obama-shake-hands

Barack Obama's Alternate Reality Christmas
You did the tree, right? Ornaments, lights, the unrelenting reindeer romp as Christmas came and evaporated. Not the president of the United States. Can't tell you why I became engrossed in the press corps' breathless updates on Barack Obama's Hawaiian vacation as yule dragged on. Sure, "Boardwalk Empire" was in remission. Anyway. Here's everything the best and brightest holiday journos saw exactly how America's big dog celebrated Christmas — as far as they could see. Remember, presidential historian boys like Michael Beschloss read this stuff, and dole it out in spoonfuls, in books.


Travel Pool Report No. 1
January 5, 2014, Washington, DC

POTUS arrived back at the White House from Hawaii at 10:20 a.m., landing in the South Lawn. He and his two daughters exited the helicopter and walked inside. (The First Lady is still in Hawaii.) It's a chilly day here with some showers. The president has no public events scheduled today. We have a travel/photo lid.
—Sahil Kapur, Talking Points Memo


Travel Pool Report No. 15
January 4, 2014, Joint Base Andrews

Nearly 10 hours after departing Hawaii, President Obama arrived at Joint Base Andrews. Air Force One touched down at 9:55 a.m. under gray skies. Toward the end of the flight, Obama visited the press cabin for an off-the-record chat.

The president, Malia and Sasha emerged from the plane looking more bundled up, as Kailua's 80 degrees and sunshine has been replaced by 36 degrees and icy slush. The president wore a black jacket over his button-down shirt and gray pants. Obama and his daughters quickly boarded Marine One, which lifted off at 10:07 a.m. For the final time, aloha and mahalo!
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 14
January 4, 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii

After more than two low-key weeks on Oahu, President Obama's vacation has come to an end. The president and daughters Malia and Sasha arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at 8:39 p.m.
As noted earlier, First Lady Michelle Obama is remaining in Hawaii for a few extra days to spend time with friends ahead of her birthday. She will be 50 on Jan. 17.

obama-depart

The president, Malia and Sasha spent a couple minutes chatting with folks on the tarmac. Malia and Sasha boarded the plane, and the president, wearing a button-down shirt and gray pants, strode over to greet service members and the small crowd assembled behind a barrier. "Hello, hello, hello!" Obama said to the group. He asked Marvin Nicholson to hand him a Sharpie so he could sign the orange cast of a young man with a broken arm. After a few minutes of hellos and handshakes, Obama bounded up the stairs of Air Force One. At 8:52 p.m. local time, Air Force One is rolling. Destination: DC.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 13
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

The First Lady is staying in Hawaii, according to the following guidance from the White House:
The President and the Obama daughters will leave Honolulu on January 4 and return to Washington early on January 5. As part of her birthday gift from the President, the First Lady will remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of her upcoming 50th birthday.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 12
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

OK Party Rockers, President Obama is on the move for what is likely his final motorcade across Oahu this vacation. He left Buzz's Lanikai, tiki torches lighting his path, at 8:08pm after an hour-and-a-half dinner with his family here in Kailua. Air Force One is scheduled to be Wheels Up from Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam at 9:00pm.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 11
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At 6:23pm, President Obama and his family arrived at Buzz's Lanikai for dinner. The low key spot is right on the canal in Kailua, across the street from Kailua Beach, and the Obamas have made this their last spot before the airport in past years. Locals and tourists often head to Buzz's for beers and cocktails in the early evening. It's a very pretty spot at sunset (which has just passed here) with Tiki torches at the doorway and outriggers canoeing along the canal. The low-lit front porch is decorated with white-light stars hanging from an enormous tree that shades the covered patio. They serve pupus and drinks on the patio and dinner inside. Traditional Hawaiian fare and apps like Ahi sashimi, calamari, spring rolls and wontons. AF1 Departure tonight is 9pm HST for a mid morning arrival in DC.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 10
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At 6:17pm, President Obama is on the move headed South into Kailua. A small crowd of neighbors gathered on Kailuana Place to wave goodbye to the first family on their last day of vacation.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 9
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At 4:00pm, President Obama is back at the house after the short motorcade ride from the base.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 8
January 4, 2014, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

The President finished his golf game and left Marine Corps Base Hawaii at 3:56pm HST. At just over three hours, clocks in as the fastest round of golf of the vacation (by far).
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 7
January 4, 2014, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

The President is golfing on his last day of vacation with Marvin Nicholson and Sam Kass at the course here at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 6
January 4, 2014, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

President Obama arrived at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at 12:41pm for a final game of golf.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 5
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama left the vacation house in Kailua at 12:37pm. Headed to a location TBD.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 4
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At 8:37am, President Obama and Michelle Obama arrived back at the house after their brief hike at Na Pohaku O Hauwahine trail.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 3
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

Na Pohaku o Hauwahine, otherwise known as the “rock formation of the Hawaiian Mo`o goddess and guardian of Kawai Nui Marsh.”

Na Pohaku o Hauwahine, otherwise known as the “rock formation of the Hawaiian Mo`o goddess and guardian of Kawai Nui Marsh.”

At 8:31am, President Obama and Michelle Obama left the Na Pohaku O Hauwahine trail, where they apparently went on a 15 minute hike.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 2
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At 8:16am, President Obama and Michelle Obama arrived at the Na Pohaku O Hauwahine trail off for a hike. The hike is off of Kapaa Quarry Road. Pool is holding on the side of the road near some abandoned mattresses and tires (hike is near the landfill). Graffiti on one of the mattresses says "Nothing Else Matters 2013" in blue cursive.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 1
January 4, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

Protesters call for closure of U.S. military's Asia-Pacific bases.

Protesters call for closure of U.S. military's Asia-Pacific bases.


On his last morning of vacation in Oahu, President Obama left the house with Michelle at 8:07 am and is headed to a location TBD. There were a few demonstrators at the end of the street. One held a sign that said "Focus on Family." Another: "Stop Snooping." There was also a woman holding a sign that said "No war in the Asia Pacific."
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 4
January 3, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At 10:54 p.m. local, President Obama is back at his vacation home, and we have a lid. And, because your pooler fears she will be unable to say this again anytime soon in casual conversation: Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 3
January 3, 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii

At 10:22 p.m. local, President Obama is now headed back to his vacation home in Kailua. Your pooler did not spot him get into his SUV, but the assembled crowd (size: about 60) offered up a brief cheer when he exited the restaurant.
—Ashley Parker, THe New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 2
January 3, 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii

At 7:42 p.m. local, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived at Morimoto Waikiki — a repeat visit! — where they are dining with friends. The pool is holding in the van, for now.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 1
January 3, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

And at 7:11 p.m. local, we have our first signs of action! President Obama is in his motorcade, en route to a TBD location — likely for dinner. Though Obama has not left his vacation home all day, there was a brief fake-out this morning, which seemed to portend a gym workout, but was suddenly aborted, with the pool filing back into the pool house to hold.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 6
January 2, 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii

President Obama's motorcade made its way through the streets of Honolulu, arriving at 5:08 p.m. at the Honolulu Zoo. The president, Malia and Sasha should have the zoo to themselves, as it closes at 4:30 p.m.

