The President loves the frozen treat, and the store's logo t-shirt, too...
UPDATE: The President visits again in 2013
President Obama's Christmas vacations in Hawaii are a series of deja vu outings: He visits the same places each year. Last night, with the First Lady and a group of family and friends, the President dined at Alan Wong's Restaurant in Honolulu, as he's done each year of his presidency. Today, he brought the First Family for their annual pilgrimage to Island Snow, a surf shop that serves the best shave ice on Oahu. It's located in a small shopping mall in Kailua, close to the Presidential vacation compound. (Above: Last year, the White House released this photo of the President's Island Snow run on Dec. 27, with daughters Malia and Sasha and friends)
Mr. Obama wore a Chicago White Sox cap and sunglasses as he entered the store with a party of about fifteen after arriving at 3:35 PM. They spent about twenty minutes browsing and ordering shave ice, which is like a sno cone, but with crushed, fine ice, doused with fresh tropical juices. It's also served topped with sweetened condensed milk, called a "snow cap," or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The President doesn't like such additions, however.
"I'm a plain shave ice guy," he announced during last year's visit. His "favorite" combo is cherry and lemon-lime.
The visit came after the President spent four hours at Pyramid Rock Beach on Marine Corps Base Hawaii with his family and friends. Mrs. Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha visited Island Snow earlier in the vacation, before the President arrived.
A mob of about 60 gathered in the parking lot and on the sidewalk in front of a row of shops next to Island Snow, armed with cell phone cameras held over their heads to try to get a photo of the President. (Above: The President wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the store's name on Wednesday afternoon during a visit to Sea Life Park with Malia and Sasha).
While on island, Mr. Obama has remained out of public view--and out of the press pool's view--for most of his vacation, and there was no hand shaking with the crowd as he returned to the motorcade after the shave ice run. He departed at 3:58 p.m. Christmas was the exception to the privacy rule: After celebrating with his family, the President had a mess hall meet n' greet with troops and their families at the Marine Base.
The motorcade had more than a dozen vehicles, including nine Chevrolet Suburbans, pool noted. (Above: The President waves from the motorcade)
Other food outings: Last Friday, the President dined with family and friends at Morimoto restaurant in Honolulu. Mrs. Obama brought daughters Malia and Sasha to MA'O Organic Farms for a pizza party with Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives Sam Kass and local chef Ed Kenney at the beginning of the vacation.
The President has played three rounds of golf since arriving on island, and worked out at the Marine Base daily. He has no public events scheduled, and is due to return to Washington after Jan. 1.
Information: Island Snow is located at 130 Kailua Road, #115, Kailua, HI. Phone: (808) 263-6339.
*Top photo by Pete Souza/White House; second by AP pool