travel pics

A Great Visit To Mackinaw Valley Winery

Posted on Updated on

So we finally made it out to this place. Friends had told us for years to go. It’s not that far but given our schedules on the road it had just never happened. Soooo glad we did. Sandy and I loved it, and we have been to a lot of amazing places.

Beautiful grounds and facility with great service all while being so relaxing. I’ll wait to write a ton more as we go to various concert events but I wanted to give you an idea of just a normal outing here. A relaxing hour in the afternoon or an evening adventure.

First, the drive out there is great. Heading out of Bloomington IL starts like everything but as the cool old barns and hills pop up , the drive gets interesting. When you arrive you will be impresses with the look. Cool house that they seem to just keep adding on to. You can see the vines and I really like how they mark what they are( if you like wine , it’s nice to know). An incredible little shop with gourmet items as you enter and then the tasting room. You get three free tastings and then each after is a dollar. You can also buy a glass($6 on average) as well as beer. This part is awesome because as you will see in the pics, they have a gorgeous deck to sit on and relax.

In the warm months they have a great concert series which the grounds are perfect for. Sandy and I will being hitting that this year and you know those pics will show up right here. For now, enjoy the pictures and we will talk after the jump.

You should definitely check this place and it’s wines out. Great place, great wines and a great time. Take the time to go. Check out their link here for directions and more info. Mackinaw Valley Winery and definitely tell them Bob and Sandy from the Combat Sports Lifestyle blog (and Team Transcend ) told you to show up. Follow us on twitter @combatsportlife . Also contact us to come to your place.

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

Posted on Updated on

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 )

Posted on Updated on

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.

Kitschy Fun At Willie Nelson And Friends General Store(Pictorial)

Posted on Updated on

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.

Willie Nelson General Store

Spending Time At Nashville Palace (Legendary)

Posted on Updated on

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!!

NashvillePalace

Thoughts And Pictures From The Gorgeous Gaylord Opryland (pt1)

Posted on Updated on

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.

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.

 

First Quick Post From Nashville 

Posted on Updated on

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.