June 17 (UPI) — For the first time since taking office, President Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife and youngest son, visited the traditional presidential weekend retreat Camp David for what aides said the first family hoped would be a restful Father’s Day weekend.
Trump has spent more weekends than not away from the White House, but his two frequent destinations were not the rural Navy-run retreat that many presidents before have used as their Beltway getaway. During the winter and spring, Trump most frequently traveled to Mar-a-Lago, his large private club in south Florida. His trips there were frequent enough White House staff began referring to it as the “Winter White House.”
Since Mar-a-Lago closed for the season, Trump on multiple occasions has visited the golf club he owns in Bedminster, N.J.
Unlike the luxurious accommodations at Trump’s private clubs, Camp David is a considerably more rustic destination, though is is plenty large for the Trumps — it covers 125 acres. The first family were to be joined for the weekend by first lady Melania Trump‘s parents.
According to the unofficial Camp David blog, the retreat, located about 60 miles outside Washington, D.C., features mostly outdoor attractions, including tennis courts, a swimming pool, a bowling alley and a skeet range. Unlike his PGA Tour-caliber golf courses, Camp David features just one hole of golf, though there are multiple tee boxes to alter its distance.
The first family left the White House on Marine One about 11 a.m. Saturday, delayed for an hour due to inclement weather. For a president rarely seen without full business attire, a more casual Trump wore a suit with an open collar shirt and no tie. Melania Trump sported a casual summer dress and their son, Barron, had on a jersey for the Arsenal soccer team.
White House officials said no senior staff would accompany the first family for their overnight stay. They are scheduled to return Sunday afternoon.
Cellphone service at Camp David is notoriously spotty, but questions about whether Trump would find himself without cellphone service at Camp David — and thus unable to access his Twitter account — were easily answered. Starting in 2002, the White House Communications Agency outfitted all buildings at Camp David with broadband Internet access, enabling the president to function with full communication capabilities while staying there.