Category Archives: Grapevine

Grapevine, TX: Not JUST ‘The Christmas Capital of Texas’ Part 1: Hotels

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Photo Courtesy of Grapevine CVB

It may still be a bit cold and rainy in Grapevine, TX, but that doesn’t stop us from having fun! The Christmas Capital of Texas is also a must-see town all year long, with several festivals and more vendors, stores and entertainment venues than I can count!

Keep reading to get a peek into what’s worth it (on a budget), what’s family-friendly and what’s the most fun – all from a local resident!

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If you’re coming to town with no real agenda, make sure you stop at the Grapevine Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, located at 436 S. Main St., which is the “main drag” here in Grapevine. The knowledgable folks there will be able to give you advice and literature to tailor-make your vacation into what you want it to be.

The Usuals – Hotels:

Of course, Grapevine is famous for the Gaylord Texan Resort and the Great Wolf Lodge year-round. If you’re planning a vacation at either of these venues, check sites like GrouponGrapevine CVB and the venue’s site to learn about any deals or specials that are going on.

Both venues are located minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW). If you fly into Love Field, I’d recommend renting a car with a GPS if you’re not familiar with the area. There’s lots of construction going on on the highways and many drivers never replace their “blinker fluid.” 🙂

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The Gaylord Texan Resort

The Skinny: The Gaylord Texan is hard to beat. No matter what time of year it is, they always have something special going on. They recently installed a water park to compete with Great Wolf – it’s smaller than the Wolf, but there are less children running around and all of the amenities are first-class, but so are the prices. The Gaylord is operated by Marriott, so if you are a Marriott Rewards member, you can cash in your chips for discounts, free rooms, etc.

The Great Wolf is, well, full of children. The amazing indoor/outdoor waterpark and inside games guarantee that your little one (and probably you, too) will have a blast! You can go get breakfast in the morning in your pajamas, have all kinds of souvenirs made, and the kiddos can play “MagiQuest,” which is described on the Great Wolf website as such:

Explore the lodge and take part in the adventure of a lifetime! MagiQuest turns Great Wolf Lodge into a live-action game where you’re the star. You’ll choose a special magic wand, top it with extra powers, and set off on a quest. Play for a few minutes or all day. Be sure to take your wand home and continue your adventure on your next trip to Great Wolf Lodge.

Or “ShadowQuest:”

Take your quest to the next level, young Magi! We need your help to battle the Shadowlord and collect runes in this challenging interactive adventure. The ShadowQuest guidebook provides secrets and clues to help you cast spells and complete your mission to save the light before it vanishes forever. When you succeed, you’ll receive a medal for your courage!

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Photo Courtesy of the Great Wolf Lodge

The rooms can be fun, with a separate area for the kids that resembles a treehouse, while the adults have a traditional King or 2 Queen bed set-up adjacent to the bunk beds. Of course, “regular” rooms are also offered, housing one King or two Queen beds and no bunks.

The bottom line is if you don’t want to be surrounded by children, then skip Great Wolf. Go to the Gaylord or the many hotels located in Grapevine, such as the Embassy SuitesHyatt PlaceHilton Garden Inn or Springhill Suites. There are also plenty of motels – Super 8 and Motel 6 being among them.

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Photo Courtesy of the Great Wolf Lodge

Restaurants abound in these areas, so you can have your pick of whatever you’re craving. For some guidance on local fare, click HERE.

NEXT: LOCAL DELIGHTS THAT YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF

Candidates begin filing to run for local office in Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake

By Renee Yan

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(Photo Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Jan. 15 marked the first day candidates could file to run for local office in the May 2 general election. Prospective candidates must file by 5 p.m. Feb. 14 to appear on the ballot.

Other important dates to remember include April 2, the last day for residents to register to vote, and April 20, the first day of early voting.

Several people have already filed for seats on Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake city councils as well as for seats on the Carroll ISD school board.

Read more from Community Impact…

Former Colleyville resident McKenna Grace returns to Grapevine to showcase her new movie on Amazon “Troop Zero”

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McKenna Grace

By Nelson Thibodeaux

Long time Colleyville resident Fred Monks is the Great Grandfather of McKenna Grace, born in Grapevine 13 years ago and a previous resident of Colleyville before she was moved to the Los Angeles area to pursue her movie career.

