First family bids farewell to Oahu with shakas flying

President Obama and his family departed from Oahu’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at 9:43 p.m., marking the end of their annual Hawaiian winter vacation to the islands.

The President and the First Lady arrived to the take-off zone at 9:27 p.m. on Saturday and were greeted by state dignitaries, including Gov. David Ige, Senator Mazie Hirono, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, and General Vincent Keith Brooks.

“We told him we didn’t want him to leave,” joked the Mayor. “We want him to stay longer. But, you know, I asked him has he ever bodysurfed at Panic, he said yeah. So I told him that’s why we need the library here in Kakaako, so you can look at the great breaks from there.”

“What I did mention to the President was that I really appreciated his work on immigration reform,” said Sen. Hirono. “He said there’s a lot of work to do.”

Following the couple’s arrival to the joint base, their daughters Sasha and Malia then soon arrived to the scene.

After hand shakes and greeting the Hawaii officials and members of the military, the President and the First Lady ascended the stairs leading into Air Force One. As they reached the top of the stairs, the couple waved and flashed a shaka in the air as they smiled at the crowds of people.

President Obama spent his day visiting the Punchbowl Memorial Cemetary where he paid respects to his grandfather. And later in the afternoon, he visited his half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng in Manoa, accompanied by his daughters.

And before departing, the first family had their final meal on Oahu at Buzz’s in Lanikai.

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