A giraffe at the Honolulu Zoo

A giraffe at the Honolulu Zoo

The zoo sits just off the coast, not far from Diamond Head crater and a short walk from bustling Waikiki Beach. The pool is now holding in the van and will not be seeing the zoo or the president.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 5
January 2, 2014, Honolulu, Hawaii

President Obama's motorcade made its way to Honolulu, passing by stunning vistas while occasionally being slowed by congested roads. After a 30-minute drive, Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia arrived at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Puowaina Punchbowl Crater. Obama's grandfather, Stanley Dunham, is interred at the cemetery.

punchbowl

The president was not visible to the pool during a short visit. Four minutes after arriving, Obama and his daughters were back in the motorcade. The next destination is unknown.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 4
January 2, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At 4:14 p.m., President Obama was on the move again. The motorcade departed his Kailua neighborhood under gray skies. The now-familiar protester in a polar bear costume waited nearby and watched the motorcade zip past. We're now traveling west on Interstate H3. Our destination has not been disclosed.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 3
January 2, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

Five hours after arriving at the Marine Corps base, President Obama wrapped up today's golf excursion. The motorcade departed at 2:04 p.m. and by 2:08 p.m., Obama was back at his vacation abode.

No further updates were provided about whether the president and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key ultimately prevailed in today's outing. Light rain fell intermittently this morning and early afternoon, but otherwise, it was a lovely day for a round of golf.

The White House provided background information about the two leaders' shared interest in golf and their desire to cooperate on trade, regional security and other issues. That statement is included below.

The president's neighborhood was quiet when he returned, with no evidence of protesters today. An unattended cardboard sign that said "Thank you for the ACA" sat near the entrance to the neighborhood. The pool is now holding near the president's home, awaiting further details about the day's activities.

Background from a White House Official...

Today, President Obama invited Prime Minister John Key to play a round of golf in Hawaii. The two leaders have long discussed their shared interest in the sport, and they enjoyed the opportunity to spend several hours together on the golf course. President Obama and Prime Minister Key have developed a close partnership, which reflects the friendship and broad cooperation between the United States and New Zealand. While the two leaders are both enjoying some time off with their families and friends, they also reaffirmed our continued work together to deepen our trade relationship, enhance regional security, and support the democratic values that the United States and New Zealand share.

—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 2
January 2, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At 9:56 a.m., the pool was escorted to the second green of the Kaneohe Bay golf course to glimpse President Obama on the course. Today, the president is golfing with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, the prime minister's teen-aged son, Max Key, and White House aide Marvin Nicholson. The New Zealand media has reported that Mr. Key owns a home in Hawaii.

President Obama, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key

President Obama, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key

The foursome pulled up in two golf carts with the president and the prime minister riding together. Obama, in a lavender golf shirt, khaki pants and khaki baseball cap, grabbed two clubs from his bag before striding toward the green. The group joked as they golfed and appeared to be playing a fairly casual round. Obama initially putted from just off the green, announcing that he was opting to putt. When he left his ball well short of the flag, Obama said, "I guess I should have chipped it after all."

The president's second putt rolled close to the hole, and he opted for a gimme shot rather than putting a third time. Nicholson and Max Key appeared to be partners. When Max sank a putt, Obama joked, "He's doing it in front of the cameras, too." Obama told Max it was a good shot and gave him a high five.

obama-key-2
The four continued to banter as they played, with Obama ribbing Nicholson when a putt went astray.

As the pool was led away from the green, Obama was joking with the prime minister about the challenge of beating the younger players in their group. The pool is now holding at the Mokapu Mall food court as the golf continues.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 1
January 2, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama departed his vacation home at 9:03 a.m. On this overcast morning, the motorcade made the short drive to Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, arriving five minutes later. The president was wearing a light-colored golf shirt as his SUV passed by the press pool. As it turns out, golf is first on today's agenda. The president is headed to the course now, and the pool is holding at McDonald's.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal


Travel Pool Report No. 4
January 1, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

At about 4:29 p.m. local, President Obama departed Mid-Pacific Country Club following a 5-hr, 10-min golf outing. The motorcade got caught in some slow beach traffic on the way back, moving at stop-and-go speed as it drove past Kailua Beach Park. But after a bit, the motorcade sped past the traffic back-up by driving in the opposite lane. Obama arrived safely back at his Kailua vacation home at 4:42 p.m. local. The White House called immediately called a lid, making this one of the shortest pool days of the trip. Mahalo and good night!
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 3
January 1, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama has been golfing this afternoon at Mid Pacific Country Club in the Lanikai area of Kailua. "Mid-Pac," as it's known locally, sits on a lush hilltop and features stunning vista views of the Ko'olau Mountains and the Mokulua Islands in the Pacific.

Obama previously golfed here on Dec. 23, when the pool was offered access for a brief photo spray. Mid-Pac is a private course, but portions of it are visible from a public street, which is partly why the White House provides press access at this course.

The press pool, after holding in the club house without view of the golf course, was taken to the public street overlooking the golf course about 4 p.m. local. There were about two dozen onlookers, including a local TV news camera crew and a news still photographer, already in position on the street waiting to catch a glimpse of the golfing president. Also among the onlookers were several young men with no shirts on and some other people holding their dogs on leashes. Many of them held up their smartphones to take pictures. From the public street, which is elevated above the golf course, one has sweeping views of a few fairways and stunning mountain range behind it.

The pool was allowed to watch Obama and his golfing partners at the 18th hole, starting at about 4:15 p.m. local. Obama, wearing a white golf shirt and beige cap and khaki shorts, was seen leaning on a golf cart. Standing at the middle of the fairway, he then used a range finder to see how far away the hole was. The president then swung his club and hit the ball. He made a fairly decent shot from the fairway, landing roughly 22 feet of the hole. The crowd of onlookers cheered.

Obama then got onto the golf cart, which he drove himself. Then he approached his ball (positioned near Sam Kass's), marked it and picked it up and paced back and forth. He tugged at his cap and leaned on his club. He chatted with Kass while eyeing the course and strategizing. The president watched as Marvin Nicholson and Kass both shot and missed.

Then Obama bent down and placed his ball on the marker. He used a putter and narrowly missed the hole by a foot and knocked it in as a gimme. He got it close enough to count as having two-putted.

At that, the victorious president smiled and waved at the crowd and said, "Happy new year."

Someone shouted, "We love you!" And he replied, "I love you back."

At about 4:25 p.m. local, Obama walked to where his motorcade was staged. We now are holding, awaiting imminent departure.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 2
January 1, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama's motorcade slowly made its way out of his Kailua residential neighborhood and wound past Kailua Beach Park, which was packed with sun bathers, bicyclists, surfers and paddle boarders. He arrived at 11:18 a.m. local at the Mid-Pacific Country Club, in the Lanikai community of Kailua on Oahu's lush and picturesque windward coast, for a day of golf. Obama is golfing today with a familiar crew of friends and aides:
• Marty Nesbitt
• Bobby Titcomb
• Sam Kass
• Marvin Nicholson
• Andrew Dibble

Also, flagging this personal tweet Obama sent shortly before leaving his house:

@WhiteHouse I signed the ACA for kids like Marcelas Owens. He lost his mom bc she couldn't afford coverage. Today millions of Americans finally can. -bo

—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 1
January 1, 2014, Kailua, Hawaii

Aloha and happy new year! President Obama got off to a late start today, skipping what has become a routine morning gym workout. On what feels like the warmest and most humid day of his Hawaiian vacation, the president left his private vacation home at 11:08 a.m. local. Pool saw him wearing a white golf shirt and beige baseball cap. He is on the move to a TDB location...
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post


Travel Pool Report No. 11
December 31, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

Two additional notes. At the end of the President’s ‘shave ice’ visit, your pooler and a wire reporter asked the president about the progress of his health care law and the new numbers. Though we were well within earshot, the President did not acknowledge the questions. Also, the White House provided the following details about the President’s evening on background: The President plans to stay at home tonight and ring in the new year with family and friends.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 10
December 31, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

The White House called a lid shortly before 4pm after the President’s visit to Island Snow for shave ice. Happy New Year!
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 9
December 31, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

Shortly before 3:30pm, President Obama emerged from Island Snow in Kailua holding a cherry and lemon-lime shave ice in a paper cone. His daughters had emerged first with about a dozen other friends and family members and headed to several benches outside the shop. Mrs. Obama did not join the group on the shave ice outing.

