First Family Departs

6 years 1 month ago

President Obama, the First Lady, and daughters Sasha and Malia left Martha's Vineyard Airport aboard Marine One at 6:18 p.m. Sunday, bringing their final vacation from the White House to an end.

The Obamas took a short ride over to the Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, where they boarded Air Force One and headed back to the capital at about 6:48 p.m. After a stop-over at Andrews Air Force Base, the Obamas arrived at the White House aboard Marine One at 8:35 p.m. Valerie Jarrett and Chynna Clayton, an aide to the First Lady, were with the family.

Vineyarders were gathered along the roadside in some parts of Chilmark and West Tisbury to wave goodbye to the departing family.

The weather forecast, presumably, bumped up the family's departure by several hours.


Once More to Farm Neck

6 years 1 month ago

President Obama is squeezing in one last golf game on the Vineyard. The President arrived at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs at 12:14 p.m. for a game with partners Glenn Hutchins, Robert Wolf, and Cy Walker.

This is the President's 10th golf outing during his two-week vacation on the Island. For those keeping track, he has played six times at Farm Neck, three times at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, and once at Mink Meadows in Vineyard Haven.

Morning Walk

6 years 1 month ago

The President and First Lady are beginning their last day of vacation time on the Vineyard with a short walk on a trail near their house in Chilmark.

It's a clear, sunny day on the Island, 77 degrees at 11 a.m.

Afternoon at the Beach and Dinner Date in Edgartown

6 years 1 month ago

The Obama family headed to the beach on Saturday, their final full day of their Vineyard vacation.

The family arrived at a beach off Pohogonot Road in Edgartown around 1:30 p.m. After spending the afternoon at the south shore beach with friends, the First Family departed at about 5:30 p.m.

Later in the evening the President and First Lady went back to Edgartown for dinner at Chesca's on North Water street. The sidewalk outside Chesca's was blocked off with yellow tape, and the summer crowd lined the street.

Chesca's, a restaurant "marrying gourmet and comfort food on Martha's Vineyard," is owned by chefs Jo Maxwell and David Joyce. According to a meal ticket the restaurant posted on Facebook, the President's party ordered spinach salad, braised beef shortribs, and pappardelle bolognese, and creme caramel for dessert.

The couple arrived at 7:45 p.m and departed at 9:28 p.m. to head home for one last night in Chilmark.


Family Tradition: Fireworks

6 years 1 month ago

As evening descended Friday, the presidential motorcade whisked from Chilmark to Oak Bluffs again, this time for the annual fireworks display over Ocean Park. By tradition, the Obamas watch the fireworks from Valerie Jarrett's rented home. The fireworks mark the turn toward the end of summer on the Vineyard, and the Obama vacation is also nearly at an end. They are scheduled to leave Sunday.

Beach Road for Dinner

6 years 1 month ago

After a day on the golf course, President Obama headed to Beach Road for dinner Thursday. The President and First Lady arrived at the restaurant in Vineyard Haven just before 8 p.m. When the Obamas left at 11:20 p.m. a small crowd lined the street for about a block around the restaurant, hoping for glimpse.

This is the second time the President has visited the restaurant, which opened last year. Beach Road is owned by Jackson and Mary Kenworth, who also own State Road Restaurant, another Obama favorite.

Thursday at Farm Neck

6 years 1 month ago

The President returned to Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs late Thursday morning for another round of golf.

The motorcade arrived at the golf club at 11:40 a.m. His golf partners Thursday were comedian and actor Larry David, former UBS president Robert Wolf, and Jonathan Lavine.

Dinner at Jimmy Seas

6 years 1 month ago

Downtown Oak Bluffs was hopping Wednesday night as President Obama and the First Lady headed out for dinner at Jimmy Seas Pan Pasta in the heart of downtown — where thousands of people were gathering at the Camp Ground for the annual Grand Illumination Night.

The presidential motorcade rolled into Oak Bluffs just before 8 p.m., when the community sing was scheduled to start at The Tabernacle. The President and Mrs. Obama were greeted with sizable crowds as they headed to Jimmy Seas, which is located on Kennebec avenue.

Former owner James J. Cipolla opened Jimmy Seas in 1994, and the restaurant became well-known for serving pasta served out of the pan in which it was cooked. The restaurant's clientele included Keith Richards, Beyonce, and the Clintons.

The restaurant was sold at a foreclosure auction in 2014 to William Craffey, and he and his business partner Lisa Huff renovated and reopened the restaurant under the same name. The menu still features big helpings of pan-cooked pasta, lobster fra diablo, frutti di mare and zuppa di pesce.

The presidential motorcade left Oak Bluffs at about 9:40 p.m., driving through streets lined with Illumination Night summer revelers with their phones raised, hoping to get a glimpse of the famous visitors.


