updated 11/26/2006 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/26/2006 AT 3:30 PM ET
While Mario Lopez and his Dancing with the Stars partner Karina Smirnoff are still playing coy about a rumored romance, the show’s runner-up couple are spending a Mexico vacation together after celebrating Thanksgiving with Lopez’s sister in Houston.
“We’re definitely overdue for a break,” Lopez, 33, told PEOPLE while sitting knee-to-knee with Smirnoff during a celebrity stopover in San Antonio’s Club Posh. “I want to take a little time off, go to Mexico.”
By Sunday the partners were heading south of the border, a source close to Lopez confirmed to PEOPLE.
Lopez called his connection to the Ukrainian-born Smirnoff, who is recognized as a world-class Latin-style dancer, “a very special relationship.”
“It’s very flattering when people want to see us together and like to see us be together,” he said about the romantic sparks that viewers saw as the two sambaed their way to a second-place finish this month on Dancing (Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke won the competition). “We’re great friends and very supportive of each other.”
Lopez and Smirnoff arrived in San Antonio on Friday night, and on Saturday greeted thousands of fans.
Their appearance was on behalf of the charity Any Baby Can, a non-profit organization that benefits severely disabled children. Lopez agreed to participate after one of his friends told him about her own disabled child who had been helped by the organization for eight years.
The charitable work also likely gave Lopez a chance to relax a bit: His last weekend was spent in Las Vegas – partying with Britney Spears.