A Road Trip Through Texas: Day 3

I didn’t have a late start today! Or did I? Anyway, I began the day by visiting the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the SMU Campus here in Dallas. Fun fact: my initial plan was to do this Saturday. But, sleep.

The museum itself was extremely well done. This is probably my second favorite of the four I’ve now visited. It’s a good size and had a nice exhibit on presidential retreats I really enjoyed.

But I feel like I have to be fully transparent. There’s quite a bit on 9/11 and the War on Terror. Most of it is quality material. There’s a 9/11 memorial inside the museum. This part of the museum stands out among everything else. But when I visited the LBJ library in Austin I remember walking out thinking I’d learned quite a bit about the man, but also that the museum didn’t sugar coat anything. He left office because everything he was doing up to the 1968 election was being heavily criticized and there was a solid chance he’d lose, anyway. So he walked away.

But in the Bush 43 library there was nothing on the financial crisis. At the very end of the museum there’s a wall called Crisis Management and issues were simplified down to a sentence or two.

How can the stock market crash of 2008 and the subsequent recession it kicked off get no attention whatsoever? There was VERY little on Iraq. And of course there was no mention of the fact that he was leaving office with no political capital left. I don’t expect the museum to tear him down. But there was a lot going on during those 8 years and I think a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration should present the reality.

After leaving there I went to the Perot Museum of Science and Nature.

I had lofty expectations because it is so well reviewed online. It’s a brand new, modern museum. It’s interactive. And the entry fee is on the high side. But it seemed to be geared toward children way more than I was expecting. There’s an entire floor of games and robot stuff for kids.

They do have the largest T Rex in the world on display, so that was nice. But I made it through an entire science museum in half the time as the presidential library. That should be switched.

One thing I did like was the benches had these different fun little facts on them.

Tomorrow will be a long day, but only because I’m going to an Astros game here in Dallas!

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A Road Trip Through Texas: Day 1

I’m not a travel blogger and I’m not going to be. But I’ll do my best for the next week.

My plan was to leave my place at 8. I didn’t. Ended up leaving around noon. I was sleepy. But that didn’t change the first stop on my trip, the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station on the campus of Texas A&M. My third presidential library.

Immediately you walk into this grand foyer. By far the best entrance of the three presidential libraries I’ve visited.

Once you make your way further inside you get to see The Beast. My second time seeing one of these in person. They don’t look like much, but it’s basically a tank. I’m exaggerating, but not much.

The museum takes you through the life of President Bush (I had no idea he played baseball at Yale), but I was surprised at how few personal items the museum has on display. Most of the museum is old photos and the best exhibit was on terrorism.

It had another car, some dresses, and a few gifts the family had received. Most of the museum is interactive in some way, which is what I’ve come to expect from just about any modern museum.

Of the three presidential libraries I’ve now visited, this one was by far the busiest. My guess is it was because of the recent deaths of George and Barbara, but I don’t know.

Final takeaway: The museum was nice, though small. When compared to the LBJ and JFK libraries, it isn’t as extensive as LBJ’s and is about on par with JFK’s. Likely because they were both president for a short time.

After my late start I scrapped the rest of the day’s plans because I still had another three hours to drive to Dallas, where I am now.

Day 2 will likely be another short one because all the museums either open late or don’t open at all on Sundays.