Back to Vineyard Golf Club, and Louisiana Update

6 years 1 month ago

After a break from golf Tuesday, the President headed back to Vineyard Golf Course on Wednesday for an afternoon of golf.

The motorcade arrived at the Edgartown course at around 12:45 p.m and departed at 6:04 p.m.. The President's golf partners included Marty Nesbitt, Alonzo Mourning, and Cy Walker.

Wednesday's golf game was a rematch; the same foursome hit the links at Vineyard Golf Club on Monday.

According to White House deputy press secretary Jen Friedman, President Obama spoke earlier Wednesday with Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate about flooding in Louisiana.

FEMA has been on the ground to respond to the flooding crisis that began over the weekend in the southern part of the state. According to The New York Times, the flooding took place after rainfall that is likely seen only once every thousand years. Eleven people have been killed and tens of thousands rescued.

According to the statement, the President was briefed about resources that have been provided for response and recovery. He directed Mr. Fugate to use all resources available to assist in the response, and to keep him updated about the ongoing situation.

Earlier this week, the President spoke with Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards and approved a major disaster declaration for the affected parishes in Louisiana. More than 70,000 people have registered for individual assistance under the disaster declaration and more than 9,000 people have filed flood insurance claims.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit the impacted regionon Thursday.


Time at the Beach and Evening In

6 years 1 month ago

After a busy few days filled with evenings out, golf games, and a fundraiser, the First Family headed to a south shore beach Tuesday afternoon.

The presidential motorcade departed headed out at 1:18 p.m. and arrived shortly after at a private beach off Pohogonot Road in Edgartown. The White House said the First Family was spending time with friends on a warm, mostly sunny day with a high in the low 80s.

The motorcade left the beach at 5:23 p.m. The President was wearing a black baseball hat as the motorcade sped down Edgartown-West Tisbury Road.

The President arrived back home in Chilmark at about 5:45 p.m., where he would spend the rest of the night at the residence off North Road.


President Obama's 2015 Visit

Dinner With Friends in Edgartown

The President and First Lady spent the last night of their Vineyard summer vacation having dinner with friends at a private home in Edgartown.

According to the White House, the Obamas had dinner with the Heard family, friends from Washington D.C. While on the Vineyard last year, Mr. Obama was joined on the golf course by lawyer Preston Heard.

The President is scheduled to depart from the Vineyard sometime tomorrow, bringing the Obamas' sixth Vineyard summer sojourn to an end.

Friday Fireworks and a Saturday Bike Ride

In what's become a tradition for the First Family, the Obamas were in Oak Bluffs Friday night for the town's annual fireworks show. As they have in past year, the Obamas watched the display from Valerie Jarrett's vacation house on the North Bluff. With streets closed for the fireworks show and thousands of people in town, the small area of Circuit avenue extension that was cordoned off by police tape and guarded by police and Secret Service seemed barely noticed by the crowds.

On a rainy Saturday, the second to last day of the presidential vacation, the First Family headed out on a bike ride in West Tisbury, likely in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, arriving at 11:30 a.m. This, too, is a vacation tradition for the Obamas.

In this photo by Alison L. Mead, Secret Service stand guard and police tape blocks off stairs to the portion of the North Bluff in Oak Bluffs where the First Family watched fireworks.


Friday Golf at Farm Neck

As the President's time on the Vineyard winds down, he returned to the golf course Friday for another round of golf.

Mr. Obama arrived at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs at noon and spent a little less than five hours on the golf course on Friday. His golf partners were basketball players Alonzo Mourning and Ray Allen and friend Cyrus Walker. All three have been frequent presidential golf partners during this vacation.

The presidential motorcade headed back to the Obamas' Chilmark vacation home. In past years, the First Family has headed to Oak Bluffs for the town's annual fireworks show, which takes place tonight, but it is unclear if that is in the works this year.

Obamas Spend Time at the Beach with the Kennedys

The first family headed back to the beach on Thursday, this time up-Island. According to the White House, the Obamas are spending the day at the beach in Aquinnah with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and her family. They arrived in Aquinnah at about 12:30 p.m.

Ambassador Kennedy's mother, the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, purchased Red Gate Farm in Aquinnah in 1978. The secluded 377-acre property fronts the Atlantic Ocean. The property is home to at least a dozen protected species, and is believed to be one of the most ecologically rare areas in the state.

On Wednesday night, the Obamas had dinner on the other side of the Island at Beach Road restaurant in Vineyard Haven. The restaurant opened earlier this summer, and is owned by Jackson and Mary Kenworth, who also own and operate State Road restaurant in West Tisbury, a favorite Island spot for the Obamas.



