No school today, so the kids and I decided to visit the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. It’s the first time we’ve ventured back into downtown Fort Worth since Luke’s birthday trip to the Science Museum, mostly because I am intimidated by the DFW freeway system.
When I first moved here I said that if I ever mastered these freeways I would never fear any kind of city driving ever again. Now, seven weeks later, it’s more accurate to say that I’ve gotten really good at NOT using the freeways. I know all the ways to get where I need to go without ever touching an onramp. It’s sheer cowardice, but I’m okay with that.
It wouldn’t be so bad it you could just hop onto a freeway and get to where you want to be. But there are SO MANY freeways, and they come together and merge and entwine and separate like a series of snake orgies. One moment of inattention or confusion and you’re shunted off in the wrong direction on an unfamiliar roadway. The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is less than 20 miles from where we live, and to get there we had to navigate these four interchanges (it would have been five but I bypassed the first one):
I come from a town with one highway and no stoplights. Even driving to LA or San Diego was a fairly straightforward (albeit slow and crowded) business. This snarl of Metroplex freeways is alien to me.
But today we girded our loins and headed back into the heart of the city. And it was totally worth it, because the Botanic Gardens are amazing.
If you ever visit the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens and you wonder whether it’s worth paying extra to see the Japanese Garden, the answer is yes.
Yes it is.
All of the gardens are beautiful, but the Japanese Garden is stunning.
There are koi food dispensers along the paths, and whenever you get near the water a galloping horde of hopeful koi appears.
The Japanese Garden was our favorite, but all of the gardens are worth visiting.
I found this near the Conservatory. I think it’s a pretty good arboreal representation of the DFW freeway system:
When we had seen everything there is to see at the Botanic Gardens we still had a good chunk of afternoon left, so we decided to go check out the Water Gardens.
The Water Gardens are kind of surreal. They’re designed to resemble a wilderness of canyons, mountains, lakes and rivers, represented in stark, geometric lines.
The active pool is energetic and exciting.
The quiet pool evokes a sense of standing in a wooded canyon near a serene lake.
The aerated pool was the least interesting to us. I get what they were going for, but it didn’t really speak to us like the others did.
Got mildly lost on the way home, trying to navigate my Apple Maps directions in reverse. By then I was in too good a mood to be bothered by it, though. Eventually I will master these freeways, because the alternative is missing out on too many of the incredible things that the Metroplex has to offer.
I freaking love this place.