George W. Bush and Laura Bush. (A.E. Landes Photography)

George and Laura Bush brought their traveling act to Wolf Trap on Friday night — and you know what? They were kind of adorable.

The former first lady was guest of honor at a black-tie fundraiser celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and her husband made a surprise appearance to introduce her. But first, a few one-liners.

“People say all the time to me, ‘Do you miss Washington?'” the former president deadpanned. “Nah. I miss being pampered. It’s kind of a pain to have to stop at some stoplights today coming from Dulles.”

And he urged everyone to get a copy of “Our Great Big Backyard,” a children’s book about the park system written by his wife and daughter Jenna.

“Buy it,” he told the crowd. “I’m on a pension.”

Laura Bush took a more serious tone about her beloved parks, which she called “America’s best idea.” “For the past 30 years, I’ve hiked in a national park with my childhood friends every summer,” she said. This year, the group will hike the Appalachian Trail and then go “glamping at the Biltmore.”

Among the 800 guests at the party: Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Wolf Trap Chair Dan D’Aniello, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, and the ambassadors of Britain, Ireland and Spain. The gala raised a record $1.5 million for the Wolf Trap Foundation’s programs.


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Wolf Trap’s president and chief executive, Arvind Manocha. (Daniel Schwartz)

Laura and George W. Bush meet mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. (Daniel Schwartz)

The Wolf Trap Ball honored the centennial of the National Park Service. (Daniel Schwartz)

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, center, surrounded by, from left, ball co-chairs Tim and Ann Keating and Kim and Fred Humphries. (Daniel Schwartz)