— Rumors swirled for days about where the Obamas would stay. A rich
person’s house? A private enclave? Then, just a couple of days before
their arrival, the Secret Service appeared at the
The first president to vacation on
The Obamas stayed at the Regency’s best
And why did the family stay at the
But one thing is certain: The Obamas kept the vacation simple.
“A lot of the stuff they did wasn’t out of the ordinary at all,” said
At Stewman’s Downtown, the family arrived at the back dock of the restaurant in a National Park Services boat.
“People who were already dining could stay, but they had to close the front door and nobody else could come in,” said
a greeter. “He sat in my friend Mark’s section. Mark had only been
serving for eight days. His hand was shaking when he took the
“Every time I brought drinks or dinner from the kitchen, I was wanded by Secret Service” — about 35 times, said waiter
At Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream, owner
the Obamas were coming. She didn’t even have time to clean up before
they arrived and ordered four single scoops — coconut, chocolate,
cookies and cream and candy shoppe at
“It was an awkward moment when it came time to
charge the party,” she said. “I said, ‘Can I buy these for you?’ And he
said ‘No, no.’ He pulled out his wallet. They were pretty real. I had
chocolate all over me. But I guess I looked the part of an ice cream
She was sold out of coconut ice cream all week because so many tourists wanted a cone just like the president had.
“They blocked off and closed the trail,” said
Most presidential vacations involve compounds that
can be cordoned off easily with security. The Obamas will vacation at a
private home on
You can’t vacation with the Kennedys in
However, IHG, the
parent company of the Holiday Inn brand, won’t be capitalizing on the
presidential publicity. It won’t even admit he was there.
“On that specific topic I am not able to comment,” said IHG spokeswoman
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