Congress has one more committee meeting this month and then they’re all headed home for a month-long (or, in some cases, following the 2014 elections, a permanent) vacation. Seeing as how they’ve exhausted themselves working approximately half the year, clearly they deserve the time off to enjoy all the gifts they’ll receive from lobbyists, and to recover from the pounding hangover they got from all of these DC holiday parties.
The President himself will also depart the Capitol this weekend, taking off on Friday for a 17-day Hawaiian vacation with his family at their private home in Kailua. The President, who has had a rough six months or so as his Administration’s early policies bear fruit worldwide, is said to be “eagerly looking forward to” the nice weather and possible lack of cell phone service.
“On Friday, the first family will depart the White House en route to Honolulu, Hawaii — a flight that I know the president himself is eagerly looking forward to,” said spokesman Josh Earnest.
According to Pacific Business News, “Obama has rented a private home in Kailua on past holiday vacations, and typically spends his time working out at the nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii, playing golf, catching up with Punahou School classmates and dining out at such restaurants as Alan Wong’s Honolulu, [Morimoto] at The Modern Honolulu and Buzz’s Original Steakhouse in Kailua.”
Alan Wong’s restaurant menu doesn’t list prices, which means you probably can’t afford to eat there unless you have a bank account that you don’t have to worry about depleting, but Yelp notes that the average meal will run you about $61 per person. Buzz’s original is quite the opposite side of the spectrum, described as a “relaxed chain outpost” serving up surf and turf. I’ve eaten at Morimoto Honolulu, so I can’t throw stones from my glass house on that one.
The last 17-day Obama Hawaiian family vacation cost taxpayers around $4 million, but I’m not sure if anyone will be upset about that this year as they’ve been in years past. Not because the economy has improved to the point where we can all afford all-inclusive Cancun resort vacations as long as we don’t eat for a couple of weeks and take whatever flight Groupon Getaways is booking with our three-star experience, even if we’re flying cattle class, but because $4 million is a small price to pay to keep Barack Obama at arms length from making any important decisions for a full half a month.