Obama’s “winter White House”
President Barack Obama’s “winter White House” has a few perks that even the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue can’t claim. Purple taro chips, for one. A breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean, for another.
The Obama family is renting a $4,000-a-night Hawaiian home in Kailua, on the windward side of the island of Oahu. Centered on a lagoon-like pool, it’s got plenty of open space and privacy for Malia and Sasha. ABC’s Good Morning America offered a video tour of the place, which is on the market for $8.9 million.
Kailua beach is one of the most gorgeous in the Hawaiian Islands, though less reliably sunny than Waikiki. It’s also familiar to the first family: they stayed here last year after the 2008 elections. They also are renting two neighboring houses for family and friends.
About those taro chips: they come as an extra benefit for the president, who reportedly likes them, along with sweet potato chips. There is also an imported evergreen tree — most Christmas trees get to the islands by boat, since they don’t really flourish in the Hawaiian climate.
The Obamas will be getting to their Hawaiian hideaway a bit later than expected, since the president has said he will stay in Washington until the Senate finishes its work on healthcare reform legislation. That’s expected to take place with a vote on the bill on the morning of Christmas Eve. Then everyone will head for the exits (and the airports) in the middle of the holiday rush.
There won’t be any waiting lines for the Obamas of course — just a quick trip to Andrews Air Force Base and then a flight on Air Force One.
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Photo credit: REUTERS/Hugh Gentry (A woman kayaks past a stand-up paddle surfer along the canal near the compound where Barack Obama stayed last year, December 27, 2008)