Aloha and Welcome to the First Family-Elect

The Obamas are here for their brief vacation. Well, not here, exactly. They’re on Oahu, happily ensconced in the community of Kailua on the opposite side of that island from Honolulu. The place where they’re staying is about a quarter mile from the house we sold when I quit working and we moved to Maui. (Our house, I feel compelled to add, was nothing like the place where Barack, Michelle and the two girls are staying.)

Kailua is a very laid back little town where the main attraction is the beach … a 3-mile-long crescent that is remarkably uncrowded most of the time. The house where the Obamas are staying is located about in the center of this photograph, perhaps 80-100 feet back from the beach.

As a note of possible interest, there is no such thing as a private beach here. By law, all beaches in Hawaii are public with private property extending only as far as the high-water mark.

During the 25 years we lived in Kailua, I would wait until about the middle of February, walk down to the beach on a warm, sunny morning, wade out to my waist in the ocean, take out my cell phone and call my brother in Illinois and ask him if he was tired of winter yet. I think, in some perverse way, he actually enjoyed that.