travel

A Quick Review Of Benchmark Bourbon .

Posted on Updated on

In the interest of being hip, cool and timely I thought oh wait!!! Who am I kidding??? I’ll never be any of those things lol. In the interest of having fun .(and I trace family history to Kentucky a bit) I’m going to review this Bourbon. Full disclosure: I love bourbon and am familiar with a great many of them. Secondary full disclosure: I drink eat and travel and sort of write about it. I’m a fighter, my review writing will be suspect lol.

image

image

This is a bourbon I became familiar with about two years ago. In our local Binny’s I was looking around. Out of the corner f my eye I saw this was made at Buffalo Trace. Buff is my fave period. No question!!!  This bottle was $10. OK just had to give it a shot. Two years later I still always keep it around. To me it’s slightly sweeter than Buffalo but not too sweet. I’m not into sweet so thats a good thing. Classic earthy and aromatic but not with ugly floral or too much peat. If you’re a peat freak ( more Scotch) this isn’t you. I’m not huge on mixing bourbon if it’s good but my wife won’t drink it straight. Hence I have discovered it does do very well with diet COLA. A pool drink for us regularly.

For $10 give it a try. It’s become a staple of my bar at home. A truly pleasant surprise. If you’d like to work with us as a brand ambassador or social ads email me today. tompkinscontent@gmail.com & follow @combatsportlife on Twitter.

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

Posted on Updated on

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! 
 

image

image

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

image

image

image

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.

image

image

image

image

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.

image

image

image

image

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.

image

image

image

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.

image

image

      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/

Walk Around And See Beautiful Art In Vegas ( sculpture/paintings/performance/landscape)

Posted on Updated on

I love Vegas. For so many reasons. One of them is that I love art. I know less than a kindergarten child about it but I love it. As someone who has lots of brain trauma from fighting, art helps me relax,enjoy and learn. If you wander around around Las Vegas you will find incredible art. Seriously just walking around. You don’t have to pay for a museum, installation etc. It’s just there. From expensive pieces from masters to performance art and incredible fountain/landscape pieces. It is a feast for the senses. Take a look at these pictures and get an idea of how you can view and learn just walking around.
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

For me there is nothing like being able to walk and see incredible art in public areas. Yes Las Vegas is basically one big performance piece, but you can see so much more if you just open your eyes. From fountains and sculpt to opera singers wandering. From master paintings to a 28 million dollar sculp, pictured with my hot wife and her hot coworker/friend on a  trip last year.  Yep, Steve Wynn turned down 28 million for multi colored Popeye!!!
     Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com to have us market and review your business today. Large social media following, and great conversational marketing program.  Lets work together and build your business for a very affordable amount. Follow @combatsportlife on twitter.
    Get your link here for less than dinner out.
Today’s links!
http://www.wynnlasvegas.com/
http://www.palazzo.com/
http://www.venetian.com/
https://www.aria.com/
https://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/

Start By Doing What You Can Where You Can ( martial arts/travel/writing )

Posted on

  Well on #motivationmonday I want to make this point !  You can start. If you have a dream, something you want to do then you need to do what you can. I didn’t grow up with money. It was something far less than money that occasionally resembled a tiny amount of money!  Its why I started fighting professionally for small amounts at such a young age. My parents are great hard working people, we just didn’t have money. Heck, I’ve had periods as an adult that I had nothing! My reason for saying this is that I want you to understand that you can start and you can do it.
    I’m blessed. No argument. I know I am. I know God must really love me. Still, it was a struggle. Whether trying to find training, starting on Wall Street or getting into writing/PR. It’s just a fact. It was always hard to find and get there. That is what makes it sweeeet!  It also allows me to be comfortable enjoying the simple and local. Yes I’ve been all over and get paid to enjoy and promote/ write about luxury. Didn’t start like that, and I enjoy walking around taking pictures of and writing about some small town 20 minutes from me as much as I do anything. In the coming weeks I’ll do a bit more if those just to show that you can make an interesting article out of what’s around you. I should do that more often but IM Busy!!!! Lol. Not complaining. Martial arts?  For 14 years I’ve taught a free class one day a week at a church. I know I’m not the only one. Out of itvive had national champs and a pro. Not as much as my other stuff but that is exciting to me. Look around and see what you find. Plus if you want it, make a way. Don’t buy a game or cigarettes, buy training!  Take a look at this mix of pictures from classes and travel. I’m not going to tag therm. Some are free class, some pro. Some exotic travel, some in my tiny town.all of them equally important and equally as popular when I post.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

The point is, if you want to train martial arts, you can find a way. Maybe not free where you are but work to afford it heck I’ll teach you cheap through video ( coming product). You can, you just have to try. Want to be a travel writer?  Start with writing about things in your area. Parks, malls and even super cheap restaurants. Sharpen your skills and see where it goes. Remember, people who don’t live where you do might think joes hog fest cafe is the coolest place they’ve read about! Take a look at a few more pics and we will talk about helping you.

image

image

image

image

To get personal coaching/ help with your writing /PR/travel blog business contact me. I’ll set up an extremely Affordable rate set to get you started and understand the contacts and intricacies of selling yourself. You can also email me to be notified when our new martial arts training video series is available. An inexpensive way to start learning and get going. Not a replacement for a dojo, but a way to get going for a small amount. Email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and follow @combatsportlife on twitter

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

Posted on Updated on

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?
     

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

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 )

Posted on Updated on

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.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

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.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

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.

image

image

image

image

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!)

Posted on

   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!
  

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

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!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

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)

Posted on Updated on

  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.

image

image

image

image

  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.
    

image

image

image

image

image

image

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.

image

image

image

image

image

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/

Adjust Your Attitude And Set Sail For Success

Posted on

This will truly be one of the  shortest blog posts I ever write. Similar to when I give a quick pump speech to my fighters or marketing employees. Very short, but very important! In their case if they don’t  listen it means getting pushed around the ring ( or not working for the company for the non fighters lol). Pay attention!!!

image

    You control your attitude for the most part. Yes people do things that effect you, but you choose to stay in the state you are in. Deciding to stay angry, negative or have no passion for what you do is a choice. Unsuccessful people view it as bad things happen. Successful people view it as a choice and make the appropriate cha

image

image

image

image

image

So in this super short post, understand that you can make a difference. Understand that you can be successful. Change your attitude. Don’t let jerks hold you hostage. I’ve been there. I did it. I should not have! 

image

Find your motivation. Decide what you want in life. Head that way. Is it easy? Nope!!!  Can you do it ? Oh yeah!!!!!!! If you need personal coaching or help with your marketing/vision/promotion then email tompkinscontent@gmail.com and also follow twitter for @combatsportlife & @tompkinscontent

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

Posted on

   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  

image

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.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

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

image

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