With wife Michelle, daughters Sasha and Malia and pet dog Bo in tow, President Obama is hoping for a pleasantly uneventful few days as he begins his vacation at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts on Thursday.
The president, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha spent 4 1/2 hours Saturday at a private beach enjoying a picnic lunch, but they returned to their rented compound on Martha's Vineyard and Obama planned no more outside trips for the day.
On Friday, the first full day in their 10-day vacation, the president took the girls book shopping before he played a round of golf, but as he has each night since arriving on Thurday, he stayed home despite a bustle of late-summer activity on the island.
Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said earlier in the week that Obama was hoping for a news-free stay and a chance to "recharge his batteries."
The family was not seen by the White House press corps as they headed for the beach, but clusters of well-wishers waved to them as they passed a bustling farmer's market and several crowded intersections en route. There was a similar scene as their now-dusty SUVs returned home.
The family picnicked at a beach in the Oyster Watcha area, just down the road from where former President Bill Clinton used to vacation. That property, owned by real estate developer Richard Friedman, was the site of a scheduled Saturday evening fundraiser for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a friend of the president's, fellow Democrat and Chicagoan.
The fundraiser was hosted by White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, but both Patrick and Obama aides said the president would not attend. The governor said he encouraged the White House to keep Obama away so he could enjoy his vacation.
The weather so far has encouraged all forms of outdoor activity: warm, sunny, with little humidity.