Obama, leaving Island Snow last, headed in the other direction to greet about three dozen people who were waiting for him in a seating area outside Bob’s Pizzeria.

obama-ice-2

The crowd was behind a railing and a thin red-and-white rope line that was tied between the wall and a bicycle at the end of the seating area. The crowd applauded and cheered as the President approached wearing sunglasses and a navy-and-white striped short-sleeved shirt.

“Oh my goodness,” one woman screamed.
“What’s up buddy,” the President said to the small boys on the far end of the line.
“Mr. President you’re fantastic,” a woman shouted.

“Hey sweetie, how are you,” the President said to another child.
He engaged in a conversation with another man about the cherry flavor, but their exchange was inaudible beyond the word “cherry.”

The President wished many in the crowd “Happy New Year” and at one point said “I hope you guys have a great 2014.” None of the conversations were longer than a few words and it was difficult for the pool to hear any of them.

As a goodbye, the President gave the crowd the ‘shaka’ sign.

He wandered over to the area with the benches where his daughters and their friends were waiting. After a few minutes the motorcade departed and is now back to his vacation home at 3:44pm.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 8
December 31, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 3:17pm, President Obama has arrived at his “shave ice” spot of choice—Island Snow in Kailua.

obama-shave-ice

The pool is holding outside in the parking lot of the small Kailua Beach Shopping Center. The shopping center, which has L-shaped configuration, is a popular gathering spot in Kailua with a pizza place, a realtor’s office and an outdoor rental outfitter known as Kailua Sailboards & Kayaks. Beachgoers in bikinis often pass by Island Snow making the short trek from the outfitter shop to the beach, and there were a number of them today dragging yellow kayaks.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 7
December 31, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 3:11pm, President Obama is on the move from his vacation home in Kailua. Destination TBD.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 6
December 31, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama returned to his vacation home in Kailua at 1:41pm after two hours of snorkeling at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve with his family. No word yet on the First Family’s plans for the rest of the day.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 5
December 31, 2013, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
Honolulu, Hawaii

The Obamas left the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve at 1:04pm after spending about two hours snorkeling at the popular Oahu spot. There were no visuals of the first family during their snorkeling expedition. The pool was held at the Visitors Center, a far distance away from the outdoor viewing spot that overlooks the reef, which is normally is open to the public after they pay the $7.50 admission.

A few more details about Hanauma Bay. The area is now Marine Life Conservation District “designed to preserve and replenish marine resources.” It was once the favored fishing ground of Hawaiian Royalty—as well as islanders, who caught their fish diving, throw-netting and shore casting—but fishing was outlawed in 1967.

obama-reserve

The most common fish that the Obamas might have spotted while snorkeling are parrotfish and Yellow Tang. One of the biggest attractions here at the reef are the Green Sea Turtles, which are most often spotted during early morning visits. The current population of Green Sea Turtles in the area ranges between 40 and 60, according to Hanauma Bay Recreation Specialist Kaipo Perez. He said that the Nature Preserve has tagged and released about 300 Green Sea Turtles over the course of about a decade.

In 1988, the number of annual visitors to Hanauma Bay peaked at 3 million. But now in an effort to limit visitors -- to allow the reef to recover -- there are about 3,000 visitors a day (with the exception of Tuesdays when it is closed). As I mentioned in Pool Report #4, the Obamas had the reef to themselves on Tuesday – as they have in previous years.

obama-motorcade

The Motorcade is now headed back in the direction of Kailua along Kalanianaole Highway. It slowed near the crowded Sandy Beach Park where a few surfers stood on top of their van to wave, and several girls in neon bikinis greeted the President from the shoreline with the “shaka” sign.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 4
December 31, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

At 10:47am, the First Family arrived at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve for a New Year’s Eve Snorkeling expedition. The heavily visited reef is normally closed on Tuesdays, so this has often been the day that the Obamas have visited during their winter vacations here in Oahu. It’s about 10 miles east of Waikiki.

Since 1990, the city and county have been trying to restore the health of the reef – limiting the number of visitors after a time when they allowed some 3 million a year, creating substantial damage to the ecosystem. Hanauma Bay was created by lava flows that began about 40,000 years ago, but the area also has some of the most recent volcanic activity on Oahu. The Bay itself was formed about 32,000 ago by a volcanic vent underwater and is now “a flooded crater,” according to materials at the Visitor Center.

The Obamas will be snorkeling in an area with many varieties of coral—colonies include finger coral, mushroom coral and cauliflower coral. Common creatures spotted within the reef are Yellow Tang, Raccoon Butterflyfish, parrotfish, the oval squid, the divided flatworm and the Christmas Wrasse. There are also Green Sea Turtles, known as “honu,” and the Obamas released four of them into the ocean in 2011 (the turtles were 18 months old by that point had been born and raised in captivity at nearby Sea Life Park).

To get to Hanauma Bay, the motorcade followed the Kalanianaole Highway south to Waimanalo, passing the turnoff for Bellows Air Force Station (where the Obamas went to the beach last week), as well as a small cattle ranch and several neighborhoods of modest ranch-style homes. Colorful laundry hanging on the line dotted many of the backyards, and horses grazed next to several of the homes near the road. Ikaika Hussey of Reuters, who lives here on Oahu, passes along that much of the land comprising the neighborhoods of Waimanalo was set aside for the housing of native Hawaiians.

On the final portion of the trip with the Pacific Ocean on the left side, we passed a small petting zoo where lambs were nuzzling up against the fence beneath a sign that said “Mele Kalikimaka,” the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting in Hawaii. A little farther along, a man was walking a donkey back toward the direction of the petting zoo. The Motorcade also passed the always busy trailhead up to Makapu’u Point, which looks down on spectacular crescent of beach beneath the 1909 Makapu’u Lighthouse. There is also a small beach at Hanauma Bay where tourists often rest between snorkeling trips along the reef.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 3
December 31, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 10:10am, President Obama left his vacation home in Kailua headed to an unknown destination. Michelle Obama, in sunglasses, was seated to his left in the SUV. We have turned on to Kapaa Quarry Road headed toward the southern side of the island. The drive is very much the scenic route, skirting the highways. The Koʻolau Range, which runs 37 miles in parallel along the eastern coast of Oahu and was formed by “volcanic eruptions” according to Encyclopedia Britannica, is rising above the motorcade in the distance with its mountain tops covered in mist.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 2
December 31, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 9:10am, President Obama returned from the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii to his vacation home in Kailua.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 1
December 31, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

Good Morning Party Rockers! Hope you're ready to strut in those sequins and perfecting your pucker for NYE. President Obama's motorcade left his Kailua neighborhood at 7:50am and arrived for his workout at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay at 7:54am. Near the entrance to the base, the motorcade passed two very excited walkers in sunglasses and mosquito-repelling hats who hopped from foot to foot--jazzercise-style--pumping their arms and shaking the shaka sign to greet the President. The pool is holding at the food court at the base.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 1
December 30, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

