Obama's Final Hawaiian Vacation as President
Follow the highlights of the first family's Hawaiian vacation.
— -- Last Day on the IslandsSunday, January 1
President Obama is wrapping up his 16-day winter vacation with dinner at Buzz's in Lanikai with the first family and friends. He also made some stops at a few of his regular goodbye locations earlier in the day.
He started at the University of Hawaii Manoa.
According to the White House, his daughters and sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, joined him at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, where he met with the incoming East-West Center president, Richard R. Vuylsteke. The East-West Center was a finalist for his presidential library.
He then visited the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where his grandfather Stanley Dunham is buried. The president often visits the cemetery before leaving.
He spent the afternoon with his family and friends at Bellows Beach for a perfect Hawaiian, sunny afternoon.
He is scheduled to depart Hawaii at 10 p.m. HT, or 3 a.m. ET.
Saturday, Dec. 31
President Obama spent the final hours of 2016 golfing at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course at the Kaneohe Marine with golfing buddies Darrell Harrington, Mike Ramos, and Bobby Titcomb.
Around 3 p.m., he returned to his Kailua vacation rental, where he rang in the new year.
As the motorcade entered the neighborhood where he's been vacationing, some people held up a sign saying "Thank you President and Mrs. Obama."
But the day was not all R&R.
Following the deadly nightclub attack in Turkey, principal deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said in a statement, "This afternoon the President was briefed by his National Security Team on the attack in Istanbul. The President expressed condolences for the innocent lives lost, directed his team to offer appropriate assistance to the Turkish authorities, as necessary, and keep him updated as warranted."
A Late Start and a Luau
Friday, Dec. 30
After a late night dinner Thursday night, President Obama skipped his usual gym routine and opted for a late start to the last Friday of the year. The Obamas attended a luau on Oahu's North Shore at the home of the president's childhood friend Bobby Titcomb, spending more than six hours at the gathering. The first family has attended Titcomb's annual luaus in the past.
Obama Hits Russia, the Gym and the Beach
Thursday, Dec. 29
Aside from imposing various sanctions against Russia for its alleged cyberassault on Democratic political organizations during the 2016 presidential campaign, President Obama today hit the gym, the beach and a trendy Honolulu restaurant.
He kicked off the day with a workout at the Semper Fit gym on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, arriving around 8 a.m. In the afternoon, the entire Obama clan a group of friend headed to the beach at Bellows Air Force Station in the Oahu town of Waimanalo.
Toward the end of the day, the Obamas spent downtime at their vacation rental, before the president and the first lady had dinner with friends at Honolulu hotspot Mahina & Sun's.
Family Night Out
Wednesday, Dec. 28
After President Obama started his day with his ritual gym time, he spent the afternoon on the links at Kapolei golf club, joined by Hawaii regulars Mike Ramos, Bobby Titcomb and Greg Orme.
This evening was reserved for some family time. According to the White House, the first family and their friends toured Shangri La, a center for Islamic art and cultures built by heiress Doris Duke. The Honolulu home is a "center for Islamic arts and cultures offering guided tours, residencies for scholars and artists, and programs for the purpose of improving understanding of the Islamic world," according to its website.
The family capped the evening with a dinner at famed sushi restaurant Nobu near the Ala Moana mall area. According to the pool traveling with him, at least a hundred people stood across the street from the restaurant cheering and taking photos and videos as he exited.
Earlier today, the White House confirmed Obama called trump from Hawaii and that the call was "positive and focused on continuing a smooth and effective transition."
Pearl Harbor Reconciliation
Tuesday, Dec. 27
President Obama was joined by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe honoring the lives lost at Pearl Harbor. The two leaders met this morning for a bilateral meeting, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the USS Arizona and remarks.
The two leaders praised peace over war, offered condolences for the lives lost, and remembrance for their sacrifice.
"It is here that we remember that even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward," Obama said.
Following the historic meeting, Obama headed to Hanauma Bay, where he met up with the first family and friends for snorkeling.
Golf and Fine Dining
Monday, Dec. 26
After more than five hours at the Mid-Pacific Country Club in Kailua, President Obama and his golf partners wrapped up their round.
His usual group joined him for the foursome: Bobby Titcomb, Mike Ramos, and Greg Orme.
This is the second time this trip that Potus has golfed here.
This evening, Obama along with the first lady and some friends dined at a Honolulu favorite: Alan Wong's.
Sunday, Dec. 25
The President and his family stayed in this Christmas morning. According to the White House they opened Christmas gifts and played games.
This afternoon, the President and the First Lady went to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii - Kaneohe Bay to visit with service members and their families and thank them for their service to the country. Obama reiterated his thanks to the troops saying their sacrifice can never be fully repaid. He thanked the families who serve alongside them and joked he plans on continuing his use of the gym & golf course as ex-president.
He tweeted out a holiday greeting earlier this morning.
Obama selecting a photo from a state dinner.
While the First Lady went with a throw-back photo.
Obama also made calls last night to troops stationed overseas.
According to Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz: "Last night, the President made telephone calls to US service members from each branch of the military who are currently stationed around the globe. The President expressed his gratitude on behalf of all Americans for the service and sacrifice of our troops and their families."
