-

As incredible as it may seem to some, there are a lot of happy and sensitive Texas couples out there that have never embellished their relationship with a special romantic getaway.

Oh sure, heading down to the coast for a weekend beach retreat is swell. Even a road trip to a weekend festival can be filled with romantic folly if the two participants are willing.

But when was the last time you treated yourself and that someone special to a really special place where pampering is part of the profit and self indulgence ismore than a simple whisper in the back of your mind?

Take heart! There are plenty of wonderful and romantic getaways to be found in the Lone Star State, and we've put together a short list for your review and consideration. After all, you don't need to wait until the Valentine holiday to show a little love!

Call a tool for foreplay if you want, but we thought we would start you out - put you in the mood that is - with a little something for you to ponder. Defining "love" has been a challenge since the beginning of time, and it seems everyone has a little different take on the answer. But sometimes we need to look through the eyes of a child to see what only they can see - the real meaning of love??

(As Sent in the Email by a Reader)
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?"  The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." -- Becky, age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." -- Billie, age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."  -- Karl, age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." -- Chrissy, age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."  -- Terri, age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." -- Tommy, age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss." -- Emily, age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." -- Bobbie, age 7

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," Nikka, age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." Noelle, age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." -- Toby, age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore." -- Cindy, age 8

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
-- Elaine, age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt." -- Chris, age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." -- Mary Ann, age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." -- Lauren, age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." -- Karen, age 7

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." -- Jessica, age 8

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"

Regardless "how" you prefer to show your love, you'll find these great romantic destinations to be perfect places for sharing yourself with that someone special in your life. Viva la amour...

Best Summer Romantic Getaways in Texas

There are few places in the world that can rival the charm and romance of the River City and the Emily Morgan Hotel on Alamo Plaza is the perfect place to spoil yourself in comfort and still have the best seat in town for all the activities on the nearby River Walk. You'll find plenty of romantic restaurants (try the Little Rhine Steakhouse on the Rover Walk), a number of good spots for wining and dining, and the oversize Jacuzi in your suite is one you will talk about for a long time. Discover the beauty and charm of the Emily Morgan.

Want to escape to the end of the Earth with your lover? You'd be hard pressed to find anywhere more remote than the resort at Lajitas. And talking about a romantic retreat! Spoil yourself in the luxurious spa, take a moonlight trip on horseback; play a few rounds of golf or hike across the desolate but beautiful landscape. Discover love on the range!

Discover Galveston's only full luxury resort featuring all suites with private AquaSpas in your room. Get ready to be pampered and discover the romantic side of one of Texas' oldest communities. Stroll the Strand, dine in one of many great restaurants. You'll enjoy the gardens of this one-time summer home to the Texas Governor.

Yes - a community. Of sorts. Trois Estate is actually a perfectly planned old world facility located on a hilltop practically overlooking Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, near Fredericksburg. The Casa de Leon Bed & Breakfast, Trois Italian Ristorante, European Day Spa and artisan's marketplace make it a perfect retreat in a perfect location. Step back in time and enjoy this enchanted facility.

It's hard to take the cowboy out of a Texan, even for a romatic weekend. At this Cow Town resort, you don't have to! MD Resort is a Texas ranch resort that offers a number of special packages, including a romatic weekend getaway. For one inclusive price you can get a room with a Jacuzzi, breakfast in bed and lots of room to romp and roam. Ask about their special wildlife tours as well and enjoy the countryside around Fort Worth.