Good Morning Party Rockers! Hope you're ready to strut in those sequins and perfecting your pucker for NYE. President Obama's motorcade left his Kailua neighborhood at 7:50am and arrived for his workout at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay at 7:54am. Near the entrance to the base, the motorcade passed two very excited walkers in sunglasses and mosquito-repelling hats who hopped from foot to foot--jazzercise-style--pumping their arms and shaking the shaka sign to greet the President. The pool is holding at the food court at the base.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times


Travel Pool Report No. 13
December 30, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

At 8:07 p.m. local, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived at Alan Wong's for dinner. They were joined by a group of other friends and couples. Sasha and Malia stayed at home. Your pool is now holding at a Thai restaurant several blocks away.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 12
December 30, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

At 7:43 p.m. local, President Obama departed his vacation home and is headed to a TBD dinner location.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 11
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 6:05 p.m. local, President Obama arrived back at his vacation home. Your pool is now holding at the pool house. A small flurry of excitement occurred on the ride back, when the pool van — stuck behind a motorcade ambulance struggling to keep up on a hill was separated from the rest of the motorcade. But, at the instructions of the agent, the pool van went around the ambulance and, after a quick bout of high-speed driving, rejoined the motorcade. The ambulance was also able to catch up at the next downhill stretch.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 10
December 30, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

At 5:37 p.m. local, President Obama's motorcade departed the hiking area, and is now headed back to his vacation residence.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 9
December 30, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

At 3:38 p.m. local, President Obama and his family arrived at the Makiki Valley Loop Trail in Honolulu. The First Family is going on a hike, along with some unnamed friends.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 8
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 3:12 p.m. local, President Obama's motorcade departed his vacation home and we are headed somewhere TBD. Some folks in the van — but not your pooler — spotted Obama, wearing headphones and blue shirt.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 7
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 2:50 p.m. local, President Obama arrived back at his vacation house. Pool is holding nearby at the pool house.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 6
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 2:35 p.m. local, President Obama's motorcade left the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club, and is headed back to his vacation home.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 5
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama's golfing partners today are largely the usual cast of characters, with a few additions: Bobby Titcomb, Mike Ramos, Marvin Nicholson, Sam Kass, Marty Nesbitt, Eric Whitaker, Andrew Dibble.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 4
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 9:10 a.m. local, President Obama arrived at the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club. Will send golf partners shortly.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 3
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 8:55 a.m. local, the pool joined President Obama's motorcade as he left his vacation neighborhood. Your pooler spotted Obama in his motorcade. (White shirt, baseball cap, for you sartorialists). We are headed somewhere TBD.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 2
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 7:47 a.m. local, President Obama arrived back at his vacation residence. Pool now holding at the pool house.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 1
December 30, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

The sun was not even close to up, but at approximately 6:50 a.m. local, President Obama arrived at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii for his usual morning workout. The pool is making a quick Starbucks run, and then holding at McDonald's.
—Ashley Parker, The New York Times


Travel Pool Report No. 7
December 29, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a lid. Mahalo and good night.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 6
December 29, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

After playing golf for nearly five hours at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, President Obama began rolling toward his Kailua vacation rental home at 4:55 p.m. local. After a quick and uneventful drive, Obama returned home at roughly 5 p.m.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 5
December 29, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

GolfKKCourse-MapFor those who might be interested, what follows is some background information about the golf course at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where President Obama is playing today and has played previously on his vacation. The course was built on sacred land; some sand dunes are ancient Hawaiian burial sites. Thanks to wire pooler Ikaika Hussey for flagging this bit of history. Here is the website with info and a map of the course layout.

Here is some text copied from the website:

The Mokapu Peninsula, one of the most aesthetic places on Oahu in terms of natural beauty, is steeped in Hawaiian tradition. Its very name, “Mokapu,” means “Sacred Lands.” Ancient Hawaiians buried thousands of their dead in the sand dunes located along Holes 13, 14, and 15. These sand dunes are sacred to Hawaiians and are listed in the national Historic Register of Historic Places. In 1949, as part of the Naval Air Station, the first nine holes were constructed. In 1951, as part of the Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, construction began on a second nine holes and was completed in 1952.

—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 4
December 29, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

President Obama is golfing this afternoon at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. The White House says his golfing partners are Bobby Titcomb, Mike Ramos, Eric Whitaker, Marty Nesbitt and Marvin Nicholson.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 3
December 29, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

President Obama is on the move. He left his Kailua vacation home about 12:03 p.m. local wearing a yellow golf shirt and a baseball cap. He made the quick and uneventful drive onto Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. He is spending the afternoon golfing. Your pool separated from the motorcade at 12:08 p.m. and the pool is holding again at the Mokapu Mall food court. Golfing names to come...
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 2
December 29, 2013, Waialua, Hawaii

Following an 82-minute morning workout, President Obama departed the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at 9:15 a.m. local. The pool glimpsed him smiling in the backseat of his SUV as it drove by and the pool joined the motorcade. The motorcade took a scenic route to Kailua, with sweeping views of Kaneohe Bay and lush green mountains. The president arrived back at his home in Kailua at roughly 9:20 a.m. and the pool is now holding at the pool house.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 1
December 29, 2013, Waialua, Hawaii

Aloha! If it's morning in Hawaii, it's time to hit the gym. President Obama left his vacation home in Kailua at approximately 7:48 a.m. local on this overcast and (relatively) cool Sunday morning. The presidential motorcade whisked Obama through his tranquil Kailua neighborhood, past a few joggers, dog-walkers and phone camera-wielding onlookers, and onto the Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay.

obama-aca

At 7:53 a.m., the motorcade continued on to the gym and the pool peeled off to Starbucks at the always lovely Mokapu Mall. (Pool voted for Starbucks over McDonald's.)
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post


Travel Pool Report No. 7
December 28, 2013, Waialua, Hawaii

President Obama's motorcade made its way along empty highways, returning the First Family to their vacation home in Kailua at 8:33 p.m. We end the day with no visuals to report. We have a lid. Goodnight.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 6
December 28, 2013, Waialua, Hawaii

After spending the afternoon and early evening with friends, President Obama and his family departed Bobby Titcomb's house at 7:33 p.m. No details about the guest list, the menu or the six-and-a-half-hour barbecue were provided. And in the darkness, neither the Titcomb home nor the president was visible. Your pool, which has been holding at an assortment of nearby locations, has rejoined the motorcade, which is now moving back toward Kailua on this rainy evening.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 5
December 28, 2013, Waialua, Hawaii

President Obama's motorcade traveled west on a scenic stretch of Interstate H-3 and then north on Interstate H-2, eventually winding along a narrow two-lane road on the northwest side of the island. Obama arrived at a private residence at 1:05 p.m. The First Family is joining friends and family for a barbecue at longtime friend Bobby Titcomb's house. The home was on a quiet road situated near the shore.The pool could not see the house from the road and did not glimpse the president when he arrived.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 4
December 28, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

After spending a couple hours at his vacation home, President Obama is on the move again. His motorcade left the house at 12:07 p.m. on a warm but somewhat overcast afternoon. Our destination is unknown.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 3
December 28, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama spent nearly 90 minutes at the gym, departing the base in his motorcade at 9:38 a.m. He returned to his vacation home at 9:43 a.m. Thus far, there are no presidential sightings to report. A small group of protesters stood at the entrance to the neighborhood. Their signs addressed a range of topics: drones, Gaza, Guantanamo and more. The pool is holding at a nearby house until further notice.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 2
December 28, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama's motorcade departed his Kailua neighborhood at 8:07 a.m. and made the short drive to Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay. He arrived at the gym at 8:11 a.m. The pool has opted to hold at Starbucks in lieu of McDonald's while the president works out.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 1
December 28, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

The pool has been holding near President Obama's vacation home. So far, there are no presidential outings to report. While we wait to see what Saturday brings, a White House official provides this update...

Readout of the President's Latest Briefing
on ACA Implementation

At the end of the day yesterday, the President received an update from his health care team that has been working through the holidays to prepare for the many American families who enrolled in health care through ACA marketplaces and will get coverage starting Wednesday, January 1st. The President reiterated to his health care team that minimizing the disruptions that have come from switching plans in the past and maximizing consumer flexibility must remain the priority.

—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal


Travel Pool Report No. 9
December 27, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

The President arrived back at his vacation home in Kailua at 10:10pm. We have a lid.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 9
December 27, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

The Obama family left Nobu in Waikiki at 9:30pm after two-and-a-half hour dinner. Along the streets around Nobu, which were lined with tiki torches and tall Palm trees wrapped in white lights, hundreds of tourists gathered on the sidewalk waiting for the First Family to depart. As the motorcade left at 9:31pm, they clapped, cheered and waved, snapping pictures with their cell phones. Crowds were stretched out four blocks from Nobu along the motorcade path back to Kailua.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 8
December 27, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

At 6:48pm, President Obama arrived at Nobu in Waikiki, where he is having dinner with his family.

Nobu, Waikiki

Nobu, Waikiki

Because there are a zillion tourists in Waikiki – the street was mobbed with people who were filming and taking pictures of the motorcade as the President passed by.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 7
December 27, 2013, Waimanalo, Hawaii

Good evening from Oahu. The President’s motorcade is on the move at 6:05. The Motorcade has hopped on to the H3 in the direction of Honolulu. There was a sizable group of demonstrators—at least several dozen—at the end of the Obama’s street tonight. Many were holding signs that referenced the “TPP,” but we went by too quickly to read the signs. One would assume it’s a reference to the Trans Pacific Partnership, but we could not see at dusk.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 6
December 27, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

The Obamas arrived back in their Kailua neighborhood at about 3:30pm HST after an afternoon at the beach.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 5
December 27, 2013, Waimanalo, Hawaii

President Obama and his family left the beach at Bellows Air Force Station at 3pm. They spent the afternoon in an area that is only open to military families on the far side of the base. During the few hours the Obamas were on that side, local residents were allowed in to the public side of the beach farther south. Some had set up tents for the weekend by the time Obama’s motorcade passed back through the forested area just inland from the beach. But few beachgoers seemed to notice the motorcade pass by. Now headed back in the direction of the Obama’s vacation rental in Kailua, but no word on his late afternoon plans. (And no visuals of the President to report).
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 4
December 27, 2013, Waimanalo, Hawaii

The President arrived at the Beach at Bellows Air Force Station shortly after 11:30am. It's a gorgeous white sand beach lined with Ironwood Trees. On this very sunny day, the water is turquoise and the first family will have an up close view of the Mokulua Islands that are a landmark on the windward side of Oahu. One side of Bellows is open to local residents on weekends (not today), but the President and his family are spending the day at the beach on the (secure) military side. Pool is holding at a nearby park.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 3
December 27, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At 11:09am, the President is on the move to an undisclosed location.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

Travel Pool Report No. 1
December 27, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama arrived at the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii shortly after 7:54am. Pool did not catch a glimpse of POTUS.
—Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times


Travel Pool Report No. 8
December 26, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

And we have a lid! Mahalo.
—Ashley Parker, New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 7
December 26, 2013, Kaneohe, Hawaii

After roughly six hours of golf, at 6:19 p.m. local, President Obama departed the Ko'olau Golf Club and is headed back to his vacation rental. The sun ended up coming out for most of his 18 holes on the course, which features stunning vistas of the volcanically-formed Ko'olau Mountain Range and is a par 72.

ob-golf1

Your pooler did not see the president once during his afternoon of golf.
—Ashley Parker, New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 6
December 26, 2013, Kaneohe, Hawaii

At 12:32 p.m. local, in a light drizzle, President Obama arrived at Ko'olau Golf Club. Per a White House aide, his golfing buddies today include...
• Mike Ramos
• Bobby Titcomb
• Marvin Nicholson
• Sam Kass
• Eric Whitaker
Your pool is holding in the van, but will likely (hopefully) be moving to a different hold shortly.
—Ashley Parker, New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 5
December 26, 2013, Manoa Valley, Hawaii

At 12:04 p.m. local, President Obama and his family departed Manoa Falls Trail after a short hike (they arrived at 11:09 a.m. local). We are now heading to a TBD location. Your pooler did not spot the First Family.
—Ashley Parker, New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 4
December 26, 2013, Manoa Valley, Hawaii

After a roughly 30 minute drive, President Obama and his family arrived at Manoa Falls Trail for a hike. Your pooler did not spot the First Family exiting the motorcade, but does note that today is not ideal hiking weather: The once blue skies have now turned gray and overcast. We are now holding in a gift shop at the base of the trail.
—Ashley Parker, New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 3
December 26, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At approximately 10:36 a.m. local, President Obama left his vacation home, and we are now headed to a TBD location. He was accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and his two daughters. Your pooler was able to make out the president, wearing a white collared shirt, in his SUV.
—Ashley Parker, New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 2
December 26, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

At approximately 9:01 a.m., President Obama arrived back at his vacation home. The pool is holding at a nearby house, though we expect to be on the move again shortly.
—Ashley Parker, New York Times

Travel Pool Report No. 1
December 26, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

On this blue, sunny morning, President Obama made the short drive from his vacation rental here to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, arriving at approximately 7:53 a.m. Your pooler was unable to glimpse the president in his motorcade. Obama is now working out; the pool is holding at a McDonald's.
—Ashley Parker, New York Times


Travel Pool Report No. 6
Christmas Day, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

President Obama spent roughly two hours and 10 minutes at Marine Corps Base Hawaii taking individual photos with roughly 580 service members and family members. The pool did not witness any of the photo sessions. At 6:45 p.m. local, Obama departed the base on a quick and uneventful drive to his vacation home in nearby Kailua. Six minutes later, Obama arrived safely at home on this breezy and dark Hawaiian Christmas night — and, mere seconds later, the White House called a lid.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 5
Christmas Day, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

President Obama remains at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. He decided to take individual pictures with all of the roughly 580 service members and their families. They have been taking pictures for the past hour and we expect them to continue for at least another 20 minutes. The pool has been holding outside in the mini bus.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 4
Christmas Day, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

President Obama spoke to about 580 troops and their families assembled around the tables and booths of Anderson Hall, a dining facility at Marine Corps Base Hawaii known informally as "Chow Hall." Most of the troops are Marines, but the event was open to members of the Army, Navy and Air Force as well. Anybody who is active duty service in Hawaii was allowed to attend. The troops ate Christmas dinner earlier in the afternoon and were just clearing their trays before Obama arrived.

In a holiday tradition, Obama honors U.S. military

In a holiday tradition, Obama honors U.S. military

Obama, with wife Michelle standing at his side, spoke at about 4:30 p.m. local from a small square stage with red carpet that's raised about one foot off the ground. The wall behind him was covered with wallpaper showing historical Marine Corps and Navy photographs and memorabilia.

