travel pictures

A Quick Review Of Island Wing Co In Destin Florida

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I usually stick to local dives and hang outs when on a beach vacation, but sometimes something catches my attention. I love wings!  My daughter loves wings even more than I do. Driving along 98 in Destin headed to another area, she spotted Island Wing in a strip mall type area. Not always a bad thing but on beach vacation not always my usual haunt at the beach. It’s a chain but only a few of them and all at Beach locations.
  

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First and possibly most importantly, they have a huge and varied draft beer list. For me this is vital. I know nobody but me cares but it is a sign of a great place!  Second, it’s got a very cool island vibe to it for a place in a strip mall and its very clean.
     The menu is solid leaning obviously toward wings but also chicken sandwiches and burgers. Great sauces and condiments as well as sides. I was in the mood for a sandwich instead of wings so I had the one in the picture. Very good and just spicy enough without being crazy for a normal dinner. I’ll let you look at the menu from the link to see the sauces and make your own decisions after the picture set. I had the sweet çaribbean chicken with an add of jerk sauce. My wife had the honey bourbon wing and my daughter had the Thai chili wings. Great stuff on each. A good amount and very good quality. The price was good as well for a vacation destination in a nice building.
   The service was very good with an attentive young man taking care of us. The added sauce on my sandwich made the right combination of sweet and hot paired with a nice Kona Brewing draught. Can’t beat that. Take a look at the crestvof the pics and then hit the link after the jump.

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f you’re in Destin Florida or in Gulf shores check this place out but was right up my alley in food and environment. Plus Draught Beer!!!!  Tell the we sent you!  Check out the link and if you want to be featured here contact us at tompkinscontent@gmail.com . Also follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on Twitter
http://www.islandwing.com/

Walking Around The Palazzo and Venetian In Vegas (random walk pictorial )

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A common theme with me is just walking around an area and enjoying it. Seeing how it’s built. Having coffee while I walk. Later having a cocktail and a measly to just take it all in. As a blogger I like to take tons of random pictures of an area. It helps people see what something looks like and how it feels. Sooo much easier to describe and hopefully allow people to have the feeling of being there.
The Palazzo, The Venetian and the Grand Canal Shoppes in Las Vegas happen to be one of the best places in the world to do that. You get both the feel of being in Italy, actually in Italy ( yes I’ve been there) plus you’re in Vegas Baby!!!  Visually Stunning, great stores and food. Clean!!!!  Can’t beat it. I’m going to mostly just post pictures here for two reasons. One, I’m going back there soon to do a full review. Two, I just want you to get the feel of walking it and have your own ideas. OK and it’s Friday so I’m ready to quit writing and have a drink while I grill !  I!l hoo on s bit between picture sets, but mostly just think like you are there. Describe it to yourself in the pictures you see.

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From the Frescos in the lobby to getting a gourmet pizza from a Mario Batali restaurant that feels like your eating outside. Your senses will continually be stimulated in a relaxing manner. Coffee, pastries and gelato.
One of the best things though is just walking even on the walkways outside. Again it’s the feeling of where you are. Authentic and fun. Take a look.

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From the simple pleasure of listening to the gondoliers singing in actual gondolas to great food. You can wander here and not spend a dime yet still be entertained. You can also spend a lot and be entertained lol.

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If you would like your place/product/company featured or reviewed here, please contact us. From sponsored posts to social ads and complete marketing campaigns. Multi channel ads. Or just buy a very inexpensive link or twitter ad. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com as well as follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on Twitter. Great Ideas for travel gear
Check out today’s links
http://www.palazzo.com/
http://www.venetian.com/
https://www.grandcanalshoppes.com/en.html
http://www.illy.com/wps/wcm/connect/en/home

Back Roads To Florida In Words And Pictures ( OK just some random fun!)

