posts( besides the feature pieces).Why so many pics? The Place is vast, diverse and amazing. Enjoy!
Over the years I’ve hear a bit about this place. Some friends of mine have played here. It is known as the place Randy Travis got his start(plus washed dishes). That doesn’t even cover it. Live music all day and I mean really good live music.
It has a cool bar in the front with a small stage and dance floor. In the back is a LARGE stage and dance floor where they have bigger events. The front area is where I spent my time. Classic Nashville country cool. Pictures and posters from legends that have been there and all sorts of memorabilia. I’ll let the pictures speak in a moment (i’m not a great writer, just an old fighter lol). You can’t help but love the place. And it has great food.
We stayed across the road from it recently at Gaylord Opryland. Sandy had a healthcare leadership conference there and I was training fighters in the area(huge surprise). As I wandered in my downtime I decided to stop and have a beer (or more) and check the place out. I knew I had to take Sandy back for dinner. The bartenders showed me around and told me all about it. I was hooked! My plan was set and knew we were going back that night. Only a few people there in the afternoon yet a great musician on stage and great staff.
When we went back for dinner it got even better. More great music. Great and well priced drinks and awesome food. We both had the chicken on biscuits( I had the Nashville hot version). Sooo good. A really cool classic idea and well done. Also very cheap. I’ll let the pictures speak here for a bit. Talk after the jump.
This place gets my highest reference. Cool, classic and tasty. Just go here if you are in Nashville and give it a shot. Nothing but a good time!!
This place is stunning and massive. At Christmas time you can wander for days and feel the season. You can see my review of the hotel in the archives as well
Most folks think of Nashville as country music. It is, which is awesome. It also has an incredible cosmopolitan feel and great history. You can see so many things, eat incredible food and drink great whisky.
Between the honky tonk dives and the world class restaurants, .you can find something to make anyone happy. The old Ryman and now the opry house. Legendary music. Legendary food. American history. It really doesn’t get better for a travel guy looking for unique experiences. Things you need for your trip
My wife and I recently spent a week at the Gaylord Opryland hotel. It is the complex where the current Grand Ole Opry house is located. If you don’t know what that is, LOOK IT UP!! Legend. There is a ton of activity here. Lots of stuff around, but i’ll focus on the hotel itself for this post. So many more posts coming but this is to give you a taste and a bit of review of the hotel. Good or not? Awesome!!! It is massive. It is so well run for something of this size, I really couldn’t believe it. It is the size of say the Caesars Palace complex in Vegas. I got lost multiple times.
It is a group of atriums(doesn’t properly describe it) with different
hotel areas around. You truly Can’t describe it so I will let pictures do it. Great restaurants. Shows. Killer bars.
The staff at everywhere we went here was amazing. Kept it clean. Helped you find things. Super friendly. Rare in this day. I travel all over in my job and am blessed to have stayed in most of the top ranked places. This place stunned me. Beautiful. Massive. Well run.
You can truly hang out in just the complex and never leave. Shops. Waterfalls. Boat rides. Something new everywhere you turn. I spent several nights out til 2am shooting pics from every angle. Still didn’t get it all. I’ll throw a lot here but look for more in different pieces. Each section of this gran place needs it’s own. For this I’ll give you a taste and room shots. Just take a look. History , music and nightlife.
In short, get to this hotel. I travel the world and love it. Short weekend with the kids. Corporate meeting. Romantic getaway. Has it all. Look for tons of posts from this area. More importantly, just go hang out here, Find and hire us to hang out at your place. Hit s up here. YOu know the routine.
Guess what??!! You can expect a ton from here this year. So many great experiences here over the years and this trip. I’ll do in depth pieces on so many places but I wanted to put up just a few pics do you know what is going on. Between martial arts sessions and pr here in Nashville I’ve been busy but it’s coming!!!! Enjoy some shots and I’ll talk to you soon.
I normally have some chatter about whatever pictorial I post. Restaurants, hotels etc. For this one, just know that it is all about the experience of the beach and crashing waves of the night. the distant lights of beach homes and beach bars. Blessed to live this life and share it with you all. Relax and enjoy
Just for fun I’m going to post pictures of beach shots I’ve taken on various trips. I relax on the beach. Write on the beach. Train Muay Thai and other martial arts on the beach and relax with my fighters there. It’s a place my wife and I Just finally calm down and be(maybe with a cocktail). It’s a place my mind goes if I need to escape for a minute (somebody just elbowed my head in the ring lol). Use these pictures to get there. I won’t muck them all up with more words you don’t really care about. Nature says it all
Growing up we called this place New park. It was a place hardly anyone went. As a teen it was a place we could get away as well as have an illegal adult beverage or two(not condoning lol). It is in a very rural area of Piatt county where it meets Champaign county. Over the years people have built a number of houses nearby. There are whole developments. Still when you step back into this park, it all goes away. It is this area as it used to be. Prairie, river and trees. For me it holds a special place. As a young man I always felt a strange kindred spirit feeling when we went out there to hike and possibly consume beer. I always felt like someone was watching me, but in a good way. In later years I found out there was a huge battle here between two native nations. Nobody knows who exactly but the thousands of arrowheads and bloody bones that came up as it was developed let everybody understand what it was. Around here we don’t always get attention from or care about the celebrity archaeologists lol. To this day a section of the river is known to locals as Bloody Bend. Now you know why.
These days living in Champaign county but not far away, it is a place my dog Renegade and I go to get away and just wander. When I am not on the road for fights or travel writing/pr it is one of our places several times a week.
If you are interested in just hiking, native folklore or just need to get away from people give this place a look. I use it for dog walks as well as a place to train(climb hills and force myself to work in bad weather) when I’m building my fight skills. Take a look at some pictures from Renegade’s most recent trip out there.
Give this place a look. Contact me with any questions about the area or how to get there. The county web for it is not very helpful. If you live in the area or are visiting the University Of Illinois it is a great place to get away. Probably 30 minutes from the campus.
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My dad’s family moved from the native territory (called reservations elsewhere ) to drill the oilfields in Southern Illinois. AS a child we spent a ton of time in this area hiking and eating. Much of it is beyond rural lol. Great food, beautiful scenery and cool country folk. It is truly it’s own little world. Great state parks including Garden of The Gods and Cave In Rock ( famous from movies).as well as others. Much of the area still has native culture (Cherokee and osage which is my heritage). It creates an interesting area full of food, music and a love of nature. I’ll be doing more in depth posts including hotel stays and restaurant reviews . For now take a look at the natural beauty. It’s a great place for an inexpensive trip, and worth it no matter where you are from.
Don’t overlook this great area to take a trip. Nature, food and country culture. You can’t go wrong with that!
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