School will be out soon and then it's official, vacation time. The great thing is you don't have to go very far to have a great vacation. My husband and I went to Tyler, Texas, last weekend to visit our friend, Lane. What a blast!

Of course it was wonderful to see Lane and he was a great tour guide of Tyler. We've all heard about the Tyler roses. My mother was always a huge fan of them. When I was a kid in Dallas, she'd see someone selling the them on the side of the road and we'd have to stop and get a bundle of beautiful roses. So, the first place to go in Tyler is the Tyler Rose Garden.

The garden and roses were gorgeous and it's not even rose season yet, by June the gardens will be bursting with roses. You can also check out the Rose Museum for a small fee. I highly recommend it. You'll learn about the pageantry of the Tyler Rose Queen and Festival, which takes place in October. Plus, you'll see some truly amazing gowns from the Rose Queen and her court from the previous year.

Another must do is a visit to the Kiepersol (pronounced Keeper Sol) Winery. Napa Valley eat your heart out. We did the wine tasting that included a tour of the winery. What a great place to spend the afternoon under the veranda and drink locally produced wine. In the vineyard itself you might see some big grey birds. These are Guinea Fowl and they roam the vineyards for insects. Kiepersol doesn't use insecticides on their grapes. Now that is pretty cool.

Also located at the vineyard is a really nice restaurant (dress code is business casual) and a bed and breakfast as well.

Before we left, I found out that there is a big cat refuge in Tyler too. We didn't have time to check it out but believe me, we will next time. It's called the Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge. It's safe to say that we could have easily have spent a few more days in Tyler. If you get a chance to go before me, be sure and tell me all about it.