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President goes golfing after a morning hike and workout

By Star-Advertiser staff and the Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 8:43 p.m. HST, Dec 26, 2011

President Barack Obama had a busy day of vacation with a workout and short hike with his family, followed by a golf outing with friends in the afternoon.

This morning, the president and his family took advantage of a warm and sunny day after Christmas to take a short hike near their rented vacation home in Hawaii. 

The Obamas spent about an hour hiking the Lanikai Pillboxes, which takes visitors to old military pillboxes, or bunkers. The picturesque hike on Kaiwa Ridge Trail offers views of Kailua Beach, where the Obamas are staying at a multimillion-dollar rental.
Vicky Crowder, 37, a Kaneohe resident, said she and her dog Kai were heading downhill on the trail when they encountered members of Obama's security detail, then saw the president hiking uphill.

"He said, 'Good morning,' and asked what my dog's name was and greeted me happy holidays," said Crowder, a nurse practitioner at the Queen's Medical Center.

"After I got back my brother asked if I got a photo of myself and the president. I said, 'No, I opted to look into the eye of the most powerful man in the U.S., I shook his hand and said Merry Christmas.' I thought that was more than enough."

Crowder did, however, snap a photo of Obama petting Kai, a 2-year-old mixed breed female adopted from the Kauai Humane Society.

The White House says the president, his wife and daughters were joined on the hike by a few friends.

After returning to their Kailua vacation home at about 11:15 a.m., the presidential motorcade returned to golf course at the Marine base at Kaneohe where the president and friends hit the links at about 11:45 a.m. under sunny skies.

Obama golfed with longtime Hawaii friends Mike Ramos, Greg Orme and Bobby Titcomb, the Whte House said.

The president golfed for about five and a half hours and the motorcade returned to the vacation home at about 5:25 p.m.

Earlier Monday, the president hit the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The motorcade went past a couple of protesters. One held a sign reading "A Good Life; Support People, not Corporate Greed." Another sign said "Stop Israel's Illegal Siege Killing Women, Children and Peace Activists. Malnutrition; Silent Genocide. Free Palestine."

Obama arrived in Hawaii Friday evening after delaying his vacation due to the congressional stalemate over extending payroll tax cuts. The president is expected to return to Washington shortly after New Year’s Day.


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