The nation’s first family arrived at the ever-popular Martha’s Vineyard area on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod last Sunday, August 22, as President Obama began his first vacation since taking office in January.
Swimming, golfing, bike-riding, and shopping are amongst some of the week’s activities planned. The family, including daughters Sasha and Malia and first dog, Bo, are staying at a $35,000 a week private estate, sitting on a serene and secluded 28-acre piece of land in Chilmark. The Obamas are footing the bill for the rental property, while the standard security detail and White House staff are being provided through taxpayer dollars.
The trip, unfortunately, has been somewhat marred by unforeseen issues that have arisen. Just before landing, a tropical storm warning was lifted from the area, as remnants of Hurricane Bill delayed the family’s departure from Andrews Air Base by a few hours. Then, with the death of 77 year-old Senator Ted Kennedy mid-week, President Obama left the Vineyard before the conclusion of the scheduled 10 day getaway. The approach of Tropical Storm Danny forced the president and first lady Michelle to fly from Martha’s Vineyard the short distance to Logan Airport a day in advance of the funeral Mass being held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in the Mission Hill area of Boston. Besides the President, those in attendance included Bill and Hillary Clinton, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, amongst the numerous other family members and political figures. Acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma and tenor Placido Domingo performed in tribute.
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