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Christmas in San Antonio – The Playground of Texas

texasI know y’all think Texas is synonymous with cowboys but did you know that there are vineyards in the Lone Star State? Oh, yeah, and there is Sea World, Six Flags, historical landmarks and Fredericksburg, a German influenced town, all within driving distance of The Westin La Cantera, a fabulous resort in the Hill Country of Texas.

The Westin La Cantera, with its Texas Colonial design is an inviting place to unwind, relax and play. As I entered the main doors, the warmth of the great room with his dark wood, native artwork and overstuffed chairs, begged me to linger for a while as I pondered on what I would do next.

There is quite a bit to do on the property itself. The resort has a 250-acre golf course designed by Arnold Palmer, tennis courts, gym and a walking trail. The Lost Quarry Pool complex consists of a lap pool, a volleyball area and a winding main pool that leads to a cascading waterfall. If privacy and less kid action are on your menu, there is an adult pool and Jacuzzi as well.

If total relaxation is what your looking for, put the kiddies in the resort’s exceedingly fun and well staffed kids club to enjoy a scavenger hunt while you head to a yoga class or spa to indulge in their signature facial, the Minkyti. To round out your day partake in one of their Texas Wine Tastings, sit under the light strewn trees and call it a night in one of their cozy and elegant casitas.

Sound good so far? It gets better, for along US Highway 290 is thirteen wineries. My first stop was at Pedernales Cellars, a boutique winery, to savor their Viognier Reserve 2012, a Grand Gold Medal winner in Lyon, France. Can I order a case, please? Time for one more stop on my way back to dinner and Becker Vineyards was it. A beautiful wine tasting room beckoned me to try several of their award winning wines. Another case, please.

I know by now you’re wondering why the title, Christmas in San Antonio, so pull up a chair, a glass of Texas wine and let me tell you a story about a Winter Wonderland in the hills of Texas. Starting twelve days before Christmas, The Westin transforms itself into a total Christmas experience. Hill Country Holidays offers everything a child dreams of from an ice skating rink, a show for all ages called Merry Christmas Mouse, a walking tour that commences with the ringing of bells with a choir and the flurry of a snowfall. Whoa, cowboy, I’m not done describing this winter wonderland.

Santa’s Village will make your child’s eyes sparkle with wonder. Here they can decorate treats with Mrs. Claus, create seasonal arts and crafts and help the elves in Santa’s Workshop. There is story time and breakfast with Santa, as well as the chance to whisper in his ear your wish list. During the holidays, as much fun as it is to receive, the feeling of giving to others is heartwarming. The hotel is a proud drop off point for Toys for Tots to help needy children in the community have a joyous Christmas.

If you are looking for something different and memorable to do with your loved ones this holiday season, a stay at La Cantera will quite possibly be the best gift you could give your family. Mistletoe included.

For more information on places mentioned in this article, visit: www.westinlacantera. com, www.beckervineyards.com, www.pedernalescellars.com, www.visitfredericksburgtx. com

Debbie Martinez is a Miami Dade resident and Travel Editor for the Miami’s Community Newspapers. She can be reached at debbiemartinez1@mac.com

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