For our day trip to Dallas, I planned a walking tour around downtown. There were a few places we definitely wanted to see, but the majority of my planning came from poking around Google Maps and TripAdvisor to find different attractions. On my previous trips to Dallas I never did much sight-seeing, so I was excited to get the chance to wander and explore.
Our first stop was the site of President Kennedy’s assassination. This was by far the busiest stop on our tour, and for good reason. There is simply nothing quite like standing in the exact location where history happened. Reading the plaques, you could imagine the feeling in the air as the parade made its way toward Dealey Plaza and the excitement of seeing the President. Just thinking about the terror everyone must have felt when shots rang out at the intersection really struck me, because although we live in a society today where shootings are not unheard of, for Americans in 1963, an event like this would have been hard to fathom. We spent a lot of time walking around the plaza and assassination site in a silent reverence for the life lost and the events of the day.
After our sobering first stop, we made our way to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza. The simplicity of the memorial was striking, and walking through the cement structure, it was incredible how much the structure drowned out the noise of the city around us and we were enveloped in quiet. It was very simply beautiful.
From there, we walked by the Reunion Tower then on to Pioneer Plaza. The plaza has sculptures of a cattle drive, and it was so much fun to wander among the cattle. Little Bird was thrilled to be set free from the stroller for a little bit, and she was a bundle of giggles as she walked up to the cattle and booped their noses. She was so funny to watch, as she is still not quite sure what to make of statues or sculptures in general, especially when they look realistic as these steers and cowboys did. We spent a good deal of time slowly making our way through this plaza and enjoying the sun that finally decided to peek out. Of course Bird found sticks and rocks along the way, but luckily she did not put up much of an argument when we told her it was time to go.
Since she was not really sure about the sculptures of cattle and cowboys, I decided the next place we should go was to see the sculpture of the Giant Eyeball. I saw this exact sculpture when it debuted in Chicago in 2010, so I was excited to get to see it again at its new home in Dallas. The Eye sits in its own little courtyard, and we were not sure if dogs were allowed, so Will and I took turns going inside. Bird hardly seemed phased by the giant eyeball but was incredibly interested in what other people were doing. It is not a place to spend much time, but it sure was fun to see the piece again and to share it with my girl.
The final stop on our walking tour was Thanks Giving Square. Even with some Internet sleuthing, I was not entirely sure what this square was all about. It turns out that it is intended to be a welcoming space for contemplation and meditation for everyone. Dogs were not allowed in this space (for obvious reasons), so Bird and I made our way through while Will and Daisy walked the perimeter. There were amazing water features and the place was very calming and welcoming. Once we reunited, we sat at the entrance of the square and enjoyed a snack. It was a very peaceful little corner of the city.
At this point, we were ready to head back to the truck and move on to the rest of our tour of Dallas, which included a stop at Trader Joe’s, a pet store, and dinner at In-N-Out. However, do you know how hard it is to find a public restroom in a city during a pandemic? We have encountered this issue in every city we have visited, but Dallas posed the greatest challenge of them all. I definitely have my hesitations about public restrooms in general, so the pandemic just adds layers to that anxiety, but I knew the rest of our itinerary, and this was my best shot at a restroom for some time. I just had to find it. After asking 5 different people, I finally found a really nice and clean restroom (it was in the AT&T Discovery District if you ever find yourself in need), so it was a worthwhile venture!
Our other errands went smoothly, and we found a great little park at the end of the runway of Love Field to eat our In-N-Out, so we enjoyed our burgers, watched the sun set, and had airplanes flying overhead (to Bird’s utter delight) to wrap up our day.
We walked nearly 3 miles around Dallas, and I must admit, I truly enjoy our day trips to cities. Obviously, I wish it was not during a pandemic, as there were plenty of places I would have wanted to stop at, but it is so much fun to dive into an unknown city, explore the streets, and really get a feel for the area. And there are safe ways to explore a city where you do not encounter many people and can easily stay away from others. I love hikes in nature, up mountains or in the woods, but I also really love city walks, where we meander among skyscrapers and the hustle and bustle continues around us.
Dallas kind of surprised me with art popping up all around and the various plazas and squares, and I am so glad we made the trip. I am also glad I took the time to plan a short walking tour that took us all through downtown and allowed us to see so many sights.