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   I love two lanes. I’m a kid who grew up in a tiny farm town and it’s how you travel. Out of the way cafes, old truck stops. I love it. Sadly tons of my travel these days is on a jet. That’s awesome for some things and I love the luxurious exotic places we go, but it misses something. One of the things I love about travel is seeing the little things. How people live or eat in an area, especially rural areas. Gas stations can be one of the coolest learning experiences!  Where I’m from it was the hang out as a kid. Park your car in the corner with your friends, grab a soda out of the machine and talk about life.
  On my recent trip to Florida we drove. We had fun and my Cajun friend who vacations in Destin often gave me a cool way to go from here. My Cajun friend who lived up here for years ( and is an executive who has testified before congress lol) so he has great love of back roads like me. I wanted to post pictures of this part of the trip. My wife shot most of them from the window of the car while I drove, so don’t expect incredible photography. Enjoy it for what it is. I’m also going to throw a few in from the bigger highways but they were unusual. Fitting for road trips. I’ll pop in and out to explain through the trip!
  

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Most of these pictures were taken in southern Alabama and Northwestern Florida. If you get that way, a bit South of Montgomery turn off of 65 onto 31. The trip to the beach this way will take you along 31,41,87 and 4 in Alabama and Florida as well as through Blackwater River state park. Take the time and do it. See America!
  The next pics are from other parts of the trip but still less photographed. Truckstop coffee. Roadside kitsch. My love!!!  Enjoy. From I 57 in Illinois on down. One interesting set. A hotel in Alabama flying a Korean flag with sushi stuff on the breakfast bar. Turns out there was large Hyundai plant in the area. Just funny in rural South. Enjoy!

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The next time you take a road trip, take some time and just enjoy the journey on the road. It’s how most of America lives. See where your food comes from!  For marketing/advertising or to Get us to visit your place email tompkinscontent@gmail.com.    obviously if you want seminars for martial arts and fight camps we would love to help you with that as well. Follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on Twitter
Today’s links. Get yours here inexpensively.
http://www.martinandbayley.com/

  

A Cool Shopping Experience At Destin Commons( Thoughts &travel Pics)

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  As I’ve mentioned in other articles I enjoy finding unusual shopping places. I know it doesn’t fit my fighter image, but hey I promote and market. It’s like a business field trip. Plus there are always coffee houses and a place to grab a drink.
   Our first day in Destin was a bit chilly for the beach so my wife and daughter thought a shopping trip was in order. I spotted Destin Commons on our way in to town. It looked cool and with checking out. As it turns out it was very cool. Besides having a great line of stores and restaurants it was visually appealing and fun to walk around. A cool fountain area in the center that looked like old Florida and had a beignet cart. That is just plain awesome. Check out a few pictures here and will talk a bit more after the jump.

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  There are all kinds of stores ranging from well known clothing and shoes stores to places like Books A Million. Places like Wet Seal and Sephora to the unusual like the Shark Shop ( products from the show Shark Tank). You’ll also find cool vacation location stores like Bass Pro( yesssss!) Pepper Palace and Maui Nix.
    

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It’s a cool place to wander around, have a bite or a cocktail and relax. Did I mention there is a World of Beer there??!! Incredible place. It is entirely possible I stopped in for a bit. Zoe’s is also great for wraps and bowls. There were a number of places from casual or fast to date night. Take your pic.

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If you are in Destin Florida and have some time away from the beach, this is a fun stop. Give Destin Commons a look. If you want us to feature you on the blog or do a review then email tompkinscontent@gmail.com  . Also full socialad campaigns and marketing plans.  
   Check out today’s links.
http://www.destincommons.com/
http://www.pepperpalace.com/
http://worldofbeer.com/

A Quick Review Of Mama Sherry’s Pizza and Wings in Destin Florida ( great meal great price)

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   So something that has become a tradition in our family trips is finding a place for pizza and wings. We all love pizza and hit that up wherever we are, but Beach locations require a pizza and wings place. Why??  First because it’s awesome!! Second,  because we spent years travelling for fights and tournaments plus dance comps for my daughter. Now fights and rodeo with my adult children. Along the way at a dance national in Daytona, we found a great pizza and wings place after finally getting back to the beach late in the evening. After all day at the comp we just wanted to hang out. Pizza and wings ( beer and wine for mom and dad) on the beach at midnight hit the spot. The fact that it was a great deal made it better. Thus a tradition began  