Shaved Ice and 'Live-Action Escape:' Obama's Dad-Daughter Day Out
Saturday, Dec. 24
After President Obama enjoyed a roughly two-hour lunch with daughters Sasha and Malia Friday at Waikiki's Side Street Inn, the trio, along with the daughters' friends, headed to Breakout Waikiki, which bills itself as "Hawaii's first live-action escape room."
The venue allots guests roughly 60-minutes to escape from a room using codes and "your gut" by solving riddles.
The President and his daughters spent an hour-and-a-half inside the room, so whether they made it out, is unclear.
Afterwards, the group visited the president's favorite shaved ice spot, Kailua's Island Snow. According to the travel pool, Malia passed on partaking in the frozen dessert, but Sasha opted for a blue shaved ice treat.
The president exited Island Snow with a large-sized shaved ice treat. He was sporting a white polo, khakis, flip flops, and wearing sunglasses, while he chatted with bystanders and small children before making his way down the ropeline, making eye contact with a toddler and proceeding to pick up the child, prompting an audible "awww" reaction from the crowd.
The first lady was noticeably absent, but spent time answering phone calls received by the Santa NORAD tracking center. She spoke with children interested in knowing Santa's whereabouts, and listening to what they want for Christmas.
Friday, Dec. 23
After a little more than 4-hours, Obama wrapped another round of Golf this afternoon. Returning to play at Marine Corps Base Hawaii (Kaneohe). Playing with him are regulars Darrell Harrington, Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme. And in his weekday habit made his way to the gym this morning before hitting the links.
Back to the Beach
Thursday, Dec. 22
For the second time this trip, President Obama and the first family spent the afternoon at the beach with a group of friends. This time the Obamas visited the beach at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where the president started his day in the morning with his ritual workout.
After almost two hours under mostly cloudy skies, according to the press pool, they headed back to their vacation rental where they remained for the night.
Golfing on the West Side of Oahu
Wednesday, Dec. 21
On another beautiful Hawaiian day, President Obama continued his familiar pattern of an early morning workout at the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii followed by a golf outing. Today’s course: Kapolei Golf Club. He was joined by regular golf partners Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme and Darrell Harrington.
The round lasted under five hours and the press who travel with Obama’s motorcade were invited to the 18th green to witness the commander in chief finish out his round. They reported that Obama stepped up on the green and sunk “a rather short putt” and tipped his cap in the direction of the press after making the putt. “Fellow players then approached POTUS to clasp hands and bro hug in triumph,” one of the pool reporters noted.
Family Fun at the Beach
Tuesday, Dec. 20
The Obama family went to Bellows Air Force station to visit the beach with friends. It is a favorite beach spot for the first family; last year, the first family visited the beach three times, and in 2014 made it there five times.
The visit came after Obama announced in a statement earlier in the day what he characterized as a permanent ban on drilling in parts of the Arctic and Atlantic.
Another Day of Golf
Monday, Dec. 19
Obama hit the links for the second time golfing today at Mid Pacific (or "Mid Pac") Country Club. He was joined by long time friends Bobby Titcomb and Greg Orme -- regular golf partners for the president when he returns to his home state -- as well as White House aide Joe Paulsen.
This evening, the president and first lady ate out for the first time in Honolulu, visiting the Vintage Cave Cafe in Waikiki.
Obamas Visit Nature Trail
Sunday, Dec. 18
President Obama, along with first lady Michelle Obama joined some friends Sunday for a walking nature trail at Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden.
Located in Kaneohe, Oahu, the 400-acre nature garden is part of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. The name Ho'omaluhia means "a peaceful refuge."
According to the press pool traveling with the president, a steady rain persisted during their roughly one hour at Ho'omaluhia.
Keeping With His Golfing tradition
Saturday, Dec. 17
President Obama is hitting the links for his first full day on vacation. The first round is being played on the Marine Corps Base course: Kaneohe Klipper Golf Club.
According to the website it is "one of the world's best military golf courses, consistently voted Number One by DoD patrons" and described as a "golfers' paradise where the Ko'oalu Mountains frame the front nine and the Pacific coastline spans the back nine."
Along for the game are White House staffers Joe Paulsen, Luke Rosa and Michael Brush, as well as longtime Obama friend Bobby Titcomb.
Obama started his 2014 and 2015 vacations in Hawaii playing this same course, with the same group of regulars.
Off to Hawaii for Final Family Vacation as First Family
Friday, Dec. 16
President Barack Obama is heading back to his home state of Hawaii for his final vacation as president.
Taking off Friday evening, the first family returns to the island Obama grew up on, Oahu, for 17 days, staying near the beach town of Kailua.
The final vacation will be historic in another way -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor following a summit meeting with Obama in Hawaii, becoming the first Japanese leader to go to the site of the Japanese attack that propelled the United States into World War II.
The announcement came after the 75th anniversary of the attack and six months after Obama visited Hiroshima, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the U.S. atomic bombing.
Obama visited the island earlier this year as to designate Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument off the Hawaiian coast, creating the world's largest marine protected area.
"This is an area twice the size of Texas that’s going to be protected, and it allows us to save and study the fragile ecosystem threatened by climate change," Obama said following the designation at a Conference of Leaders and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, in September.
This post will be regularly updated throughout the Obama's final vacation as first family.
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