KUALOA RANCH (HawaiiNewsNow) - First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a luncheon for all the APEC leaders' spouses at scenic Kualoa Ranch on Sunday. Obama greeted each guest with a breathtaking view of Kaneohe Bay in the background.
Tim Mathieson, the boyfriend of Australia's prime minister, walked up first. Nine spouses also posed for pictures before sitting down for lunch at the historic 4,000 acre ranch.
"This is huge. This is a world stage, and to be able to showcase Hawaii through Kualoa Ranch is an honor and an opportunity that's kind of mind-boggling, actually," said Kualoa Ranch president John Morgan.
Obama joked that Hawaii's beauty helped her decide to marry her husband.
"That's really one of the reasons I married Barack. When I realized this is where we would be spending the holidays, I said, 'Yes, I love you!'" said Obama.
The farm-to-table luncheon included produce from MA'O Organic Farms in Waianae. The first lady took a tour with students on Saturday. The spouses dined on fresh fish from Kaneohe Bay, taro pounded by hand, and even limu.
"We've pickled it. It tastes like the sea with a little zip. So you will be eating now what people have been eating for centuries, and I hope that it will connect you to this incredible place," said chef Ed Kenney of Town.
After the meal, the Honolulu Boy Choir performed for the international audience. The first lady hopes the visit will leave a lasting impression with wonderful memories for her guests to take home.
"I know traveling for our spouses can be difficult, but for me, one of the things that makes it worthwhile is getting to know each one of you," said Obama.
Kualoa Ranch will dedicate a garden to the first lady. A native or endemic tree will be planted for each guest.