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Obamas Wrap up Weekend Maine Getaway

Sunday, 18 Jul 2010 08:15 AM


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President Barack Obama and his family managed to make it through a couple of days of family vacation time without a crisis forcing a change in plans.

The first family was to head home to the White House on Sunday after two days of nearly nonstop recreation at this upscale resort on the northern Maine coast.

From the moment they arrived Friday, it was clear the Obamas were determined to make the most of their time here, much of it in Acadia National Park.

The president, his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha set the tone right away, motorcading straight from the airport to a park bike trail for an hour of cycling.

What followed was a whirl of outings, as their motorcade crisscrossed Mount Desert Island. They went boating on Frenchman Bay, hiked on a park nature trail, played tennis, hung out at the pool, toured a lighthouse, had lunch and dinner at harborside restaurants and — of course — stopped for ice cream.

Even their dog Bo had fun, playfully wrapping up a Coast Guard lighthouse keeper in the leash Sasha, 9, was holding.

But the high point — literally — was their visit to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, listed by park officials as the tallest peak on the Eastern Seaboard. From the granite mountaintop, as they listened to a park superintendent, the Obamas beheld a spectacular vista of granite hills above an emerald bay.

It was certainly a more uplifting scene than what awaited the president on his return to Washington: more wrangling with a bitterly divided Congress heading toward the August recess, lawmakers' attention increasingly focused on the fall elections.

The Obama family was also eyeing its August plans. Malia, 12, is headed to summer camp for the first time. Her dad has said he plans to return to the Gulf soon for another look at the oil spill zone. And residents of Martha's Vineyard are wondering if the Obamas will spend part of the month on the island off the Massachusetts' coast, as they did last summer.

The trip to Maine did appear to accomplish one important thing: breaking the Obama family travel jinx.

Since last year's Vineyard stay was interrupted by Sen. Edward Kennedy's death and funeral, Obama family travel plans have been repeatedly altered by events.

Christmas Day in Hawaii had the president responding to a near-bombing of a Detroit-bound jet. A planned trip to Indonesia, where Obama spent part of his youth, has twice been postponed. And other trips have had their schedules scrambled.

Of course, the Obamas' departure for Bar Harbor was itself delayed briefly, when Obama stopped to talk to reporters the morning after BP finally capped its runaway well that for weeks had poured millions of gallons of polluting crude into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, despoiling rich fishing grounds and chasing away summer vacationers.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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