Dining In and Camping Out in Grapevine, Texas

September 13, 2011

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Today’s guest post is by my good friend Merelyn. Merelyn and I worked together at a day care center for about two months the summer I graduated from college. That was the last time we lived in the same city, but we’ve been long distance friends for over twenty years. Merelyn and I share some passions in life: making this world a better place for children, compassion for animals and we LOVE food. Before either of us had children, Merelyn would visit me in Dallas and we’d eat our way through the city. Well, we’re still in LOVE with food, but our dinning out habits have been altered a bit since the addition of children. Check-out Merelyn’s recommendations for Real Kid Friendly restaurants.

Dining In and Camping Out in Grapevine, Texas

by Merelyn: Real Kid Friendly

We recently returned from a mini-vacay in Grapevine. It was our 2nd time to stay in Grapevine and I had a secret reason for returning – Kountry Donuts.  I told most people that our reason for traveling to the area was to visit the Museum of the American Railroad in Dallas (and we did go there – for Boe to see his “most favorite engine in the whole world” – a Challenger!) but kept the real reason for close friends who know the Foodie that I am.  Aside from Kountry Donuts (which I will describe later), there are numerous places to eat and numerous things to see in Grapevine.

When Boe grew from an easy-going 1-year-old into the rambunctious Bundle Of Energy that he is today, our vacation accommodations had to be cabins, cottages, or rental homes. Being quiet for longer than 15 minutes doesn’t happen for him.  He’s loud and moving when he’s happy and he’s even louder when he’s not.  So, in order to not disturb too many guests, we began staying in alternatives to hotels.   This can be limiting but I enjoy the hunt for cute little cabins in cool places so it’s fine with me.  This was how we decided to try Grapevine.  The Vineyards came up in a search for “cabins in Texas” and I liked the floorplans so I thought we’d try “camping” in the city.  I must put “camping” in quotes because I have no desire to really camp – ya know, tent, sleeping bag, no toilet, or a/c.  I’m sure that I will when Boe gets old enough to know that that is an option but until then, I’ll tell people that we’re going “camping” and get credit as some outdoorsy person.

Onward . . .  The Vineyards campground was more than we expected.  It was clean, pretty, well-run, and had numerous kid-friendly aspects (#1 being a lake with swimming area).  We liked it so much that we decided to stay there again this year. They have a set of 2 really nice playscapes near the swimming area, a cute camp store (where Boe had his first ice cream sandwich ever!), lots of bike-riding room, and usually some family happening on Friday or Saturday evenings.  On Friday nights during the summer months, one of the local resorts puts on a fireworks display that is very impressive.  We were able to watch it from our cabin porch.  Again, this whole cabin thing that I’ve got going is just not what most people think of when they think of a cabin.  Those that we stay in are basically compact houses – a/c, full kitchen, full bath, one or two bedrooms, and, almost always, television.  There are plenty of real cabins out there, I just don’t choose to be that uncomfortable on my vacations so I opt for the home-away-from-home (only cleaner) cabins.  A friend told me that she stays in hotels w/o kitchens so that she won’t have to cook on vacation.  All of our accommodations have had full kitchens and I’ve never felt that I had to cook on them!  Those stoves are just an extended countertop to me.  Cooking on vacation – whatever.

The Vineyard’s next door neighbor is a marina so while in the swimming area, you can watch all kinds of recreational water craft come and go.

DFW Airport is also nearby – close enough to see the planes, far enough not to be bothered by their noise. So, for kids who are into planes, boats, or trains, Grapevine has lots to offer.

Next time . . . on to the important stuff . . . the food . . . the restaurants . . . the food . . . the restaurants . . . the tacos . . . the donuts!

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