Michelle Obama will be spending the additional week of her Hawaiian vacation at Oprah Winfrey’s Maui retreat, and she has a prestigious group accompanying her.
The first lady is having a girls’ getaway, according to The Daily Caller, which reported:
While White House pool reports indicate the first lady stayed behind this week in Hawaii to chill out with friends before her 50th birthday, there weren’t many specifics. But sources with direct knowledge tell TheDC that the first lady is relaxing in Maui at Oprah’s estate with CBS’ Gayle King, Valerie Jarrett and Sharon Malone, who is Attorney General Eric Holder’s wife.
“Yesterday, we saw bomb-sniffing dogs and Maui police in the bushes,” Heather Long, the manager of nearby Grandma’s Coffeehouse, told The Dailey Caller. “We’re very close to Oprah’s property. They’ll probably walk up and down the road.”
Winfrey stops by the coffee shop regularly, but employees “try to not to make it a big deal,” Long said.
Oprah.com says this of the Hawaii home:
Once an ordinary little gray ranch that Oprah saw “for less than 10 minutes” and considered a tear-down, Oprah’s Hawaiian home has been transformed into the perfect 21st-century farmhouse, with great pieces of folk art, beautifully embroidered curtains, comfortable furniture, and inviting colors.
Michelle Obama’s extended stay is reportedly part of a birthday gift from the president, prompting Fox News’ Ed Henry on Monday to ask White House press secretary Jay Carney who was footing the bill for the extra flight home.
“The first lady stayed behind in Hawaii, and the White House said that was an early birthday present from the president,” Henry said, according to Mediaite. “Does that mean he’s paying for the flight back, or are the taxpayers paying for it?”
“As with all personal travel, the first family will appropriately fund personal expenses, Ed, and in line with past presidents and first ladies, the first lady will travel via government aircraft,” Carney said, appearing to read from a script. “But you are accurate in your description that this was, ah, her decision to remain in Hawaii, the president’s suggestion that she remain in Hawaii to spend time with friends ahead of this very big birthday. If you have kids, you know that telling your spouse they can spend a week away from home is a big present. Not that we don’t love our kids.”
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