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We are fortunate to travel all over and have luxurious travel experiences. Still, my favorite is find that great, quaint place with a great deal on this kind of food. Frankly, it’s how I got here. My loves won’t change!!!! So on this recent trip to Destin we found Mama Sherry’s. In between the high end strip malls with chains and along the road to the marina, this oasis of family vacation fun can be found. You have to either be a local, know it’s there ( because you subscribe to this awesome blog) or know how to search these places out. That said, it is on the main drag on 98 although easy to miss.
      I’ll make this quick and to the point, then I’ll get to the pictures( what you want!!!). We had the hand tossed pizza with pepperoni. A classic without pretense. It was great. We had an appetizer of fried pickles ( my daughter’s fave from bluegrass nationals karate tourney waaay back). Excellent!! We also had wings with a honey habanero glaze. Perfect!  This isn’t molecular gastronomy. This is classic people food. Enjoy it for what it vis. I love both, but this is my world!!!! I had a couple of Mama’s Irish Red ( a private label made by Bud, think Killian’s). Big beers and cheap!! My wife had a couple bof house red wines. Again cheap!  See a theme?? Eat well, have fun, keep some money. OK so next are the pictures. Check out the food and drinks but also the place. Fancy? Nope. Awesome? Oh yeahhhh. If you don’t like this kind of thing you probably aren’t interested in what goes on here. Lighten up, I’ve been around the world and this is great. Check the pics and see how much after the jump.

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Twitter. o all that food and alcohol that was delicious, plus old school Florida ambiance. Less than $50 with tip ( and I tip really well). It more than fed three people ( with lots of leftovers ). Easily feed a family for that or less. Finding budget eats at the beach with a family is something I will always want to show you. I’m always going to be a guy who grew up in a Midwest farm town!!!
   Enjoy. Go there and tell them we sent you. If you want your place reviewed or a link here hit us up. From social care on twitter/fb to full campaigns or just getting us to stop by we want to talk to you. Affordable for any business, email tompkinscontent@gmail.com. follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on Twitter

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Today’s link! Get yours here !
http://www.mamasherryspizzawingsandthings.com/aboutus.htm

Take Stroll Through Harbor Walk Village In Destin Florida (pictures and video)

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Yes I’m a guy ( a hairy beast of a washed up fighter guy at that!) yet I still shop! Especially in cool locations when I travel. OK so mostly my wife, Sensei Sandy shops and I get coffee or a cocktail and people watch. Same thing right??!!  A cool set of shops in an interesting place actually gets my interest. Remember I run media/marketing firm and did 20 years on Wall Street, any commerce gets my interest!
   Harbor Walk Village is flat cool. From great restaurants and bars sitting right on the water to interesting shops. Yes there are normal places you would know, but there are many Beach/harbor vibe cool places. Nice to just wander around.
    Several things that are different make it extra cool.  A little area of food trucks that are awesome, including an airstream trailer. Gives the place a great harbor vibe. It is also the home to the Destin fishing fleet, the largest charter fleet in America. You will see Massive fish being brought in. Soooo cool!!  You can go on a dolphin cruise starting here. We did that and I’ll be doing an article/review of it before too long. You can also book a pirate cruise here, looked cool if you had young children.

      Since most of you are looking this to see pictures and not my incredible writing lol, I’ll start posting them. Catch you after the pic and video jump to talk a bit more about the area. The even more pics and video!!

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So you can see it is a very cool area no matter what you like. We are at Harry Ts Lighthouse and Margaritaville there and I’ll do reviews of both in coming weeks. There are a ton of places to eat and sooo many looked great. I’m ready to book my return and just hang out here!!  It’s a mix of cool upscale with relaxed old fishing village. Kinda dig it.
       It is built with the Emerald Grande complex, condo residence and vacation rentals. Great looking place. I did not stay there but I’m looking into it for the next trip. Their website will tell you about both the complex and the village. Very informative.

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Give this place a look. It was fun and relaxing, coming from a guy who is always amped up!  I’ll be looking into Emerald Grande next trip( if you are their marketing rep, let’s get together!!) And you should look at all your options there. If you’d like to be included in our reviews or need promotion, email tompkinscontent@gmail.com today. Follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter
Today’s Links , Get your name here
http://www.emeraldgrande.com/harborwalk-village
http://www.margaritavilledestin.com/mobile-home.html
http://www.harryts.com/

Pictures and Thoughts About The Beach In Destin To Florida ( the first of many lol).

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Hope I will do more in depth writing about it the area, I wanted to send us into this rainy Midwestern weekend with some nice beach pictures. I will say that the stretch of beach I was on and others I saw in Destin are some of the most beautiful I have seen. Truly anywhere ( and I’ve been many places!!!!). Gorgeous water, clean sand.

