travel pictures

Relaxing Beach and Mountain pics From our Trips ( we could all use that today)

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Short and simple, we need a bit of this today. As people mourn and also hate each other some great scenery that is relaxing is something needed. 

  My Native American heritage has always made the mountains a relaxing and restoring place for me. It’s genetic!  The Smokies are a favorite (also genetic) but I love them all. As a fighter and traveller, the beach has been both a training facility and place of serenity. Without saying more, here is a bit of both. Hope it helps. Talk after the jump. 

I hope you enjoyed this hastily put together post. Thought we could all use a bit of relaxation and wanderlust today. If you would like to be a sponsor/ advertiser here or on our large engaged social media(both!) Contact us. From links to spokesperson campaigns that almost anyone can afford. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com & follow @combatsportlife on twitter. Bob Tompkins on FB and @combatsportslifestyle on IG

Vegas Random Unusual Shots ( things I shoot as background)

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Sometimes as I dig through pictures  for work, I notice how many  random background shots I’ve taken. On second viewing, some of them are pretty cool. They give you feel for just being there. As you know, I’ve done several posts on just random walks. I feel it gives you a better idea what a place is like and about. You learn and some of my best adventures come that way. 

This piece is almost more in the way of outtakes but they still give you that same idea. As travel/lifestyle/ martial arts blogger I’m all about trying to get you to experience things and places. See and feel it here and then hopefully go there yourself. At least get motivated to go somewhere new or view old things in a new way. Take a look at these from Vegas and we will talk a bit after the jump.  


My family laughs at how many random pictures for work. My wife doesnt now as she has see the success from my goofiness here and in our other social media. Lots of random pictures. I hope you get inspired to wander around and see new things by these posts. 

To have us feature you here, do promotional work/appearances or just buy a simple ad/link contact us. Affordable and fun to work with !  Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife on Twitter. 

Be watching for our friends/family at Legacy Home and Ranch.  From custom furniture to rodeo supplies we are looking forward to working with them. Web launch soon , check out their FB page now 

https://m.facebook.com/Legacyhomeandranch/

Gratuitous Food and Cocktail Pictures/Descriptions From Recent Trips( and local)

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Just for fun and something different, I thought I’d do a food/travel piece like that. A tiny description/thoughts on a place with a couple of food/drink/ambience pics. Let’s face it, you come here to read my goofy statements and see some pictures!  I’ll never win any awards for this but you guys just keep showing up lol! Let’s do this.
     First Nobu at Caesars in Las Vegas. As with every in Caesar’s, it’s great. Cool look with open modern area and skirted off private booths. Sushi,sushi,sushi! 
 

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    Murphy’s Pub on the UIUC campus in chambana. A classic bar with great burgers. A nice dive that isn’t a dive.

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Mama Sherry’s in Destin Florida. Pizza, wings and other great things. Great food at great prices in an area where food isn’t always cheap. Beer and wine specials, just an overall vibe that feels like vacation.

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Jean Georges in Aria, Las Vegas. Beautiful, world class Steak house. Stunning selection of meat and seafood with great servers. The wine list and staff Aline make it worth a visit. Expensive but worth it. One of my favorites.

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Black dog Smoke and Ale House in Champaign. Great BBQ in a cool old railyard building. Listed as one if the BBQ places in America. Great sides and a fantastic bar list. The ambience is with the trip alone.

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Costa Di Mare in Wynn Las Vegas. One of the most knowledgeable staffs I’ve ever been around. I got a lesson in fish, and sourcing it from unusual places. Prep and cooking. Wine etc. It was amazing. Truly like nowhere else I’ve ever been. Like everything at Wynn, it is first class, and expensive.

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      Look for more in depth reviews of some these at another time. Just wanted to whet your appetite a bit, and entertain you. Yes a bit all over the page but so am I !  Burgers to sushi from a guy who likes to fight and write.
     If you want to be featured or just get an inexpensive link here email me. Lots of plans and prices. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife on Twitter
    Today’s link
https://m.facebook.com/Murphys-Pub-116375968386068/

Walking In Vegas ( more thoughts and pics in the random series )

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One of the best ways to learn and see what is place is like is to just wander. Whether I’m traveling to train/teach a seminar( or when I was fighting) or being paid travel and write/promote it’s something I always do. I never though I’d get paid to write about trips or get my picture taken. I’m still rough in doing so but folks seem to like it. 
      Because I take so many random pictures when I’m walking around to get the vibe, I started doing posts with them. You’ll see some earlier ones if you scroll through the archives. This one is Vegas ( I’ll likely do 50 on it because I have soooo many and am there often!) And has things from random street to Caesar’s and Miracle Mile. You’ll also see around The Mirage and Treasure Island plus a bit more. Just walking around the outside areas in Caesar’s complex could be multiple articles.  Stunning and well kept as are most of the places. Take a look. After the pics we will discuss why you want to shoot like this as a travel blogger and I’ll pitch you using me to Promote you!  Hey, gotta pay for my drinks right?
     

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There are tons of slick, network style travel producers out there. People who really want to see what a place is like and get help deciding go to blogs. Try these kinds of pictures and see the response. It helps your reader !
   If you want your product repped in our travels or to have us do our famous and fun promo for your hotel/restaurant/casino then email tompkinscontent@gmail.com today. Using our lifestyle experience of travel from fighting and seminars plus twenty years on Wall Street to Promote you. We get you noticed and talked about in a good way. We build relationships not just hype and hit.
   Follow @combatsportlife and @tompkinscontent on twitter
Check out today’s link
https://m.facebook.com/westbrookstable/

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/

Renting A Cabin In The Great Smoky Mountains

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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.

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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.
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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 !
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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.
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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.
Follow @combatsportlife on twitter or email at tompkinscontent@gmail.com