Jesus H. Christ, what kind of nonsense is this? A rare vacation? Shoot, this guy’s been on auto-pilot since he arrived in Washington, enjoying months of vacation every year, including his annual couple of weeks in Hawaii. A rare vacation? Really?
A Creature of Habit
Mr. Obama’s vacation schedule was nothing if not routine.
He went to the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii for a sunrise workout. He played golf nine out of 15 days. And he and the first lady, Michelle Obama, stepped out for dinner at a few of their favorite restaurants: Alan Wong’s, Morimoto Waikiki (twice!) and Nobu Waikiki.
Island Snow, the president’s favorite spot for shave ice — the island’s syrupy, brightly colored and refreshingly sweet version of the snow cone — even had a message board in its back room reminding its employees to “wear Island Snow T-shirts all week long while the president is here!!”
Last week, Mr. Obama finally joined his daughters, who had been making solo shave ice runs for most of the trip, at the shop, emerging with a cherry and lemon-lime confection in a paper cone.
The president wished the crowd a “great 2014” and flashed the Hawaiian “shaka” greeting — an extended thumb and little finger often associated with surf culture — before wandering outside to enjoy his treat.
“It’s really a warm feeling every time he comes around,” said Brockton Kodama, the director of operations at the family-owned shop.
The president seemed determined to keep his trip assiduously low key.
The family’s rental home was a 45-minute drive from the tourist-packed shores of Waikiki Beach. Mr. Obama’s public appearances were infrequent. He largely steered clear of the press, and even limited the time he spent mingling with islanders.
When the Obamas went on a snorkeling expedition at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, they chose a day when the reef, normally heavily trafficked, was closed to the public. Similarly, when the president took his daughters to the Honolulu Zoo, they arrived shortly after closing time.
First lady Michelle Obama is remaining in Hawaii while President Obama and their daughters return to Washington, the White House said early Sunday.
The president, Malia and Sasha left Honolulu late Saturday, but Michelle Obama stayed behind.
“As part of her birthday gift from the President, the First Lady will remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of her upcoming 50th birthday,” the White House said, according to a pool report.
The first lady will turn 50 on January 17.
So she gets to stay and then fly back solo at our expense. Lovely.