President Barack Obama and his family have arrived back in Washington D.C. after their annual two-week Christmas vacation in the islands.
The First Family landed at Joint Base Andrews at 11:42 a.m. (6:42 a.m. in Hawaii).
The president’s Hawaiian holiday included his usual vacation routine of golfing with friends, family hiking and beach excursions, and several dinners at some of Hawaii’s top restaurants.
The final day of the Obamas’ Christmas vacation was also one of their busiest.
The president started the day with a two-hour visit to the beach at Bellows Air Force Station with first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and undisclosed friends.
After a brief respite back at the first family’s vacation rental in Kailua, the Obamas traveled to Manoa to spend time with the president’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng.
Soetoro-Ng and her daughters joined the Obamas on visits to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, where the president’s grandfather Stanley Dunham is buried; and to the East-West Center, with which Obama’s and Soetoro-Ng’s mother, anthropologist S. Ann Dunham, was long affiliated.
The family next visited the Honolulu Zoo.
While younger daughter Sasha stayed close to her cousins, Obama walked hand-in-hand with older daughter Malia.
Upon spotting the group of pool reporters trailing him on his Hawaii holiday, he quipped: “Hey, guys, sorry we’ve got to go home.”
When the family stopped to look at the lemur exhibit, Obama picked up a young girl who was part of the group so she could have a better view. The president and his family lingered for a few minutes before heading toward the howler monkeys.
The Obamas returned to Kailua shortly after 6:05 p.m.
At 7:24 p.m., the motorcade left for Buzz’s Steakhouse, where the family dined with friends. A small group of onlookers had apparently predicted this last stop and was awaiting the motorcade’s arrival, hoping to glimpse the president.
After dinner, the first family left for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the flight back to Washington.
The Obamas arrived at the base about 2o minutes past their scheduled departure time of 10 p.m. and spent several minutes greeting onlookers and members of the military. Before boarding Air Force One, the president and the first lady were greeted by Gov. David Ige, his wife Dawn Amano-Ige, and U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris.