For the fourth time, President Obama and his family will spend their August vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, much to the annoyance of some of its residents.
Because the 28.5-acre Massachusetts Blue Heron Farm where the first family usually stays was sold in December 2011, the Obamas have found new, smaller (5,000 square feet) vacation digs near one of the town’s main roads, according to the Martha’s Vineyard Times.
The Secret Service informed Martha’s Vineyard residents that, because of this central location, the much-traveled South Road would be closed for the duration of Obama’s stay, from Aug. 10 to Aug. 18.
Secret Service agents will instead direct drivers to an alternative dirt road to avoid getting too close to the president’s vacation home. “It would affect all up-Island businesses a great deal,” selectman Warren Doty told the Vineyard Gazette. “You could get there but in general it’s going to be a hassle. I’ve requested that traffic not be diverted onto Meeting House Way; diverting onto a dirt road is a terrible mistake.”
The Obamas’ 2011 trip to Hawaii also ran into trouble when they were met at their vacation home by war protesters.
The annual August trip was also met by the typical chorus of critics who claimed the president’s travels are too expensive and extravagant. “These lavish personal vacations are symbolic of the total indifference this administration has to the out of control costs of government,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said to the Daily Caller.
But the president of the United States never fully goes on vacation, as Obama learned on his first trip to Martha’s Vineyard in 2009. White House Trip director Marvin Nicholson woke the president on the fourth day of that vacation at 2 a.m. to tell him that Sen. Ted Kennedy had died, according to the Boston Globe.
Nearly eight hours later, “from a small podium set up on the grounds of Blue Heron Farm,” the president read a statement of condolence for the late senator before continuing on to the beach with his family and then staying in for the night.