On our way to visit the two Bush Presidential Libraries, we spent a day in Chappell Hill, Texas for the Bluebonnet Festival. The Chappell Hill event was declared the “Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas” by the Texas Legislature and was voted #7 as “Most Popular Festival in Texas” by Texas Highways magazine.
We always enjoy community festivals, and this one did not disappoint.
Texas designated the bluebonnet as the official state flower in 1901. Bluebonnet flowers were named for the blue color and sunbonnet-shaped petals (though not all bluebonnets are blue).
George Bush Presidential Library & Museum (41)
Located on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum was a great trip down memory lane for us. His term was filled with significant events for us – we dated, got married and had our son all during 41’s term.
George W Bush Presidential Library & Museum (43)
Located in Dallas on the campus of Southern Methodist University, the George W Bush Museum is the only presidential library where visitors have to pay for parking. Really? Also, notably missing from the entrance of the building was the American flag. It was located in the corner of the complex, but not nearly as visible as at other libraries.
The museum does a nice job of walking visitors through the history of W’s term in office, and the best part is the section dedicated to 9/11 and the aftermath.
There are exhibits about life in the White House, complete with White House China, Laura’s dresses, and more. There are even statues of the Bush’s dogs.
We really enjoyed both museums.
Special Exhibit: Portraits of Courage
Every Presidential Museum has a special exhibit. Many we visited had displays focusing on our military or World War II (Clinton’s had a dinosaur exhibit. Go figure.).
At the George W Bush museum, the special exhibit was a collection of portraits the former President has painted.
Called “Portraits of Courage,” the exhibit is made up of sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of members of the military who have served our Nation with honor since 9/11—and whom he has come to know personally.
It was a wonderful exhibit. A book of the same name, containing prints of his work is being sold. Each painting in the hardcover book is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by President Bush. Proceeds are being donated to the George W. Bush Presidential Center and its Military Service Initiative.