Thursday, January 03, 2013

President Obama Visits 'Island Snow' For Shave Ice, With Daughters And Pals

The President enjoys the 'Snowbama' during his repeat treat run to a favorite haunt...
President Obama on Thursday afternoon made his annual pilgrimage to shave ice nirvana Island Snow, a surf shop in the town of Kailua that does a brisk business in the Hawaiian frozen treat.  He brought daughters Malia and Sasha, who were last spotted at Island Snow on New Year's Eve while their dad was stuck in Washington dealing with the fiscal cliff legislation. The President emerged from the shop carrying a cup filled with his favorite half-and-half juice blend poured over the shave ice:  Mele Melona and Choo Choo Cherry.  Island Snow long ago dubbed this combo the "Snowbama," thanks to the President visiting each time he vacations in Hawaii.

Shave Ice enthusiasts can get all kinds of toppings on their paper cups of ice and juice, but the President has made it clear he's a no-frills man: "I'm a plain shave ice guy," he announced during his 2010 Island Snow visit.  Unidentified family friends were also in the President's party.

The 4:00 PM treat run came after the President and the girls went bowling at the lanes at the nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii.  Island Snow is located in a small shopping center, and the President, clad in an untucked navy polo shirt and blue jeans, greeted a small crowd that had quickly assembled outside the shop.

"How are you doing?" the President asked, and began shaking hands.

The press pool was kept at a distance, "so additional conversations were largely inaudible," reported the scribe on duty.  Rain fell for much of the day on Oahu, so it wasn't the typical balmy weather that inspires a shave ice run.  But it's a Presidential tradition.

After spending a couple minutes shaking hands, President Obama  hopped into his waiting SUV.  The motorcade then sped to the President's vacation home, arriving in the Kailua neighborhood at 4:15 PM.  (Above: The President waves to the crowd)

At 4:22 PM, the White House called a lid, meaning the President spent the rest of Thursday at home.

On Wednesday night, the President and First Lady Obama had their first dining excursion of 2013, visiting Alan Wong's restaurant in Honolulu for a three-hour dinner with friends.   It was also a repeat-eats situation:  The President has visited Wong's seven times while on vacation.

An AP video of the President emerging from Island Snow:

President Obama has no public events scheduled while in Hawaii, and is scheduled to remain on island until January 5, when he will with the First Family fly overnight to Washington and arrive on Jan. 6.

*Pool photos by Carolyn Kaster/AP