On The Road with GRUBBS INFINITI: Austin, Tx

Did you know that Austin, Texas is almost as large as New York City?  Or that it’s home to about 1.5 million bats, the largest urban bat colony in North America?  Or that it was originally named “Waterloo”?  I learned most of these things on a recent road trip to our State’s capital in an QX60 on a sunny weekend in Spring. 

The goal: soak up some history, eat some good BBQ, breakfast tacos and Gourdoughs “Blueballs” and see how the INFINITI QX60 felt on a road where the speed limit is 85 mph.

So here’s our itinerary and some input on what we think makes for a great Austin weekend.

Leaving Grubbs INFINITI in Grapevine and hopping on I35, we headed for the Czech Stop in West, Texas.  Bluebonnets carpet the sides of the road and it’s one of my favorite things about living in the Lone Star State.  It’s a tradition for my family to pick a good spot, plop down (being careful not to sit on any fire ants) and snap some pictures for friends and family.  It makes a perfect tableau as we enjoy the ride.  To be fair, packing a crew into a QX60 is easy since it offers three rows of seating and every detail is there for comfort and safety. 

Arriving at the Czech Stop, we all head inside to the Little Czech Bakery and their famous Kolaches. Where do I start?  Do you go savory or sweet?  My personal favorites include the raspberry cream cheese and the blueberry, but you can’t ignore the very berry or the lemon curd.  And, if you’re hungry, you should grab a sausage with cheese kolache and a few jalapeño poppers.  Just do yourself a favor and get a dozen or so, load them into your INFINITI and get back on I35 and Austin.

We make a quick stop at the Dr Pepper Museum in Waco and check out the collection of impressive Dr Pepper memorabilia and then we’re back on the road, munching the kolaches and enjoying the entertainment package in the QX60.  There’s two 8-inch screens for rear-seat passengers to enjoy movies and games and my kids absolutely love it.  And, when my wife and I just can’t listen to Frozen one more time, there’s wireless headphones that allow everybody to enjoy what they want. 

DFW to Austin is about a 3.5 hour drive and very soon, we can see the Capital building rising from downtown.  Everyone decides that we’re ready for some food and I recommend Fukumoto Sushi.  If you happen to visit during Happy Hour, I suggest you order from their menu top to bottom: you won’t be disappointed.  The tempura green beans were especially good and some of the tofu dishes would make it very easy to go vegetarian.  It’s a casual, fun atmosphere and a place where the locals go to relax and get a good deal on some tasty dishes.  It’s a good call for the road trip.

Fortified with sushi, we head for the Capital Building and there’s a great self-guided tour that shows you the “areas of significance” including the Senate Chamber, the Rotunda and the Governor’s Public Reception room.  It’s a interesting look into Texas government and although we kept looking for the governor, he never made an appearance.  I personally like to include a little history when I visit a city and the Capital building does a great job giving you lots of interesting information including the details I included at the beginning of this blog.  So mission accomplished, we left and made our way to check out some of the local graffiti that is so famous in Austin.

It’s no secret that Austin is a little “weird”.  In fact, one of their more famous slogans is, “Keep Austin Weird” and I think that it’s more about supporting things that are usual and interesting than actual weirdness.  The graffiti scene is part of the unusual and we had done a little research online to make sure to include some of the best examples of street art.  In many cities, graffiti is discouraged, but in Austin, it’s celebrated.  There seems to be an understood that there are areas that are approved and areas that are off-limits and the artists respect that understanding.  So as we zip around in the QX60, the murals unfold and include both the beautiful and the bizarre.  Bold, vivid colors merge into black and white reliefs and the talent is undeniable.  You could easily see some of the work in a museum, but instead they’re on the sides of buildings being slowly worn away by time and the elements.  It’s a worthwhile tour and I hope you enjoy some of the examples we captured.

