First Lady Michelle Obama and Daughter Sasha Vacationing in Spain Amid Warnings of “"racist prejudices”

A mother-daughter vacation would usually be exactly that, unless your husband/father is the president of the United States. All eyes are all on you -- where you are going, with whom you visit, who's paying for the trip, how safe your vacation spot is, etc.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a press briefing, "The first lady is on a private trip. She is a private citizen and is the mother of a daughter on a private trip."

With the money question out of the way, what about safety? It turns out the State Department had cautioned Americans traveling to Spain, but according to published reports quickly pulled it as Mrs. Obama and daughter Sasha left on their trip. The Department stated that ""racist prejudices could lead to the arrest of Afro-Americans who travel to Spain," but the wording can no longer be found on the website. When asked on Thursday if there was a travel warning for Spain, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "I don't believe so."

In the past couple of years Spain's economy, along with the rest of the world, took a dive. Back in early 2009, a non-governmental group there made a link between economy and racism. It published a report saying that "xenophobia has increased in Spain because of the Government's handling of the economic crisis." The group, SOS Racisme criticized Spain's government and its programs for establishing a connection between immigration and the economic crisis.

Much like Greece but perhaps not to the same extent, Spain has been plagued by serious economic malaise: budgetary problems, debt and an unemployment rate of almost 20 percent according to some reports, the highest in over 10 years.

Back in Washington, to the question of who is paying for Mrs. Obama and Sasha's trip, Mr Gibbs replied "It's a private trip and is being paid for that way."

The first lady, daughter Sasha and their entourage are reportedly booked 60 rooms and are staying at the Hotel Villa Padierna (a Ritz Carlton property), Spain's destination for the rich and famous. The White House has not released the details of the trip, but a quick search on the hotel's site reveals its daily rate from 379 -1540 Euros ($500-2031) per night.