Tuesday, May 28, 2013

{Around Town: George W. Bush Presidential Library}

Our second excursion during my parents' visit was to the recently dedicated Bush Presidential Library at SMU. 

Note: It is extremely difficult to take a photo of a child near a fountain. Nearly every other image I had to choose from featured Anders attempting to climb into the water. Moving on...

The first thing you should know is that the Bush Center is not a library in the traditional sense, but rather an archive of the 'textual, audiovisual, and electronic Presidential records highlighting critical events and issues' from the Bush Administration.

In addition to galleries portraying former President George W. Bush's political career, the Museum also houses memorabilia about the family's personal lives and their ongoing humanitarian efforts.

I have to admit, I was unable to give most of the exhibits the attention they deserve. Although the Museum includes a small children's area, it isn't a toddler-friendly attraction in my opinion (which I knew was a strong possibility), and I spent the majority of my time tending to the boys. However, given time to peruse the displays, I think the Museum would be extremely interesting to most audiences.

My favorite exhibit was undoubtedly the replica of the Oval Office.

He looks like a natural leader to me.

Note: A professional photographer was present to take photos, available for purchase in the Museum gift shop, of visitors sitting at the Presidential desk. I'm not sure what the official policy is on taking your own photos in this room, but the pro didn't give me any trouble (having an adorably charming 2-year-old with me didn't hurt my cause).

I tried to come up with something witty to say about generations here, but I've got nothing. I will say, however, it's a very sweet picture of my parents and their oldest grandson. The statue of Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush stands in a courtyard area within the Library, complete with beautiful landscaping, a cozy cafe, and ample tables and chairs for patrons to spend time reflecting and relaxing during their visit.

I didn't know exactly what to expect when we set out on this trip. My final conclusion is that admission to the Museum is rather expensive for its size (in other words, you may pay $16 to spend only an hour or two wandering around), but the building is beautiful and the galleries are impressive. It certainly isn't something I would recommend for younger children, but I definitely think we will return when our kids are older and can glean a greater understanding of American politics from the information available.

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