Washington, Feb.8 (ANI): President Barack Obama took his family to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland for the first time on Saturday afternoon.
Strolling out of the White House residence onto the South Lawn at 3:49 p.m. local time, Obama who was accompanied by his wife Michelle, and their two daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, seemed to enjoy the moment.
"It's a beautiful day," he said, his voice barely audible above the whine of the idling Marine One engines.
Michelle's mom, Marian Robinson, and an unidentified young friend of Sasha's joined the Obama's.
According to the Washington Times, the entire crew was dressed casually. Michelle wore an open jacket over a blue jump suit. The girls wore jeans and light jackets. The president was dressed most formally, with a dark light coat over a sweater and open collared shirt, and dark slacks.
Malia walked out at the rear of the Obama family and appeared bashful. Her father, after making his brief remarks striding by the cameras, noticed her walking with her head down and put his arm around her as they walked the 50 or so feet to the helicopter.
It was the first flight on the presidential helicopter for Michelle Obama and the two young girls.
And it's the first time for the Obama family at Camp David, a presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains near the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt first used the retreat, and President Eisenhower named it Camp David in honor of his grandson.
The retreat compound is in a heavily wooded and secluded area and is guarded year-round by a special Marine unit, affording the family the freedom to wander the grounds. There are several houses, as well as room to hike, one regulation size golf hole, a swimming pool, and other amenities. President Reagan rode horses on the grounds.
Some presidents have spent lots of time at Camp David -- President Bush was a big fan -- while others have spent less time there.
As Obama approached the Marine standing at the bottom of the stairs onto the helicopter, with whom he shook hands on Thursday in a break of protocol, Obama saluted.
He boarded the steps last, turned and waved to the cameras, smiling as if he thought there were a bit of humor in all of the formality. But it's an iconic image, the commander-in-chief at the top of the steps, whether it be to Marine One or Air Force One.
Meanwhile in his weekly video and radio address on Saturday morning, Obama issued a dire warning about what would happen if Congress doesn't pass his stimulus bill.
He said the nation was headed for a "national catastrophe" if Congress does not move quickly to pass and implement his 827 billion dollar economic rescue plan. (ANI)