Finally, we make some stops for something sweet and Gelateria Gemelli off 6th Street is fantastic.  The flavors are pretty traditional and the peanut butter and salted caramel and  are worth the calories.  The line was out the door, but it moved quickly and the servers were friendly and patient when we wanted to try about 5 or 6 flavors.  We then zipped over to Gourdough’s and just stared at the menu for a while.  Donut Burgers?  Hmmmm.  The “Blueballs” are famous so we grabbed an order of the blueberry stuffed donuts with blue icing and decided they were delicious.  Climbing back into the INFINITI, we let the sugar rush subside and vowed to return to Austin to try more restaurants and catch a glimpse of the famous bats.  The locals let us know they’re weren’t flying when we visited, so it gave us a good excuse to come back in the near future. 

As always, experiencing the LoneStar state in an INFINITI is a good way to really see what makes it so special.  When you make little stops along the way, you get to meet new people, try new food and get a real feel for what makes it “tick”.  To be fair, the QX60 is a true luxury ride and everyone had plenty of room to spread out, relax and enjoy the sunny blue skies and gentle roll of the hills as we made our way through the Texas hill country.  It’s a good trip and easily done in a weekend.  Be sure to pick up some kolaches.  If you want to bring some over to Grubbs INFINITI, well, we wouldn’t say no.

See you on the road.

George Grubbs III

Owner/President

 

Grubbs Infiniti #1 In The Nation

When the Grubbs family opened the doors to our new location next to DFW Airport, we wanted our customers to feel pampered and relaxed while buying a car.  George Grubbs III and George Grubbs Junior were absolutely meticulous in designing how the dealership would run on a daily basis and how it would “feel” to each customer.  They emphasized an unforgettable experience where people could relax, eat lunch or a snack in a fully catered kitchen, enjoy comfortable retreats to catch up with friends or get work done.  Unique, contemporary art is found everywhere throughout the dealership, complimenting the artistic lines and sleek INFINITI vehicles that take center stage.   

George Grubbs III credits much of the success to bold new vehicles from INFINITI.   “The Q60 delivers innovative performance and design that excites our customers.  This is luxury within your grasp.  You’re driving the kind of vehicle that inspires Formula 1 engineers.”  The QX60 was also a popular choice for a luxury SUV. 

“As our bestselling SUV, the INFINITI QX60 was designed with safety and versatility as its highest priorities. With safety features including Predictive Forward Collision Warning and Forward Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection available, the QX60 incorporates industry-leading safety technologies” said Randy Parker, VP, INFINITI of Americas.

This accomplishment wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support from INFINITI, our dedicated staff and our loyal customers who have trusted us with their business. 

“On behalf of everyone at Grubbs, I want to congratulate our team for what you do every single day including sales, service, body shop, administration, make-ready…everyone. We’re the number one INFINITI dealership in the nation for good reason,” said Wes Hays, General Manager.  “We tip our hats to our competitors because they gave us a good fight.  But when our team sets a goal, nothing can stop us.  We want to be the best at what we do and let every customer leave feeling like they just experienced the easiest, most relaxed way to buy a car.”

With the exceptional growth and sales in 2016, Grubbs INFINITI is poised to set even more records for 2017.  We’re proud of our #1 INFINITI Dealer in the USA designation!  More importantly, we’re committed to keeping it by providing an impeccable service, a vast selection and total transparency in what we do.

*Grubbs Infiniti is number one in new car sales for CY2016

For more information, visit  www.GrubbsInfiniti.com

On The Road With Grubbs Infiniti – Buc-ee’s

On the Road With Grubbs

Have you ever tried a “Beaver Nugget”?  Don’t flinch, it’s delicious and it’s only found at Buc-ee’s, a Texas tradition for any road trip.  Founded in 1982 by Don Wasek and Arch “Beaver” Aplin III… hence the beaver mascot… Buc-ee’s has 37 locations all in the Lone Star State.
I’ve been a fan since my first visit, wandering the aisles with a dazed look on my face, trying to comprehend the vastness of the Buc-ee’s food and snack choices.  I’m not alone. 

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Priya Krishna from Bon Appetit Magazine wrote, “Ask any Texas chef about the one must-stop spot on a road trip, and the response won’t involve an obscure taco stand or a legendary barbecue joint.  Most likely, you’ll be pointed to Buc-ee’s.” 

