The first family descended on Martha’s Vineyard yesterday for an eight day vacation. The president, first lady and first dog, Bo, will be joined by daughters, Malia and Sasha later on this week.
Air Force One landed in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The president and the first lady then flew by helicopter to Edgartown. Local residents lined the streets as the presidential motorcade made its way to Chilmark and the six bedroom home that the Obamas are renting.
The president will not be making any public appearances during his vacation but local residents will see the presidential motorcade as it drives him around town. President Obama will receive regular briefings on security and domestic issues from National Security Adviser, Susan Rice and Deputy Chief of Staff, Rob Nabors.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney remarked on the president’s vacation plans, “I know he’s looking forward very much to some down time with his family. I’m sure he’ll see some friends.” The president has spent previous vacations on Martha’s Vineyard, both before and after he was elected to the White House. He did not visit Martha’s Vineyard last year during the re-election campaign.
Among the Obamas’ neighbors in exclusive and affluent Chilmark are actors, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, singer Carly Simon and prominent Washingtonian, Vernon Jordan. The president and his family are staying in a new rental after their old vacation rental, Blue Heron Farm, was sold. “We’ve had the president come to our town three times and it’s been very cordial and there’s been very little disruption and we love to have him,” said Chilmark Selectman Warren Doty, according to a report on the website of the Vineyard Gazette. Doty did, however, express some concern over the fact the secret service has closed some roads. The president’s new vacation home is located closer to public roads the secret service has had to ban vehicular traffic on roads near the estate. Doty remarked that the president’s latest visit to the island will be, “very disruptive.”
The first family will be vacationing at a 7.6 million dollar estate owned by David Shulte, a Chicago corporate recruiter and friend of the president. The home is 5,000 square feet and it overlooks Chilmark Pond and the Atlantic Ocean.
The estate boasts a main house with four bedrooms and a guest house with two additional bedrooms. The master suite has a den, porch, outdoor showers, his and her bathrooms and access to a gym. The estate also boasts a basketball court.
The Obamas will be spending eight to ten days on Martha’s Vineyard before they return to Washington.
By Karen Walcott