Well, the rain stopped at some point and now the sun was shining and the temperature was a humid 78 degrees at 7am. It is so nice to wake up to sunshine even if its hotter than I like (I sure sound like a repetitive whiner…sorry!) We pulled out to head to Dallas just after 9am. The parking and driving in a city is always stressful, Scott does a great job handling it! One parking lot proved too small and he basically had to back up the way he came in. I have no idea how we does it. We actually figured out that since we purchased this house on wheels he has put down over 27, 000 miles behind the wheel! I have driven, well zero. Really none at all…not even a pull it forward or back it up or even a “could you hold the wheel for a second”… Scott is officially the Road Warrior in our home 🙂 I am the snack getter.
The downtown area proved to have NO RV parking anywhere. We drove around until we found one lot with two spaces that would work and allow us to get out if people parked around us (this is also a big consideration since when we turn our back swings out pretty far) The pay meter said one space for $5 or oversized for $50…yikes! I was going to pay for the two spaces at $5 each…what is with this oversized thing? We are at the end and we do hang over the line…ohhh, what to do. I went with the two at $5. We shut the whole thing up and attempted to trap Gizmo in the back portion. We didn’t want him sneaking up front and sitting in the drivers seat (his favorite place). It was warm out but with all the blinds down it does stay okay in there. No judging us, we are checking him each hour to be sure all is good. We headed to The Sixth Floor Museum to get a history lesson about JFK and his time as President as well as his assassination while in Dallas and his legacy after his death. The tour was set up as an audio tour so we each had a headset along with the controller that you used to move from exhibit to exhibit. Really well done museum. No photos allowed so I have nothing to show you. All three of the kids enjoyed it. The events of the day of his assassination were all layed out for you. The reason this museum was on the sixth floor of this particular building was because this is the building that the sniper shot from. The window was in the corner and they had it all recreated as how it was found. There was a box set up as a rifle perch, the window partially opened and a half eaten sack lunch on the floor. What a horrible day. They showed footage of the assassination and a recreation of the path of the car and where all three shots would have occurred. You could see where everything happened right out of the windows. Really surreal and so heartbreaking. I can’t imagine how that day must have been for his family and the American public.
The whole tour took about two hours but was well worth it. We did hustle out to check on the dog. He was totally fine and the RV was still about the same temperature as when we left. The big deal was that the RV was still there when we returned. PHEW! So glad. We made lunch in the RV and then headed to find the transit station that was near the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. On the way to the transit station the thunder clapped and the heavens opened.
The rain was coming down so hard it was reminiscent of the many times on the east coast where we had to pull off the road and wait before we continued on. The streets quickly became rivers and cars were creating huge sprays of water as they drove through the intersections. We passed the transit station because the turn in looked tight and frankly it was really hard to see anything. Just a couple of blocks up and there was a big Kroger store, Scott pulled in there and we sat and waited. I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of leaving our RV here in the parking lot and walking to the train station but it looked like that was the plan. At least the downpour of rain also brings a decrease in temperature. We left the RV and Gizmo all locked in and vents open and fans on. The transit station wasn’t too far away and once we figured out where to go and how we waited about 10 minutes and caught the free bus to the library.
The library and museum was a really cool experience! They had things for everyone to be involved and interested. it isn’t really what we think of a library to be, its actually an archive preserving the written record and physical history of the president. It is full of exhibits and programs that serve the community.
After our tickets were purchased we walked into the Freedom Plaza which has an amazing LED screen that wraps around the top of the entire room. Different scenes or landscapes play on this massive screen….it looked like the pictures were actually popping out from the walls. We then went into the museum exhibit gallery. We started by watching a video about President Bush and his guiding principles that are important to him and that formed the basis for his major decisions during his years in the White House. These were: Opportunity (Every child can learn, free enterprise is the engine of prosperity, you can spend your money better than the Government can). Freedom (Freedom is universal, free people will set the course of history, the best hope for peace is the expansion of freedom). Responsibility (to whom much is given, much is required. Results matter, serve a purpose larger than yourself). and Compassion (we have a moral obligation to relieve suffering, fighting disease abroad makes us safer at home, life is precious). Such a well done video, we loved it. Moving onto the displays and exhibits that showed family pictures, and memorabilia. then we wrapped around into the area that focused on creating opportunity and about the programs that were introduced during his presidency. The No Child Left Behind, the focus on reading and math, there were numerous programs that were faith based and had personal testimonies that you could watch. The girls spent a long time watching these and learning how many had overcome some very difficult situations in their lives. I loved watching them learn and be truly interested in what they were hearing.
There was a whole reading area set up that kids could sit and read for a bit so when they did that Scott and I went into the area that focused on the events of September 11th. It was such a moving exhibit. You watched video clips on monitors that went around in a circle and in the middle of the circle stood two giant pieces of twisted metal beams from the twin towers. It was so emotional. What a horrible day in history. Then we moved through the section on defending freedom, they had a whole set up of the Oval Office that made it feel like you were right there in it. They had a section devoted to life in the White House which was fun to see. Then on to acting with compassion and the work that they did with AIDS in Africa. They had a really neat theater that was called “Decision Points” and it was so cool. It was interactive and you would sit at your “desk” with a monitor and you had to pick one of the decisions that President Bush had to make in office. Majority ruled so it depended on how many desks in the theater were filled. Then you were presented the problem and you could listen to advisers you were able to select. You would hear both sides and then agree or disagree. There were breaking news stories that would interrupt you, there was a clock ticking away, then you would have to decide what to do about the crisis. The majority rule came into effect again and it would tell you what the theater chose and then what President Bush chose. Then President Bush would explain his decision to you. It was so cool! Ben loved it and we could have stayed for so much longer. At this point we had been there for over two hours and there was still another video and whole other temporary exhibit that we wanted to see on the Path to the Presidency and the whole election process.
The final video in the exhibit was really well done and urged us to serve our fellow man. To show compassion to our neighbors near and far. All of us really, really loved the museum. The temporary exhibit was also so well done. Posing for political posters, choosing a card to see who you were (i.e.: wealthy man in 1800’s) and when you could vote. A rug that ran the length of the room with everyone that ran in the elections and which one won.
A podium with a teleprompter that allowed you to “deliver a speech” to the screaming crowds on the screen ahead of you. Voting booths for you to write what make a good president and on and on. Really well done. I would definitely recommend that people come here if they find themselves in Dallas, Texas.
Scott and I were discussing how we had forgotten all the terrible things that had happened during President Bush’s time in office. The awful day of 9/11 and the hard decisions that followed, the economic market tanking, hurricane Katrina and Saddam Hussein/ Iraq. I know that I left the museum with a greater understanding of who President Bush is and with a greater appreciation for what he did as President.
The whole deal took us nearly three hours and we rushed it…if you go allow four and don’t worry, it will go fast 🙂 The bus picked us up within 5 minutes and we were back with Gizmo by 4pm. He was fine our RV was still there and we grabbed some groceries at Kroger and hit the road. Off to Oklahoma tonight.
Terrible traffic due to MAJOR highway renovations going on. The average speed was 35 mph. We found our RV park at 7:30pm and got to the pool just in time for our kids to be the only ones there.
They played in the coolish water for over an hour, I did a load of laundry and then we went back to the RV. We rented Zootopia and the kids really wanted to watch it. By the time the movie was done we all got into bed near 11pm. We are headed to Oklahoma City tomorrow to see the memorial and the place that stole our Sonics away 🙂 Hoping that parking is way less stressful…we will see. Only supposed to be 91 degrees so that is better than the 98 we have been getting. See…more optimism on my part, can’t say I’m not trying 🙂