Monday, January 03, 2011
During the final hours of his eleven-day vacation, President Obama bid his boyhood home "aloha" with a family dinner on Monday night at Lucy's Grill N' Bar. It's one of the most popular restaurants in Kailua, the small town where the First Family's beachfront rental estate is located. (Above: The President and First Lady wave as they board Air Force One after dinner)
Arriving at about 6:55 PM, the President was joined for the two-hour dinner by First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, as well as his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng and her husband Konrad, their children, and a large group of friends. Lucy's serves an outstanding version of regional Hawaiian cuisine, as well as dishes from many other Asian traditions--and pizza. There's outdoor lanai seating, complete with tiki torches and grass-skirted tables, and an open-air bar. Entrees range from $17-$30.00, and serving sizes are gargantuan.
The First Family dined at Lucy's during last year's holiday vacation, too; the eleven-day presidential break has been filled with many repeat eating outings. Monday afternoon, the President and a large party, including Mrs. Obama and assistant White House chef Sam Kass, visited Island Snow, a beloved shave ice outlet, also in Kailua. It was the second visit during the vacation for the President and his daughters, and the first for Mrs. Obama and Kass. Last Thursday, the President and Mrs. Obama, minus children but with friends and family in tow, visited Alan Wong's restaurant in Honolulu, for the fifth time during an island getaway.
By 9:30 PM local time on Monday night, about 45 minutes behind schedule, the First Family, including First Dog Bo, were at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, being greeted by military officials before climbing aboard Air Force One for the ten-hour flight back to Washington, DC.
Between the shaved ice run and dinner, shortly before 5:00 PM local time, President Obama had a far more serious outing. As the sun was setting over Honolulu, he visited the grave of his grandfather, Stanley Dunham, at Punchbowl Cemetery, also called the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Mr. Dunham died in 1992. The President was joined by Malia and Sasha.
It was the first time the President has visited since 2008, and he spent about fifteen minutes in the very quiet cemetery, which is on a cliff surrounded by small homes and several small churches. The President's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died on Nov. 2, 2008, two days before the election. He returned to scatter her ashes over the Pacific. The President was largely raised by his grandparents during his years in Hawaii.
After the cemetery, it was time for some lightheartedness: the President took Malia and Sasha to the Honolulu Zoo near Waikiki Beach, a short drive from the cemetery, down twisting residential streets. They were joined by more than a dozen people, including the President's sister, his brother-in-law, and friends.
They were led on a tour of the closed zoo by one of the keepers. The President's press pool was allowed some viewing time and photo ops near the monkey cages. (Above: The President with the kids at the zoo)
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Reps. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) hitched a ride back to the mainland aboard Air Force One, according to the White House. The President is scheduled to arrive in Washington just before 11:00 AM ET.
Info: Lucy's is at 33 Aulike St, Kailua, Hawaii, 96734. Phone: (808) 230-8188. Download the menu [PDF].