The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

August 15, 2013

A difference this Obama vacation: No daughters yet

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama's fourth summer vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard is humming along with the usual golf games and basketball. But the family vibe is different. For the first time, daughters Malia and Sasha are missing, away at summer camp.

White House officials say only that the girls will reunite with their parents later in the week, without giving a specific date.

"When they get here, we'll let you know," spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

Michelle Obama arrived Saturday with her husband and family dog, Bo. Obama returns to Washington on Sunday.

In the meantime, the president is staying at a 5,000-square-foot, $7 million Chilmark home rented from Chicago friend David Schulte and engaging in many of the pastimes that kept him busy during previous family stays on the picturesque island: golf, dining out and basketball.

One sign of the girls' absence is that Obama has yet to drop by the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven. He typically takes them there on his first full day of vacation to pick up summer reading.

That his daughters are not here is another reminder of the years that have passed since their father became president. They are older now — Malia is 15 and Sasha is 12 — and increasingly leading lives more independent of their parents and with schedules as hectic as their mom's and dad's, their parents have said. Both are into sports: Malia plays tennis and runs track, while Sasha plays basketball. She sings and dances, too.

Obama spent Saturday night indoors after arriving by helicopter from the Coast Guard station on nearby Cape Cod, Mass.

Every day since, his motorcade has driven him from Chilmark on the island's western tip to the eastern towns of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven and back.

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