The president, who held a piece of paper with notes, wore a blue short sleeved shirt and dark khaki pants, while the first lady wore a black skirt and sleeveless black and white top.

Obama said that he knows "a lot of our friends and comrades" are raising their families here while others are serving in Afghanistan and other places. Obama said he called 10 service members who were in Afghanistan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Obama said, "It was just a sampling of the incredible sacrificed a that all of you and your families make every single day. Michelle and I know that we would not enjoy the freedoms we do if it weren't for the incredible dedication and professionalism and work that you do. The least we can do is just let you all know we're grateful to you." Obama added, "We hope that the mess has done right by you and that the food is pretty good."

Obama singled out several regiments, battalions and patrol units by name and those in attendance hooted and cheered when their group was called.

"Thank you so much for your great work," Obama said. "We hope all of you have a Mele Kalikimaka and we hope you guys have a great new year as well."

Obama spoke for about three minutes. Then he grabbed Michelle's hand and walked off stage and into a private room behind the stage to take pictures and meet some of the service members.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 2
Christmas Day, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

The press pool is in Kailua and holding at the pool house as we await President Obama's visit to the Marine Corps base.

Kevin C. Tate

Chef Kevin C. Tate

Kevin C. Tate, a personal chef who teaches at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific and works with Kahumana, a USDA-certified organic farm, prepared a spread of delicious food for the press and staff. Tate, sporting a Santa hat, cooked honey BBQ baby back ribs, slow-smoked beef brisket, citrus marinated chicken, vegan chili and an array of side dishes -- all made with organic meats and local produce.

This is Tate's fifth straight year preparing Christmas dinner for the traveling press corps. Tate, a Chicago native who's been living in Hawaii for 30 years, is a cousin of Ashley Tate-Gilmore, the indefatigable White House Travel Office director and behind-the-scenes conductor of presidential trips.
—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

Travel Pool Report No. 1
Christmas Day, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

Greetings from Kailua and Mele Kalikimaka! Pool is en route to President Obama's vacation home. First, though, some background on how the First Family is marking the holiday from a White House official:

Last evening, prior Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends, the President made holiday telephone calls to US service members from each branch of the military stationed around the globe, including personnel who were wounded in an operation in South Sudan last weekend prior to Christmas Eve dinner with the First Family.

This morning, the family gathered around to open up their Christmas gifts and sing carols.

This afternoon, the President and the First Lady will go to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay to visit with service members and their families and thank them for their service to the country.

—Philip Rucker, The Washington Post


Travel Pool Report No. 9
Dec. 24, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

The motorcade made the five-minute drive to Obama's neighborhood, delivering the president back to his vacation home at 4:59 p.m. Obama will be staying in for Christmas Eve. And according to NORAD, Santa is already delivering gifts to Guyana. With that, we have a full lid. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 8
Dec. 24, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

After about four-and-a-half hours on the golf course, President Obama was back in the motorcade, which departed the base at 4:54 p.m.

obama-24-golf

Brief showers interrupted the otherwise sunny afternoon, sending the pool scurrying indoors. But the president and his golf partners apparently played through the rain. The pool remained at the food court for the duration and did not see the president. One update from the links: Sam Kass did not golf with the group. The motorcade is in transit.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 7
Dec. 24, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

This morning, First Lady Michelle Obama spent about 30 minutes answering calls from children and providing updates on Santa's whereabouts as part of the NORAD Tracks Santa program. Mrs. Obama spoke to nine children, ranging in age from three years old to nine years old, and spanning North America, from Kansas City to Ontario, Canada.

Photo: Pete Souza

Photo: Pete Souza

Your pool has been provided with contact information for the children who chatted with Mrs. Obama, but the White House has asked that those details not be published.
—Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

Travel Pool Report No. 6
Dec. 24, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

The motorcade made the short trip to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay, arriving at 12:11 p.m. More golf is on the agenda this afternoon. President Obama's golf partners include:

  • Bobby Titcomb
  • Mike Ramos
  • Marvin Nicholson
  • Eric Whitaker
  • Sam Kass
  • Reggie Love
  • The pool is feeling the holiday spirit at the food court of the Mokapu Mall.
    —Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

    Travel Pool Report No. 5
    Dec. 24, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    After spending much of the morning at his vacation home, President Obama is on the move again. His motorcade departed the neighborhood at 12:05 p.m. on a picture-perfect day. Obama could be seen in his SUV wearing a baseball cap, polo shirt and sunglasses. Destination: unknown.
    —Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

    Travel Pool Report No. 4
    Dec. 24, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    The motorcade made a quick, eventful trip back to President Obama's neighborhood, arriving at 9:15 a.m. The pool did not glimpse the president and is now holding at a nearby house.
    —Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

    Travel Pool Report No. 3
    Dec. 24, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    After spending more than an hour at the gym, President Obama was back in the motorcade, which departed the base at 9:09 a.m.The pool quickly rejoined the motorcade, which is traveling back in the direction of the president's vacation home.

    While holding at McDonald's, your pool encountered a group from Toronto who had just seen the president at the gym. They reported that Obama was working out with free weights and shooting a few baskets.

    The president had stopped to sign an autograph for the 10-year-old girl in the group. At McDonald's, she showed off her journal, where Obama had written "To Kyrstin —Dream big dreams!" and signed his name. Kyrstin Lavelle said Obama was "really nice."

    Kyrstin Lavelle

    Kyrstin Lavelle

    Kyrstin said she gave Obama flowers. The president joked that he would give them to Michelle and say that he picked them, Kyrstin said.

    obama-24-sig

    —Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

    Travel Pool Report No. 2
    Dec. 24, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    The motorcade made the short drive to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, arriving at 7:53 a.m. President Obama is now at the gym for a morning workout. The pool is not working out but instead is holding at a nearby McDonald's.
    —Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal

    Travel Pool Report No. 1
    Dec. 24, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    President Obama got off to another early start today. The president's motorcade departed his Kailuana Place neighborhood under cloudy skies at 7: 48 a.m. local.
    —Colleen McCain Nelson, The Wall Street Journal


    Travel Pool Report No. 14
    Dec. 23, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    After a full day for POTUS that included a sunrise workout, 18 holes of golf at Mid-PAC Country Club and an afternoon at the beach with his girls — the first family is in for the night. Full Lid as of 4:45pm.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 13
    Dec. 23, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    President Obama and his family were back at their vacation residence by 4:35pm HST. Motorcade hit some traffic on the short ride back from the Marine base — where they spent the afternoon at the beach — but otherwise the ride was uneventful.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 12
    Dec. 23, 2013, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay

    After a nearly two hour beach outing, President Obama and his family left the beach at the Marine Base in Kaneohe Bay at about 4:29pm HST. Motorcade en route to location TBD.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 11
    Dec. 23, 2013, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay

    The President joined his family at the beach here at the base shortly at around 2:40pm. Pool is holding at the food court.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 10
    Dec. 23, 2013, Lanikai, a neighborhood in Kailua

    More golf:
    The President drove up in his golf cart as he approached the 18th hole. Near the 18th hole, he looked through binoculars/distance goggles, took five or six practice swings, and then took his shot from the rough. As the ball arched up and over — landing on the green — there was light applause from a small crowd that gathered to watch him play behind the fence that divided the golf course from the street.

