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After winning the trip of a lifetime to Texas, I was expecting a very unique experience – and that is exactly what I got.

Six cities over two weeks. It could have been exhausting but with such a variety of things to see and do it worked out perfectly.

Our first stop was Dallas and the highlights started even before we arrived at the gorgeous Joule Hotel when our driver slowed down to point out where JFK was shot. An X literally marks the spot!

Dallas is a clean, easy city to walk around and view all the interesting art pieces, especially the huge eyeball – look it up.

We moved to Fort Worth for our next stay at the DFW Stockyards. From the swinging saloon doors to the honky tonk bars, it felt more like the set of a western movie. Did I mention the food? Huge portions of slow cooked flavoursome meats.

The daily Longhorn cattle parade down the street, with real life cowboys reining them in, really is a must-see event.

American Airlines flew us to Houston where, as fortune would have it, the annual Livestock and Rodeo Show had just opened. What the Mardi Gras is to New Orleans, this event is to Houston.

The show features a different guest artist every night and it’s considered a real honour to be asked (Elvis performed here back in the day). We were treated to an amazing night of bucking broncos, lassoing and even wagon racing. It is an extremely fascinating and well run event.

Changing pace a little we stopped in the quaint German founded town of Fredericksburg. Every aspect of the city centre is steeped in history.

The shops all looked like heritage listed buildings and were full of trinkets and samples to taste – hint: don’t eat first!

As we had a car, we were able to explore some of the beautiful wineries of which there are many in the surrounding area. Shout out to Becker Vineyards for its stunning grounds and delicious wines.

Only an hour away is San Antonio where we arrived at the beautiful Hotel Contessa and were greeted with a Margarita on arrival and an eight-piece Mariachi band playing in the bar. What a welcome!

Close to the hotel is the amazing river walk and I could not believe after so many years in travel how I had not heard of this gem. Lining the river are endless restaurants, bars, live music and shops.

The little bridges crossing the river felt like mini Venetian crossings and we just couldn’t get enough of this area.

The 30-minute river boat tour is highly recommended with an excellent live commentary featuring the stories that make up the river walk. If you make time to add San Antonio to your itinerary you won’t be disappointed.

Our last stay was in Grapevine, so naturally there was some more wine tasting to be had.

A born and bred Grapevine native, our very enthusiastic driver was eager to show us around as he drove us up Main St with a free commentary.

One side of the street features the original historical buildings and other side has replicas to keep the look authentic, however you can’t really tell the difference. It makes for a very charming visit.

The Gaylord Texan Resort, our home for two nights, was like a mini city within Grapevine. Housing its own restaurants, bars, shops and even a water park, this is the perfect setting for a conference or convention.

It is definitely true what they say about the generosity, hospitality and friendliness of Texans – we couldn’t fault anyone.

Y’all come back now ya hear!