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In this picture series I’ll mix it up a bit. Form bright, sunny and clear to the night I walked it in a huge storm( have I mentioned I used to get hit in the head for a living??!!). Just a few pics today but I want you to see the beauty there. Maybe get ideas, get motivated or pumped up. As a coach that’s my job. As a world traveler  it’s kind of my job too. Just enjoy the pictures, get lifted up and ready. After the jump I’ll talk just a bit about the area. Also if you’re ready to push yourself or your business to the stage, I’ll post my info there as well. Love to work with you!!!!

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The area I was mostly in was truly the cleanest and most quiet stretch I’ve been on. Some of the other strips in town were also perfectly clean but a bit more rowdy. Toward Whale Tails restaurant is open Beach and gets lively. Clean but lively. It was spring break of course, but keep this in mind when making reservations. Whatever your taste is lol
     If you’re ready to step up and build, contact us. If you’re looking for personal coaching and getting better in the ring I will work with you. What you might not know is that I also run a media company. Get a social media campaign, full marketing program or just a vision consultation. Between 20 years on Wall Street, global travel for fights and a love of helping create,vive got you covered. Very affordable at every level. Quit putting things off. Change your life today and join me on the beach ! Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com as well as follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter

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A Quick Review Of Quick Bite At Surf Hut In Destin Florida (Pictures)

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   While my reviews are never super long or wordy, this one is shorter than normal. Not because it was bad, but because we at there after getting out of the car from along trip. We pulled in to Embassy Suites, unloaded and walked across the street to  Surf Hut. Usually I spend time getting lots of photos of the place and our food but not this time. We were tired and the girls didn’t want to work with me right then lol.

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   It’s a great location. Right on the beach and facing Gulf Drive. This makes it not cheap. It isn’t high end expensive, just pricy for coastal casual. It’s worth it. The food is good, the service is great and the location awesome. I’ll give you an idea of prices in a minute( not terrible, just not cheap). It has a great deck in the back and a bit if private beach with games. A nice covered porch on the front, classic keys look for dining.
    My wife and I both had the special, six gulf shrimp with fries and slaw for $13.99. It was good and not way out on price( higher than most areas though).  My daughter had a cheeseburger and fries also 13.99. It was good, but obviously for just a regular burger that’s slightly high. Let me just say, all well with it. The location sells it and the food is good. I just want you to know what you’re looking at.
     It was great overall and I definitely recommend it. If you’re in Destin, give it a shot. A nice relaxing time. Take a look at these pictures and enjoy.

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Hope the pictures help( took the night shot from the beach another time). Again, it was a quick meal so a quick post!  Sometimes that’s the best though!
   If you need help promoting your business or you want to be reviewed, contact us. All kinds of services and advertising/ marketing available. Inexpensive and casual. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter.
   Check out today’s links
https://surfhutdestin.html
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/embassy-suites-by-hilton-destin-miramar-beach-DSIESES/index.html
graytonbeer.com

Embassy Suites in Destin Florida ( From a Fighter Who Has Been Around The World)

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I have to say that I’ve lost count of how many times and how many places I’ve stayed in an Embassy Suites. I know the first time was in the late 80s when I was young man. I was doing a kickboxing seminar in St Louis after fighting there a few weeks before. They booked me in to an Embassy in Laclede’s Landing. I was hooked!  Yes like any hotel chain there are ups and downs but for the most part I never worry when a company or dojo book one for me.

So recently my wife, on a whim booked a week in Destin Florida at one for spring break. I was already going to be in the area for a day to do a private coaching session for a fighter, so my wife decided to make a trip of it with our youngest ( my 20 year old daughter ) as we won’t have many left with her at home. Embassy suites it was then.

I like to do my reviews of a hotel or resort as a rolling conversation, but with a core. The general, the meat and the area but mostly pictures!  It gives you an idea of what its really like and as an old fighter, it’s simple!