    POTUS then drove the golf cart a short distance around 18th hole. He was chewing gum. Others played. There was some conversation but it was inaudible. Once on the green of the 18th hole, the President crouched down to survey his final shot, then took a few more practice swings and then putted. He got close to the hole but came up short and didn't make it. "Aaaaah," he said in mock frustration, (smiling).

    The game pretty much ended there. The President gave a half man-hug to one of the other players. And he waved to a crowd of spectators that had gathered at the fence to watch him: "Hey Everybody!" He singled out one person who was dressed in a head-to-toe Polar Bear suit: "Hey Polar Bear!" he said with a laugh. (Polar Bear had been holding an anti-Keystone pipeline sign, but it was unclear whether the President saw the sign). With a few more waves to other spectators near the clubhouse, POTUS left the Golf Course shortly before 2:30pm. Motorcade is now at the Marine Base en route to a location TBD.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 9
    Dec. 23, 2013, Lanikai, a neighborhood in Kailua

    The pool was brought out for a spray of the President golfing shortly before 12:15pm at the 9th hole of the Mid-Pacific Country Club in Lanikai.

    Pool was in view of the President only for a minute or two — and he was a long distance away. Wearing a light blue golf shirt and what appeared to be blue and white golf shoes, the President crouched beside the green, then practiced putting, and then putted.

    Obama’s second round since arriving in Hawaii Saturday, 42nd of the year, 153rd of his presidency

    Obama’s second round since arriving in Hawaii Saturday, 42nd of the year, 153rd of his presidency

    As the pool was ushered away, the President waved. There was no other interaction with the pool. To recap, the President is golfing with Marvin Nicholson, Bobby Titcomb and Eric Whitaker and arrived at the golf course at about 9:20am.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 8
    Dec. 23, 2013, Lanikai, a neighborhood in Kailua

    The President is still golfing here at Mid-Pacific Country Club in Lanikai with Marvin Nicholson, Bobby Titcomb and Eric Whitaker (He arrived at the golf course at about 9:20am, for those of you keeping track). In the meantime, the White House passes along this background on the Affordable Care Act from a White House Official:

    The President received a detailed update late yesterday from his health care team in Washington about the preparations for the upcoming Affordable Care Act deadlines. He was briefed on the efforts to ensure that the website could handle the large amount of traffic that was predicted and on efforts to ensure a smooth transition on January 1st.

    The President will receive additional updates in the days ahead about the website's performance and other aspects of ACA implementation that are intended to maximize the benefits for the law for all Americans.

    Travel Pool Report No. 7
    Dec. 23, 2013, Lanikai, a neighborhood in Kailua

    At 9:18am, President Obama arrived at the golf course at Mid-Pacific Country Club in the neighborhood of Lanikai, an exclusive residential area of Kailua where the President’s vacation rental is located. President Obama is golfing today with Marvin Nicholson, Bobby Titcomb and Eric Whitaker.

    Mid-Pacific Country Club, Kailua

    Mid-Pacific Country Club, Kailua

    Mid-PAC is in a spectacular location on a hilltop above Lanikai Beach with views of the ocean from the course. For an idea of the vistas, you can check out the website here
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 6
    Dec. 23, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    At 9:18am, President Obama was once again on the move from his vacation home in Kailua to a location TBD. He was spotted in the motorcade speaking to someone sitting on his left side. We are headed south toward Lanikai, which happens to have at least one choice golf course that Obama has played at in the past.

    Several additional SUVs and passenger vans pulled up shortly before departure, suggesting an outing involving other guests.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 5
    Dec. 23, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    Background guidance from a White House official on the President’s signup:

    Over the weekend and in advance of today's deadline, the President enrolled in a health care plan made available by the Affordable Care Act on the DC marketplace. As you all know, the President is one of the 85 percent of Americans who gets his health insurance through his employer and, like previous presidents, is privileged to receive health care from the military.

    The act of the president signing up for insurance coverage through the DC exchange is symbolic since the president’s health care will continue to be provided by the military. But, he was pleased to participate in a plan as a show of support for these marketplaces which are providing quality, affordable health care options to more than a million people. The president selected a bronze plan.

    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 4
    Dec. 23, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    The president arrived back at his residence in Kailua shortly after 8:12am.

    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 3
    Dec. 23, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    President Obama left the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay at 8:06am HST. Pool photogs caught a glimpse of the president in sunglasses and a baseball cap after his 45-minute workout. Motorcade is en route to a location TBD.

    On the way over, several construction workers at a site near the base waved and flashed the shaka sign with both hands. For those unfamiliar with the Hawaiian hand gesture (in which the thumb and pinkie finger are extended), here is a visual courtesy of the CNN archive:

    obama-sign

    Though there is rain in the forecast, it is partly sunny here at the Marine base with blue skies overhead.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 2
    Dec. 23, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    President Obama arrived at the gym at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay shortly after 7:12am. Pool is holding on the bus in the parking lot of the Kaneohe Bay post office. No visuals of the President to report.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 1
    Dec. 23, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    President Obama is getting an early start this morning at his vacation retreat on the east side of Oahu. The motorcade left his Kailuana Place neighborhood exactly at sunrise at 7:05am HST en route to a location TBD. The pool did not catch a glimpse of the President.

    It is mostly cloudy, and today's high will be 80 degrees. Scattered showers are expected throughout the day and every day this week with the exception of Thursday.
    —Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times


    Travel Pool Report No. 10
    Dec. 22, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

    At approximately 10:04 p.m. local, President Obama and his family arrived back at their vacation home. We now have a lid. Mahalo and goodnight.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 9
    Dec. 22, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

    At approximately 9:29 p.m. local, President Obama and his family left Morimoto Waikiki, and we are now headed back to his vacation home on the windward side of the island. While the First Family was eating, a crowd of roughly 100 gathered across the street, hoping to glimpse the Obamas on their way out. The crowd cheered as the president exited the restaurant, and he briefly waved at them.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 8
    Dec. 22, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

    At the 7:23 p.m. local, President Obama and his family arrived at Morimoto Waikiki, where they are having dinner. Your pool did not see the First Family enter the restaurant. We are holding at the Outback Steakhouse.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Military choppers patrol Waikiki Beach

    Military choppers patrol Waikiki Beach

    Travel Pool Report No. 8
    Dec. 22, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    At approximately 6:46 p.m. local, President Obama left his vacation home, and we are now headed to a TBD location. In the dark, your pool was unable to glimpse Obama in his motorcade.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 6
    Dec. 22, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    At approximately 5:42 p.m. local, President Obama arrived back at his vacation home. The ride was uneventful and drizzly, with gray clouds highlighted by the sun filling the otherwise blue sky. The pool is now holding at a nearby house for an estimated 20 minutes or so, until Obama heads back out to a TBD location.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 5
    Dec. 22, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

    At 5:11 p.m. local, President Obama left the University of Hawaii's Stan Sheriff Center, and we are now heading back to his vacation home in Kailua. The Zips (Akron) beat the Beavers (Oregon State), 83 to 71. According to the media relations director for the university, the crowd count was 3,405.

    Obama, wearing a purple short-sleeved shirt and dark blue jeans, left the court during halftime, though he stopped to high-five some Oregon fans on the way out. He returned just before the second half began.

    At some point, a man dressed in a full polar bear costume and a woman with an anti Keystone Pipeline sign ("Beavers Hate Pipelines") entered the arena, across the court from where the Obamas were sitting. The duo began dancing during a second half time-out, but it was unclear if the president noticed them.

