The Art of Getting Away: Finding quiet places in large cities [DFW Edition]

We’ve had a busy month in the United States and we have another one coming. Which means sometimes, we just need to find a quiet place to catch our breath and rest.

This was easier to do in Minnesota, where we had fewer people to see and more green space surrounding us. But that doesn’t mean it was impossible in Texas.

One of my favorite places in Fort Worth is a spot I was too busy to visit during our year and a half stint in DFW. This time around, we made sure to swing by.

The Fort Worth Water Gardens are located downtown. When it was built in 1974, the walls surrounding it were high enough to block out the rest of the sights in the city, making the park feel like a hidden oasis.

Nowadays, the Omni Hotel and others have encroached and are clearly visible above the trees, but the three pools are still beautiful enough to mesmerize.

My favorite, the “active” pool, has water that falls 38 feet (11 meters) on to various terrain, edges, and steps. You can enjoy the views from above or follow the steps down and be surrounded by the water crashing around you.

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Another first for me was our visit to Wat Buddharatanaram. Located north of Fort Worth, in Keller, it is a Buddhist monastery and learning center. Open to the public (with official prayer times from 6:00-7:00 am & pm), it’s the calmest place I’ve ever been in DFW.

Occasionally, we came across a monk or nun who lived in the complex, but otherwise we were alone. With two impressive structures and matching decor, it was easy to believe we had left the US and traveled back to our time backpacking in SE Asia.

The color and details were beautiful and we found ourselves standing around and appreciating the atmosphere in silence. It’s a perfect spot to pray, reflect, or meditate.

Needless to say, if we still lived in DFW, this would have warranted repeat and regular trips.

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All that said, sometimes, you just need to leave the city to find a place to be truly alone. Which is how we found ourselves driving an hour and a half south to Glen Rose, Texas for our 4th of July celebrations.

Unknown to me, because this must have been our first 4th of July in Texas, Chandler & his family have a long history of driving out to the middle of nowhere to shoot off fireworks.

As you may have guessed, there are many ways something like this could go wrong:

1. Rains could have washed away the main road

2. Wind could have blown away the trail markers

3. You could get a migraine/motion sick combo

4. A spider egg could hatch in your porta potty

Luckily, everything worked out with the firework launching – nobody lost a limb and nothing caught on fire. Actually, the experience was more fun than I’d expected, even when the second truck drove off looking for some lost friends and there were 5 of us left stranded at midnight.

Lost in the prairie means there’s plenty of time for photo shoots : )

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All in all, we had a great time in Texas. Our time there, with friends & family, deserves a post of its own. But for now, I’m grateful for the rest and relaxation we had there as we continue on with our #usasummer.

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