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So here is the general. Embassy suites is known for three things. Being all suites, having a breakfast buffet with some great cooked to order items and it’s evening happy hour. The evening reception is snacks and free drinks for two hours. Wine, beer and simple mixed drinks. It is a huge draw!  Always served in a gorgeous atrium. This one happened to be under construction during our trip. They used one of their many nice meeting rooms for it, not great but they did a good job. The work was finished our last night so we go a good look and some pics( more later).
The room was very nice. Always good space. Clean and well designed. It has a good luxury feel at a less than luxury price. I always like them, and this location was no exception. Beach locations are hard to stay ahead of cleaning and maintenance but they did well here. I’ll let some room pictures speak for me.

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It’s not in the top of luxe places we stay, but for family trips for many folks it is great. I’ve been all over and we are spoiled, yet this place didn’t disappoint us.

You get private access to strip of beach. It’s a quick walk across the street and it’s gorgeous. You have numbered access through a gate. All places along this strip are like that but keeps things quiet and subdued. Upside is its clean and no drunken stripper battles ( OK upside at my age lol). Downside is that you don’t have the cool cheap Beach food stands right there. If that’s you’re thing for Beach vacation, this isn’t your place. The beach is stunning, but I’ll cover that in other pieces.

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Location wise it’s great for some things, not others. It’s a distance from some big things, harbor walk etc and clubs. If you want to party, arrange transportation or stay elsewhere. For the most part that isn’t who would be here. Harbor walk is great ( upcoming piece) but the party part is different. We stayed here and went there several times. It is very close to Destin Commons which is a cool shopping center with great views( another coming picture review. It’s also close to Silver Sands Premium Outlets if that’s your thing. They are both on 98 and within a couple of miles. Heck I walked up by Silver Sands one night. Ok full disclosure, we all got hungry late and there had been a bit of drinking. Solution, walk to Whataburger and bring food back. Easy walk, and not a bad area. I might not be a good judge as I get hit in the head often!
You can walk along scenic gulf drive, as the hotel sits on it. From Beach rental homes, gorgeous private complete es to kitschy shops it’s a cool place to walk. I’m going to post a few of that ( expect an article just on that street) along with the atrium and other amenities. Catch the final after the jump.

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A quick summation.  If you are want to yell and party naked on the beach, this isn’t you ( I’ll probably hit you ). If you need perfect luxe this isn’t you ( been to that place but still like this). Enjoy it. Enjoy the  area. Enjoy your family.
If you want your place promoted or reviewed, contact us. Want a cheap link or ad with us? Hit us up. Full creative social campaign? Got it!  Motivation for your company?  Personal coaching or private sessions for fighting?  Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent on twitter. Extremely affordable, unbelievable as to how cheap ( except the fight sessions, those are expensive ♥). If I’m a few dollars and up.
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Links and PR from today
http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/florida/embassy-suites-by-hilton-destin-miramar-beach-DSIESES/index.html
http://m.premiumoutlets.com/default.aspx?id=1348
http://www.destincommons.com/
http://whataburger.com/

Random Walk Pictorial Branson Mo!

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Let me just say that I and my family love Branson. I know that as a guy who does reviews of places like Wynn in Vegas that it doesn’t seem right. It is. I’ve been going there since my oldest child was a toddler. Actually before that. When I was young in the mid 70s we were through there staying at other places in the Ozarks. I will be doing multiple pieces on this place and showing the entire area over time. These pictures are actually of a very small part and taken while we were there for a dance event with our daughter. Yes my daughter who was a 2time national champ in sport karate also won numerous national titles in dance. Today she teaches and choreographs as well as goes to college. Enjoy this area and short piece and whet your appetite for an informative budget travel series coming soon.
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The very cool and historic Scenic railroad. Shot from the walkway along the Hilton and  Branson Convention center.  The railroad and tourist part of that scene have been there long before Branson Landing and The Hilton there were built. The area and train are old. The hotel and mall are new. Perfect mix. Most of the next pictures are from this area as the convention center was where we were for dance. I’ll explain a bit about the area at the end. Very different than when we started going there regularly  in the early 90s.

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So this area of Branson Missouri is a mix. It’s both the oldest part of town and the area that the newest
And most modern hotels and restaurants have come. Still you can walk a block away and feel like you are a century back.  Did I mention I love  Branson?  I travel the world and spend tons of time on places like Manhattan but I love Branson and Gatlinburg. Truly where I want to be!!!!!  If you are a merchant in this area, contact us. I would rather promo your tiny motel than the big boys. Let’s go!!!!!!
For prom and advertising contact tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on twitter.