Obama arrives in Hawaii for Christmas

Dec. 24, 2011 at 1:17 PM
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KAILUA, Hawaii, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Hawaii to join first lady Michelle Obama and their children for their Christmas vacation.

Obama was greeted in Honolulu Friday evening by Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle and Adm. Robert Willard, KITV, Honolulu, reported.

The president's trip was delayed nearly a week because of extended congressional discussion on the payroll tax cut. The bill to extend the tax cut was passed Friday morning in Washington. Obama signed it 5 minutes later and headed to Hawaii for his vacation.

Dozens of people came out to watch the presidential motorcade head to the Obama vacation home on Kailua Beach, KHON-TV, Honolulu, reported.

"It's exciting. It's a lot more than I expected," said Kim Houston, a visitor from Alaska.

"Every year we try to be out here and wave him in and say 'aloha,'" said Kailua resident Peter Quigley.

The Obama family is spending their Christmas in a five-bedroom house on Kailua Beach, CNN reported. The first family has vacationed on Kailua Beach for the past three years.

The house boasts a larger swimming pool and more security than houses the Obama family rented in years past, said local real estate agent David Dunham.

After the Obamas return to Washington, Dunham plans to sell the house with an asking price of $7.9 million.

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