5 January, 11:45

Obama's birthday gift to wife: time alone in Hawaii

Obama's birthday gift to wife: time alone in Hawaii

US President Barack Obama is going to give his wife the birthday present that many parents can only dream of - time off, alone, without the children. The White House said on Saturday first lady Michelle Obama would stay in Hawaii, where the family has been on vacation for the last two weeks, rather than return home with her husband and their two girls.

"As part of her birthday gift from the president, the first lady will remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of her upcoming 50th birthday," a White House official said.

The president was leaving Honolulu late on Saturday after a vacation that was filled with several games of golf and dinners out. He and his children are scheduled to arrive in Washington on Sunday morning.

Hawaii vacation over, Obama flies to Washington

US President Barack Obama late Saturday ended his vacation in sunny Hawaii and boarded Air Force One for a flight back home to chilly Washington. Obama arrived in his native Hawaii on December 21 along with his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha, 12, and Malia, 15.

Obama left Honolulu's Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam just before 9:00 pm (0700 GMT Sunday) with his daughters, who likely have school on Monday, but not Michelle.

"As part of her birthday gift from the president, the First Lady will remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of her upcoming 50th birthday," a brief White House statement said. Michelle Obama's birthday is on January 30.

The president and his family stayed at a rented house near a US Marine Corps base on the northeastern coast of the island of Oahu, located about a dozen miles (20 kilometers) from the state capital Honolulu, where Obama was born.

The president played several rounds of golf at the Marine base with friends and colleagues including White House chef Sam Kass.

On Thursday he also played golf with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, a rare vacation encounter with a foreign dignitary.

Voice of Russia, AFP, Reuters

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