How do you find one?  Well, the plethora of billboards leading up to one from miles away would be your first clue.  But that beaver head held up on a giant pole, lit up for everyone to see is what should encourage you to turn the wheel of your Infiniti into the parking lot and go inside.

Listen to me:  pace yourself.  Don’t fall prey to jamming a couple of Beaver Nuggets bags (caramel-coated corn snacks) and jerky into your basket and heading for the door. Because you’ll miss the handmade fudge that comes in so many flavors you might get dizzy trying to make the best selection. Want a fresh kolache? I like the raspberry with creme cheese.  How about a brisket sandwich?  They’re delicious.  Guzzle down sweet tea?  Don’t mind if I do!  And, just when you feel a little uncomfortable, head for the cleanest award-winning restrooms on the road.  Seriously, they have commercials that focus on those restrooms.

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I have filled the back seat of my QX60 with bags of jerky.  Keep in mind that I had no idea that Elk jerky existed before I went to Buc-ee’s.  Now, I know it’s amazing.  Pecan Logs, the “Fudge of the Month” as well as Beaver Bites have provided miles of snack happiness for myself and my kids.  My wife does her best to ignore this fixation and I’m 100% that she hides the junk-food treasures I bring home as soon as she’s able.  That’s all right because I’ve managed to bring home the mugs and cups bearing that Beaver face and even a pin.  And, don’t get me started on the crazy Texas decorations and clothing that range from scorpion paper weights to slippers emblazoned with Texas Longhorns.

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“Even if I don’t need to stop, I find myself wanting to stop at Buc-ee’s,” Texan chef Tim Love told Bon Appétit. “When a new Buc-ee’s opens, it’s like a new roller-coaster ride. You just want to go in and see it. You don’t want to be left out.”

Truth be told, I’m happy to support an organization that treats their employees so well.  Buc-ee’s version of the minimum wage: cashiers, $12 to $14 an hour; food-service and car-wash help, $13 to $15 an hour; team leaders, $14 to $17 an hour; assistant, $17 an hour and up. Each job came with three weeks paid time off each year, which employees are welcome to use, roll over, or exchange for cash. If you want 40 hours a week, there’s 40 hours a week to be had; if you want more than 40 hours a week, that can happen, too.  That’s an organization that understands that when you treat people fairly and truly value their time and expertise… you’ll have the best team.

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At Grubbs Infiniti, we respect that ideal and do the same.  We may not sell Beaver Nuggets, but we have created a wonderful environment that puts people at ease and makes them feel welcome and at home.  Our cafe is stocked with snacks and catered lunches, comfortable areas to enjoy the free wi-fi and catch up on work or a good book.  And, of course, our amazing team always puts the customer first in everything we do and we value each and every person who is part of the Grubbs family.  Many of the Grubbs Infiniti staff members have been with my family for 10-15 years and I know that many of them look for that Buc-ee’s sign when they’re on the road.  That’s because we’re real Texans and we love things that are big, bold and fun.  So come let us put you behind the wheel of an Infiniti and then plan your next adventure.  Just make sure you leave some time for Bucc-ee’s. 

See you on the road.

George Grubbs III

Old Glory

FlagWaving

Growing up, I always enjoyed taking history classes, especially anything that had to do with America.  I truly admired the brave pioneers who battled harsh environments to settle this land and I loved reading about the men and women who defended their liberty and freedom.  That’s why I want to share with you the rich history of the American flag and why it’s important to honor “Old Glory” on Flag Day. 

The story of how “Old Glory” dates all the way back to March 17, 1824.  William Driver was celebrating his 21st birthday and was  a sea captain from Salem, Massachusetts.  On that day, his mother presented him with a brand new beautiful American flag to accompany him on his journeys. Driver was thrilled and immediately named the flag “Old Glory.”

From then on, Old Glory joined Driver on every sea voyage until he quit sailing in 1837 and traded in his sea legs for a permanent home in Nashville. He continued to display this flag from his home on patriotic holidays.