A Break for the Beach, Then Back to Golf

After a day away from golf spent at home and at the beach, President Obama headed back to Farm Neck Golf Club Wednesday for his seventh golf outing during his Vineyard summer vacation.

The President arrived at the Oak Bluffs course at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. According to the White House, his golf partners are retired basketball player Alonzo Mourning, former Celtics star Ray Allen, and friend Cyrus Walker.

Tuesday was a low-key day for the President, who took advantage of the hot weather to visit a private south shore beach with his family. After spending about five hours at the beach, the presidential motorcade headed back to the Obamas' Chilmark vacation house, where the President remained for the rest of the day.

After Quiet Sunday, Monday at the Golf Course

President Obama stayed true to his Vineyard routine Monday, heading to Vineyard Golf Club on a hot, sunny Monday.

Joining the President for his sixth round of golf on the Vineyard were retired basketball player Alonzo Mourning, investor Glenn Hutchins, and former Celtics star Ray Allen. The President arrived at the golf course at noon.

Monday's golf game follows a weekend that included a night out and time spent at the President's vacation home in Chilmark. On Saturday, Mr. Obama was joined by former President Bill Clinton for a much-publicized golf game at Farm Neck. Later that night, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Clinton, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton all attended a party for Vernon Jordan's 80th birthday at Farm Neck.

On Sunday the President spent the day at home. The President and his daughter Malia took a walk on a trail near their residence during the day. The President also called Pamela Horowitz to offer condolences on the death of her husband, Civil Rights leader Julian Bond.

While the President was at the golf course Monday, Mrs. Obama was spotted having a casual lunch with Valerie Jarrett and two friends in Oak Bluffs. Mike Levin took the picture and sent it to the Gazette.

Sunny Friday on the Golf Course

It was back to the golf course Friday for President Obama, who visited Farm Neck Golf Club for the third time so far during his Vineyard summer vacation.

The President's golf partners Friday were a trio of basketball players: former Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen, Golden State Warrior and 2015 NBA most valuable player Steph Curry, and Mr. Curry's father, Dell Curry, who is retired from the NBA.

The President arrived at the golf course at about 12:30 p.m, and after a little more than five hours headed back to his Chilmark rental home, where he will stay for the evening.

Summer Reading on the Beach

Thursday was a beach day for the President and his family, who spent a sunny afternoon on the Island's south shore.

According to the White House, the Obamas spent time with friends at a private beach in Edgartown off Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. The family arrived at the beach just after 11 a.m. and left about five hours later, heading back to spend the evening at the Chilmark home where they are staying.

Also Thursday, the White House released President Obama's summer reading list. The titles included James Salter's novel All That Is, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow, Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Mr. Coates was on the Vineyard two weeks ago for a discussion about race in America with journalist Michele Norris.

Dinner Out in Edgartown

The President and First Lady are enjoying a night out Wednesday, dining with friends at the downtown Edgartown restaurant Alchemy.

According to the White House, the Obamas are having dinner with former attorney general Eric Holder and his wife, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and her husband, and former U.S. trade representative Ron Kirk and his wife.

This is the President's first White House visit to Alchemy, a two-story restaurant that is open year-round, with bars on both floors and a second story porch overlooking Edgartown's Main street. The presidential visit has closed traffic for two blocks surrounding the restaurant, between Church street and North Water street, with local police waving cars down side streets as they came into town.

As the sun was setting, the street and the restaurant were filled with the usual summer crowds. People stopped to take pictures or survey the scene, which included Secret Service agents and several vehicles stationed behind yellow police tape in front of the restaurant. Onlookers passed by walking dogs or carrying cups of ice cream, while one couple asked a Secret Service agent how they could get to Isola, a restaurant located through a parking lot behind Alchemy. Security was stationed on the second story of Edgartown town hall across the street from the restaurant.

Earlier in the day, the President hit the links at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs with golf partners Alonzo Mourning, Ray Allen, and Cyrus Walker. According to the White House, Mr. Obama also called former President Jimmy Carter to wish him a full and speedy recovery. Mr. Carter revealed on Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with cancer.

This is the second time in as many days that White House excitement has come to Edgartown. On Tuesday, Mrs. Obama and the couple's daughters had lunch at Atlantic Fish & Chop House, a few blocks down Main street from Alchemy.

President Heads Back to the Golf Course

After a rainy day spent inside, President Obama headed back to the golf course Wednesday for the third golf outing of his vacation. The presidential motorcade arrived at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs a little bit before 1 p.m. This is the President's second visit to Farm Neck; he hit the links there on Saturday, his first full day of vacation.

The President's golf partners Wednesday are retired basketball player Alonzo Mourning, former Celtic Ray Allen, and friend Cyrus Walker.