    Frostpaw, created by the Center for Biological Diversity, has been stalking the president for months, drawing attention to the Keystone pipeline.

    Frostpaw, created by the Center for Biological Diversity, has been stalking the president for months, drawing attention to the Keystone pipeline.

    Also sitting with First Family at the game: Bobby Titcomb, and the rest of the Robinson family — Marian Robinson (Michelle and Craig's mother), Craig's wife, and his children, according to a White House aide.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 4
    Dec. 22, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    After a roughly 30-minute ride, President Obama — accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and two daughters — arrived at 2:49 p.m. local at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii to attend the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. Oregon State University (where Michelle's brother Craig Robinson is the head coach) is playing the University of Akron.

    Obama Catches some Hoops

    The ride was uneventful; some people whose cars were stopped along the way for the motorcade got out of their vehicles to wave at the spectacle and flash the shaka sign at the president.

    The First Family entered the arena, to cheers, shortly before game time. (They also made their first jumbotron appearance before tip-off). Obama, wearing a purple polo shirt, and his family are sitting courtside just behind the Oregon bench.

    POTUS Catches Hoops in Hawaii

    Your pooler also spotted Josh and Natalie Earnest, and Sam Kass, at the
    game.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 3
    Dec. 22, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    At roughly 2:18 p.m. local, President Obama departed his residence. The pool joined the motorcade near the top of Kailuana Place, not far from the exit of the neighborhood, and we are now rolling to a TBD location. (It is probably worth noting here that Oregon State, coached by Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, is playing Akron in the Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament scheduled to start at roughly 2:30 p.m. local today).

    Your pool was unable to glimpse Obama in his SUV. As he left the neighborhood, a gaggle of bathingsuit-clad kids gathered on the corner to wave at the motorcade, and locals gathered on the first several dozen yards of the main street (outside the security perimeter) to watch Obama pass by.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 2
    Dec. 22, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    Greetings from Kailua, where, after an uneventful 40 minute ride, your pool is holding at a nearby house in the palm tree-lined residential neighborhood where President Obama and his family are spending their winter holiday in a private vacation home.

    At the entrance of Kailuana Place, which leads to Obama's rental, Secret Service have erected a concrete barricade and a security checkpoint in a white tent. Several police cars were also stationed at the entrance, and your pool spotted an agent in a golf cart patrolling the neighborhood, as well.

    The pool is not close enough to see Obama's house.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    Travel Pool Report No. 1
    Dec. 22, 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii

    On Background From a White House Official:
    The President was updated this morning on the situation in South Sudan, following a meeting National Security Advisor Susan Rice held with senior members of the national security team and our personnel in Juba and elsewhere in the region.
    —Ashley Parker, The New York Times


    Travel Pool Report No. 6
    Dec. 21, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    With President Obama safely ensconced in his Kailua vacation home, the White House called a lid at 6:42 p.m. local. Mahalo!

    —Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    Travel Pool Report No. 5
    Dec. 21, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

    President Obama wrapped up his golf game shortly after 6 p.m. local, with the sun fully set at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. The pool had no view of the president and his party on the golf course. At 6:17 p.m., the pool folded into Obama's motorcade for the quick and uneventful ride to the Obama family's private vacation home in Kailua, where he arrived at 6:21 p.m. The pool, which pulled out of the motorcade on Kailuana Place shortly before Obama reached the home, could not see the president in the darkness.
    —Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    Travel Pool Report No. 4
    Dec. 21, 2013, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii

    After a quick motorcade from Kailua, President Obama arrived at roughly 1:10 p.m. local at nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay. As the presidential motorcade drove through the base, onlookers waved at Obama and snapped pictures.

    Barack Obama

    Off to the golf game....

    Obama is golfing with Marvin Nicholson, Sam Kass and Bobby Titcomb, according to the White House. The pool is holding out of view of the golf course at the exchange and food court.
    —Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    Travel Pool Report No. 3
    Dec. 21, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    At roughly 1:04 p.m. local, President Obama departed his private vacation home to a TBD location. The pool did not see the home or see him get into his vehicle. We folded into the presidential motorcade near a security checkpoint at Kailuana Place. Pool saw Obama in the backseat of his SUV wearing a tan baseball cap and sunglasses. More to come upon arrival at destination.
    —Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    Travel Pool Report No. 2
    Dec. 21, 2013, Kailua, Hawaii

    Aloha from beautiful Kailua, a tranquil residential area along Oahu's windward coast. For you linguists out there, Kailua means "two seas" in Hawaiian, signifying the area's location between the ocean and a former fish pond lagoon. (Thanks to Ikaika Hussey, a Hawaii-based stringer for Reuters in today's pool, for sharing local knowledge.)

    The sun is breaking through the clouds following last night's rain and this morning's drizzle. The temperature here is 77 degrees F and forecast to reach 79 degrees by early afternoon.

    After driving from Honolulu through Nu'uanu Pali, a scenic and verdant mountain pass with some spectacular views, your press pool arrived in Kailua near President Obama's private vacation home. As the pool approached the home, we saw agents patrolling a canal in a skiff raft on one site as well as two gray patrol boats.

    Secret Service patrols a canal near the presidential retreat

    A Secret Service patrol near the presidential retreat

    On Kailuana Place (which roughly translates to "relaxing ocean," per Hussey), U.S. Secret Service has a security checkpoint and concrete barricade to stop traffic on the way to the Obama residence. We also saw agents patrolling the neighborhood in golf carts.

    The pool did not get close enough to see Obama's residence. Kailuana Place, the street that leads to the home, is lined with palm trees and dotted with mostly modest, single-story, ranch-style homes. The speed limit is 25 miles per hour and the sidewalks are lined with orange-striped construction signs bearing security warnings for residents and visitors. The pool is now holding at a lovely home nearby.
    —Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    Travel Pool Report No. 1
    Dec. 21, 2013, Honolulu

    The White House has provided the following readout of President Obama's updates on the situation in South Sudan.

    Last night, upon landing in Hawaii, President Obama was updated on Air Force One on the status of the four American service members who were wounded attempting to evacuate American citizens in Bor, South Sudan. He directed his national security team to ensure the safety of our military personnel, and to continue to work with the United Nations to evacuate our citizens from Bor.

    This morning, following a meeting of his national security principals that was led by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, President Obama participated in a secure call with Ambassador Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, and Senior Director for African Affairs Grant Harris to update him on the situation in South Sudan. The President was briefed on the status of our military personnel, and the safety of our citizens in Bor and U.S. personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Juba. The President was pleased that our service members are in stable condition, and reaffirmed the importance of continuing to work with the United Nations to secure our citizens in Bor. He underscored that South Sudan's leaders have a responsibility to support our efforts to secure American personnel and citizens in Juba and Bor.

    More broadly, the President underscored the urgency of helping to support efforts to resolve the differences within South Sudan through dialogue. South Sudan's leaders must know that continued violence will endanger the people of South Sudan and the hard-earned progress of independence. This conflict can only be resolved peacefully through negotiations. Any effort to seize power through the use of military force will result in the end of longstanding support from the United States and the international community.

    President Obama expressed his deep appreciation for the work of our military and civilians who are operating in difficult circumstances in South Sudan and directed his team to continue to update him going forward.
    —Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    President Barack Obama greets members of the military on the tarmac as he arrives with the first family on Air Force One at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, in Honolulu, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.

    President Barack Obama greets members of the military on the tarmac as he arrives with the first family on Air Force One at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, in Honolulu, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.