McKenna made an appearance at Grapevine Tinsel Town for a private showing of her new movie Troop Zero. Local News Only (LNO) was invited to the premier and attended with approximately 300 friends and relatives of McKenna.

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Read more from NewsBreak…

Santa makes special trips to The REC

Santa is taking some time to come visit Grapevine before he starts his Christmas Eve trip around the world! Come out to The REC and see him!

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For more information, visit GoGrapevine.com

A guide to ‘The Christmas Capital of Texas’

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Celebrate the magic of Christmas in Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas! Grapevine is the perfect place to create wonderful Christmas memories with your family and friends. You’ll be amazed at the 1,400 Christmas events in 40 days, as you see Grapevine sparkle with millions of lights, enormous decorations, animated characters and much more! 

New This Year: Explore Grapevine’s enchanting past and join an elf for a cheerful adventure with the Grapevine Christmas Passport – Elf Adventure. Experience 175 years of Christmas spirit by visiting Historic Grapevine and participate in unique hands-on activities. Capture the magic of Christmas and take home your very own hand made projects. Christmas Activity Tickets are also available for only $3 each.

For more information, visit https://www.grapevinetexasusa.com/christmas-capital-of-texas/

Proud son shares father’s story of his tour in the Korean War

I recently sat down with John A. Michel of Southlake to talk about his dad, 87-year-old US Army Sergeant (Retired) Andrew J. Michel, and his experiences during the Korean War.

I met John when I visited VFW Post 10454, stopping in to thank the veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

John is very proud of his dad, and it seemed fitting that this interview happened so close to Veterans Day. We were even able to get Sgt. Michel on the phone (“Dad never talks on the phone,” John said), so I felt very honored to speak with the Sgt. in person.

Sgt. Michel was born in Poland in 1932 and survived quite a bit of the ugliness that WWII brought, though his family was not Jewish. He and his family relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, where Sgt. Michel attended high school and graduated in 1951.

Michel joined the US Army in 1952, just in time to go to Korea.

“I was a young man with no parental supervision [in the Army]. I remember buying kimonos for my parents, though those weren’t ‘true’ kimonos. They were basically pretty robes that were sold to tourists and the military,” Michel said.

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Sgt. Michel (R) and a platoon brother (Photo courtesy of John Michel)

“One night, we decided to ‘go into town,’ where all of the entertainment was. That was during a blizzard, and snowplows were clearing the road. I had ice on my eyebrows! We got a few drinks in us and felt warmer. My brothers and I debated on whether to stay the night in town, and a few of us decided to head back. We went to pick everybody up the next day, and I left the brake on in the Jeep. That was a big ‘oops,’ but we got those guys back to camp!” Michel laughed. “One of the most important things in life is to laugh,” he added.

Michel was honorably discharged as a Sergeant on March 27, 1955. He attended the University of Akron (Ohio), but graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from The University of Arkansas.

He worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from 1959 until the mid-1960’s. After that, he moved to Pine Bluff, AR, working for Central Maloney, where, in 1968, met his (now) wife of 51-years, Shirley. 

The couple and their family moved to Southlake in June of 1977, but left again in 1980, when Sgt. Michel was transferred to the FAA HQ in Washington, DC. He retired in 2003, and the family moved back to Southlake, where they have lived ever since.

Thanks, John, for sharing your dad’s story with me. We are only free because of men and women like him, who sacrificed and fought (and sometimes paid the ultimate price).


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Sgt. Michel and John are both members of the “Airport Cities” VFW 10454 Post in Grapevine. Once a month, on a Friday, the Post hosts a steak dinner, which includes salad, mashed potatoes and dessert, for $15. The next steak dinner is Friday, November 15 at 6:30 pm. The Post is located at 221 North Main Street.

“Come eat and drink for the vets!” John said enthusiastically.

For more information, call 817-481-6768 or visit http://vfw10454.net or check out their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/vfw10454/.

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Sgt. Michel, along with wife Shirley and son John (Photo courtesy of John Michel)

 

Upcoming Road Closure in Grapevine

70453104_10162631651780268_8964929861651005440_nNorthGate Constructors will conduct work on Bass Pro Drive from SH 26 to southbound SH 121 frontage road from Thursday night, September 19 starting at 8pm until 6am Friday morning, September 20. Then, the majority of their work will take place from 7am on Saturday, September 21 until 7am Sunday morning, September 22.

