Readers of daily dispatches from the White House press pool that follows President Barack Obama to Hawaii for his annual holiday are usually treated to more of the same: motorcades to the K-Bay gym, golf courses, beaches, expensive restaurants and the like.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

The president himself is rarely ever sighted. Boring stuff.

But Gardiner Harris of The New York Times usually manages to at least spice up the filings with some literary flourishes.

President Barack Obama’s motorcade rolls out of Kailuana Place on his way to Marine Corps Base Hawaii. 25 dec 2014. photo Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Obama’s motorcade in Kailua, circa 2014. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Here’s some examples from Tuesday, unedited:

8:22:38 AM HST

Pool is holding at a nearby McDonalds, whose localized breakfast menu includes a deluxe breakfast that includes Spam. Your pooler believes strongly in being sensitive to local culture and its offerings. But there are some traditions that are unequivocally wrong (slavery and child labor spring to mind), and braised spam with scrambled eggs falls into that unfortunate category of unacceptable localized abominations.

If Scrapple had been on the menu, this judgment would quite obviously be different.

11:43:07 AM HST

The White House has not offered any hint of our destination, but van veterans here are betting that your pool is headed to Hanauma Bay State Park, a gorgeous beach with an abundance of marine life in crystal-clear waters. The park is closed to visitors on Tuesdays, making today ideal for a first family get-away since next Tuesday will be taken up with the visit from the Japanese prime minister.

12:11:43 PM HST

The first family and their friends are spending the afternoon at the beach at Bellows Air Force Base. The previous prediction of a visit to Hanauma, based on years of experience, intense introspection, and a consultation of star charts, proved wrong.

3:06:47 PM HST

Bellows could hardly be more ideal, with a wide strip of mature pines edging up to a white sand beach. The water offers four distinct shades of aquamarine going out to what appears to be a reef, where white breakers form a boundary with a sapphire blue Pacific beyond. The more distant horizon offers sharp trapezoidal islands of tropical vegetation.

In short, crazy beautiful.

About the Author