CRAWFORD, Texas – President Bush jogged, fished, ate and drove around his ranch Thursday — spending an active Thanksgiving Day with more than a dozen relatives and pets in tow.
The president started the day with a 3-mile run — no doubt in anticipation of the hearty meal ahead, said spokesman Gordon Johndroe. Later, Bush joined family members for a walk around the property, went fishing with his father, the former president, and went on a drive with his mother and wife.
Joining the president, first lady Laura Bush, and his parents in the holiday festivities were twin daughters Barbara and Jenna, Bush's brothers Marvin and Neil, Marvin's wife Margaret, and an assortment of presidential nephews.
They spilled over from Bush's custom-built main house into other quarters on the 1,600-acre property, including a two-bedroom guest house, the Governors House — where Bush lived while the main house was being built — and an exercise hut outfitted with a couple of beds.
Joining the crowd were presidential pooches Barney and Spot, plus Willie the cat.
Their Thanksgiving feast resembled the traditional fare many Americans enjoyed — but with a few twists.
The bird was brined, or soaked in salt, sugar and water, to make it tender, ahead of roasting, and the green beans were being served with anchovies and red peppers.
Rounding out the menu were cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, fresh cranberry sauce, giblet gravy, fruit salad, crescent rolls, and pumpkin and pecan pies.
Bush began his holiday with the grim news relayed in his daily intelligence briefing: suicide bombers in Kenya had killed 12 people at an Israeli-owned hotel and two missiles narrowly missed an airliner carrying home Israeli tourists.
The president discussed the attacks with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice by telephone — talking with her several more times throughout the day — and later issued a written statement condemning the violence as terrorist acts.
Bush planned to remain out of public view through the weekend, logging time with his family while tending to some official White House business and a few yard projects around the ranch, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
The president returns to Washington on Sunday.