President and family settle in on 1st day of Christmas vacation - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

President and family settle in on 1st day of Christmas vacation in Hawaii

Kailuana Place residents wait outside their homes trying to get a glimpse of the president Kailuana Place residents wait outside their homes trying to get a glimpse of the president
Kailuana Place residents wait outside their homes trying to get a glimpse of the president Kailuana Place residents wait outside their homes trying to get a glimpse of the president
KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Obama family's eighth Christmas vacation is officially underway in Hawaii.

Their arrival early Saturday morning at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam was not open to the public, but members of the media were allowed on the tarmac.

The president himself was the first to step off the plane. With his arm around daughter Sasha, daughter Malia and the first lady followed.

The presidential motorcade left for their rental home in Kailua shortly after 2 a.m. where the family has spent several holidays in the past.

Although security is tight on Kailuana Place for two weeks, several residents said they don't mind it at. There is even a sign saying “Aloha Obama ohana.”

"I think it's such an honor that he chooses to come to Kailua out of any place in the world,” said Kailuana Place resident Rhea Yamashiro.

“He can go anywhere he wants, but he loves coming here. He's very active when he's here. He surfs and golfs and goes out for shave ice and he hikes and I just love that he enjoys being here so much and chooses to come here every year," Yamashiro said.

On Saturday, Kailuana Place residents eagerly waited outside their homes trying to get a glimpse of the president; his motorcade whizzed by at 12:22 p.m. and he arrived five minutes later at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where he golfed with friends Joe Paulsen, Mike Brush, and Bobby Titcomb.

Golfing is a regular pasttime for Obama when he's in the islands.

The first family also loves to pop in at Island Snow for shave ice, where director of operations Brockton Kodama said he and his staff are ready.  

"No word yet, we've just been hearing anything that anybody else has been hearing. We're excited for the possibility, but no, no word yet," Kodama said.

However, not everyone has a positive message for the president. A handful of protesters stood on the streets leading to his home last year holding signs that read "Close Guantanamo Now!" and "No more drone killings." Residents along Kailuana Place said they were back again early Saturday morning.

The first family is expected to stay in Hawaii for about two weeks, leaving on January 3.

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