This work will require a full closure of Bass Pro Drive from SH 26 to the southbound SH 121 frontage road.

  • Eastbound traffic on Bass Pro Drive will be detoured to the hook ramp at the southbound SH 121 frontage road.
  • Westbound traffic on Bass Pro Drive will be detoured to the northbound SH 121 frontage, then to Sandy Lake Road.
  • Drivers will still be able to cross the Bass Pro Drive bridge in order to turn left on the southbound SH 121 frontage road.
  • The 7-Eleven and Embassy Suites Hotel will still have driveway access on northbound SH 26.
  • Bass Pro Shops will still have driveway access from the southbound SH 121 frontage road.

View a map that describes the closure and detour routes at bit.ly/2kjZu44. This second map shows the business driveway closures at bit.ly/2km5nxH.

Visit DFWConnector.com or text DFWC4 to 77222 for real-time updates.

We Will Never Forget

Here are some photos from the aftermath of Grapevine’s ceremony this morning at the 9/11 Memorial on NW Highway at Texan Trail. It was obvious that there was an outpouring of love and remembrance. The City of Grapevine has photos of the ceremony on their Facebook Page.

Road closures and detours in Grapevine this weekend 8/16 – 8/19

67786291_2659990824012394_3533004183173070848_nMake sure friends know about road closures this weekend in Grapevine, so everyone can plan the best routes and avoid delays.

  • From 8:00 Friday (8/16) to 6am Monday (8/19) Bass Pro Drive will be shut down between SH-26 and SH-121. SH-121 traffic will also be diverted onto the frontage roads.
  • Northbound SH-121/FM 2499 will be shut down at Bass Pro. Southbound SH-121 will be shut down at FM 2499/Grapevine Mills Parkway.
  • Off-ramps connecting SH-121 and I-635 will also be closed, so plan alternate routes.

The closures will allow crews to demolish the old Bass Pro Drive bridge. You can see a full list of closures (and detour maps) at: www.dfwconnector.com.

Editor’s Corner: Grapevine Cruise Night ‘makes Main Street fun again’

By Stacey Doud

Show9I got to go to “Cruise Night” in Grapevine on July 19, 2019. It’s an antique (and sometimes not so antique) car display in downtown every Friday night at 604 S. Main Street in the Blagg Goodyear parking lot from about 6 – 9pm.

I was there to support my friend Richard and his 1937 Dodge police car, but I love antique cars and modern speed demons.

Cruise Night was started in April 2016 by Steve and Barbara Trenkle and Ben Flanagan. They grew up in Grapevine, where it truly was like the movie “American Graffiti.”

“We would cruise Main in our cars, then stop and discuss and compare cars and engines. We wanted to do that again. Our motto is, ‘Make Grapevine Main Street fun again’,” Barbara said.

The event has gotten so popular that the City of Grapevine has a web page for it.

The owner of the 1937 Dodge, Richard Borisenko, and I met around 5pm to set up. There was a steady stream of people all night – some were locals that come out to Cruise Night every Friday, and some were tourists in town, walking down Main and happening upon us.

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“Texas Rich” from Busted Knuckle Magazine (L) and Richard Borisenko

Car owners swapped stories and chatted with visitors, showing off their labors of love. There was also a representative from Busted Knuckle Rod and Truck Magazine which only features Texas vehicles, unlike the more widespread mags like Road and Track or Hot Rod.

It was a very pleasant evening, and Richard got to show off his “baby,” turning on the roof light, sounding the siren (which is so loud, it freaked people out!) and the undercarriage lights after it got dark. He brought his mannequins, “Bonnie and Clyde,” which were a big hit, especially since the dastardly duo had caused problems in Grapevine way back when. There is a plaque about them at the corner of Northwest Highway (Business 114) and Dove Road.

 

All of the car owners, without exception, were very friendly and happy to talk about how they had restored their vehicles.

Cruise Night happens every Friday in the Blagg Goodyear parking lot, located at 604 S. Main Street in Grapevine from about 6 – 9pm. Check out their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/GrapevineClassics/.