However, when Tennessee broke off from the Union in 1861, the Captain hid Old Glory by sewing her inside his comforter. On the day when Union soldiers entered Nashville, Old Glory emerged once again.  Driver proudly carried his flag to the capitol and raised Old Glory to the blue sky.

Before his death, William passed the flag on to his daughter and said, “Mary Jane, this is my ship’s flag, Old Glory. It has been my constant companion. I love it as a mother loves her child. Cherish it as I have cherished it.” The precious heirloom flag remained in the Driver family until 1922 when they donated it to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. where is currently rests preserved behind glass.

So let’s celebrate our nation, “Old Glory” and the 13 stripes and 50 stars that proudly represent what’s best and brightest about America.

George Grubbs III

Grubbs Infiniti

Challenges and the QX Sport Inspiration

Inspired by Infiniti’s acclaimed “Powerful Elegance” design philosophy – characterized by flowing sculptural lines and strong, muscular proportions – the QX Sport Inspiration lays down markers for the brand’s vision of a next-generation, mid-size premium SUV. Featuring the brand’s signature design cues and an array of innovative details, the concept boasts a powerful, purposeful exterior with an elegance that is uniquely Infiniti.

Somebody recently asked me, “What inspires you?”.  The simple answer is a challenge.  I love facing a challenge and finding a solution. I love seeing others succeed at something great and if there’s an extreme angle to it… I love it even more.  It’s one of the biggest reasons I can’t wait to see the Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration, the latest interpretation of “Powerful Elegance” Design from Infiniti.

The QX Sport made it’s premiere at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show and it’s already got a huge buzz around it.  You can read all about it here (link to article). 

But I want to talk about the challenge that inspired Infiniti to design this vehicle.  How do you make a vehicle stand out in an already crowded and popular market segment:  the SUV.  How do you offer a new vision, bring something new and exciting to the mid-sized SUV market?

The answer is the QX Sport Inspiration.  It’s sleek, it’s powerful and it stands out from the crowd.  Just seeing the pictures made me want to get behind the wheel and really punch it.  To be fair, I like hitting the gas in any Infiniti… they are, after all, designed to give you the ride of your life.  But the QX Sport Inspiration will give us something new.  A vehicle that is both beautiful and useful, sophisticated and simple, a perfect blend of form and function.  In short, a real Inspiration.  Can’t wait to show it to you. 

See you on the road.

George Grubbs III

Grubbs Infiniti

Day Tripping: Time for Fun

Day Tripping QX60

It’s weird how fast winter flew by here in North Texas this year.  I’m pretty sure it was a few weeks of sweaters and coats and then everybody switched back to shorts and t-shirts.  You gotta admit, we do enjoy some spectacular weather here in Dallas/Ft Worth.

Which brings me to my point: you don’t have to leave to take a vacation.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to travel and I’ve promised myself that I will hike to the top of Machu Picchu and visit the Great Pyramids before it’s all said and done.  But taking my kids to Grapevine’s Great Wolf Lodge is easy, fun and doesn’t require a plane ticket. 

Have you been to Addison’s Cavanaugh Flight Museum?  It’s got an amazing collection of 58 restored airplanes from World War I to the Vietnam era.  Grab lunch at J’s Breakfast and Burgers, a great local place, and you’ve got another adventure under your belt that’s unique and affordable. 

Or, load up the Infiniti with a tent, sleeping bags and a cooler full of cheese whiz and crackers and head for Wills Point and the beautiful Lake Tawakoni State Park.  It’s a lot closer to DFW than you think and feels like a world away.  Go fishing, do a little hiking and basically reconnect with your family and friends. 

One of my kid’s favorite spots is in Glen Rose and the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.  The drive-thru exotic animal park is spectacular and they offer lodge and safari camp for kids.  Glen Rose has so much fantastic local restaurants and shops that you’ll easily let a weekend slip by and return to work feeling relaxed and refreshed.

All in all, North Texas is it’s own vacation destination and I hope you and your family will do a little exploring on your own.  For now, the Great Pyramids will have to wait.  There’s a fish in Lake Tawakoni with my name on it.

See you on the road.

George Grubbs III

Grubbs Infiniti