This place is my little relaxation playground when I’m home. When I am not traveling for writing work or fight camps this is my little getaway. In between teaching private training sessions(muay thai,conditioning,sport karate) I head out here with my dog Renegade and hike. It’s very close to town but the trails seem remote at times. Quiet, beautiful and doesn’t look at all like you are in the corn/bean fields where we live. On the weekend you will find me here in my canoe.
This is an old gravel pit with a large area of forest and prairie flowers. The company that operates a large gravel operation here donated this section and it became a park. The water is beautiful. Great fishing. Cool picnic areas. Better yet are they trails where we mostly see nobody. Deer, coyote and fox. Birds of all kinds. You can wander back to the Sangamon river or walk along the bluffs above the lake.
In summer heat it is also a place where I do hill runs and mud runs for training. One warning: In warm months you will run across copperheads and cottonmouths . Most are smaller and not at all aggressive but just so you know.
It’s worth a trip if you are nearby or looking for somewhere different . I’ll let the pictures speak from here out. Enjoy.
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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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The canal district in Indy is awesome. It can be a romantic walk, a place for a great run or an afternoon of kayaking. Loads of incredible museums, monuments and the gorgeous canal. Connecting to White River State Park, the area is a true gem just wander. A stunning 17ft waterfall, fountains and the awesome architecture of the museums (the Eiteljorg is stunning, but that’s another post).
I’m going to eventually make this a 3 or 4 part section of my Indy series as the museums, hotels and architecture need their own. Today is mostly showing you pictures of just walking part of it. OK, with a short stop in the Cole Porter Room at the Indiana Historical Society! You can rent paddle boats, kayaks or ride a gondola. You can also rent bikes,segways or even a Surrey. All this sitting at the edge of downtown. It is both serene and urban hip at the same time. A truly fantastic place for a romantic stroll. Hey I may be a torn old fighter, but I have a beautiful wife to keep happy! I know my romantic strolls.
During this stroll we had been all over so getting a bit tired, we stopped on the Stardust Terrace at Indiana Historical Society and had something to drink. I love terraces on water and this one is gorgeous. Even if you don’t go in the museum part, stop here and hang out. Definitely go inside to the Cole Porter Room. It looks like the bar in the Waldorf. Pictures and other things but most importantly, someone who sings his songs with an electronic grand piano!!! The lady when we went was phenomenal. OK, now for the pictures. Talk more after the jump.
If The canal district is a must see if you get to Indianapolis. No matter where you live but definitely if you are in the Midwest. Romantic,educational and just fun. Plus it can be very budget friendly for a short trip.
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I truly love just wandering around Caesar’s!!!! The hotel,the casino and the incredible Forum Shoppes. Even more entertaining and relaxing are the gorgeous grounds. Huuuuge! You can spend forever outside enjoying the Vegas sun and the manicured beauty. The place is a must when you are in town. Truly a wonder of the world.
In honor of today being the 50th anniversary of this awesome place I thought I’d toss on one of my weird random walk pictorial posts of this place. These are actually all from a my last trip there so hopefully you realize how much there is to see. These are just grounds and shops. It’s that big! Without further banter, here they are. Talk after the jump.
I hope you see how seriously awesome this place is. I am fortunate to have seen it multiple times. I do not care if you stay at whatever cheap motel is in town, go and see it. You will feel like a KING!!!
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I love Indianapolis! I’ve been there so many times. It’s only a couple of hours from me and years ago I worked there two days a week. It has changed a lot since then. One of the big changes is how cool downtown has become. From new life to rehabbed buildings while retaining that very cool history vibe. Great bars,restaurants and art. Plus shopping and sports. That makes for a fantastic area.
There are truly world class restaurants there and a few that are actually known worldwide. That level of city life and yet easy to get around relative to most urban areas. There are also simple diners and fast food. If you want it, it’s there! From unusual ethnic foods to chains.
It’s an area that my wife and I just love to go walk around. Eat, drink and wander. As you’ll see in this series it’s one of those places that can be romantic or family fun. Later in the series we will see the canal district and breakdown restaurants as well as the outer edges. Today’s is about Monument Circle and the area around Circle Center Mall.
The Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the circle was dedicated in 1902. It is gorgeous and just fun to wander around the circle and people watch. It also has a great museum in the basement. Just a great experience when you add in the city view and coffee shops you sit at. Circle Center Mall is also an oder rehabbed building, actually tied together set of buildings. Lots of shops, restaurants and even a brew pub. For me it’s interesting how they tied together a couple of very one hundred year old buildings and has the cool vibe it does. For me the best part is the glass dome atrium that soars over the street call the Arts Garden. Gorgeous place to sit and look at the city. They also have live music and various events there. And now what you really want, a ton of pictures so you get the feeling of the place. Enjoy and we will talk after the jump.
Hopefully the pictures inspired you to go enjoy this awesome area. I say pictures because i know im a bad writer lol. Expect more from here soon as i add to this series. It is truly a great city in the world, and if you live in the midwest it is so easy to get to.
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I’ve been taking Trips To the Smoky Mountains for as a long as I can remember. As an adult, I’ve been taking my family there fairly frequently since 1993. I’ve been there many times and been all over the area. I love it. The beauty of the mountains and the plethora of things to do makes it a great destination for any age or economic demographic. From cheap restaurants and motels to gourmet experiences and gorgeous/expensive resorts. Live music, great craftsmen showing how it was done hundreds of years ago. Science, go carts and bungee jumping plus lots of food. Some cool bars for night life if that’s your thing. Great shopping and unusual items. Did I mention lots of moonshine stores and tours? Very cool.
I could list so many great things about the area but you can easily look up what you are interested. One of the best parts is being able to see and learn about the history of the area. Being of proud Native American heritage and being raised in both native and white culture, it is a fantastic place for me. You can see and learn much. Again I could go on forever, rafting, fishing hiking and water parks. Food !!! OK no let’s move on to lodging, specifically cabin rental this time around.
There are so many different choices for lodging in the area. Motels, hotels cabins and condos. Timeshares and complete resort communities. The list is endless and the prices range widely. You can still find a motel room in the area for under $50 a night. Or you can spend over a thousand a night. I’ve stayed in hotels, time shares and cabins here. Most were great and some, wellll lol. I want to talk about this last trip though. Let’s go through who I used, how it works and then a bunch of pictures ! Remember, I’m a fighter/trainer that travels often and writes a bit but not a travel writer or photographer! Please bear with me and enjoy my amateur status !
This time we went through a rental management company called Aunt Bugs. There are many like this in the area. People build or buy investment/vacation cabins in the area and put them in rental with a company to help cover costs. In the case of Aunt Bugs they are all in various gated properties. Large areas that are open, feel like you are in the middle of nowhere but have security as you come in. At ours, we drove up a tiny mountain road, straight up, for a solid 15 minutes after going through the gate to get to our cabin. Be aware that it can be like that. I loved it, but if you fear heights or tough driving you might want to rethink this.
We made our reservations and paid through AuntBugs.com. I travel often so I’m picky, but I will say for a small operation they did a great job. On check in day, we drive to their office in town, picked up the security pass and key and then headed off to our mountain home for the week. The one we were staying at was quite a ways from the town where the office was but that was great with me. See the cool tourist stuff in town and then drive out through the beautiful Wears Valley and up a mountain to our hideaway. Perfect.
The cabin we had was gorgeous, and remote. Standing on the beautiful deck the first night, having a beer and looking at the mountains a small black bear joined me. Didn’t really join me, he stood down in the yard and looked for food while I watched him. Great experience, but know that you will possibly come in contact with bears. Learn about what you need to do and how to act. There was also a great hot tub on the deck. We were there in March this time. One evening my wife and I stayed warm in the hot tub looking at the mountains, while snow flurries came down and we enjoyed a great bottle of wine. Truly as great as it can get.
I’m just going to let a group of random pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy and see if this might be the relaxing adventure for you.
Find all kinds of great things here especially travel gear.My personal picks. Bob’s Picks Check out AuntBugs.com to see all the different options. The people there were helpful and it was all quite simple in a complex age. As somebody who gets to travel often, I really enjoyed this one. By the way, I didn’t hire the beautiful models in the pictures. That’s my wife and daughter. Martial arts has been good to me lol.
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