Going golfing: President Barack Obama waves to a group of on-lookers. Photo: AP
US President Barack Obama began his first full day of vacation with a relaxed round of golf at Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts.
He was joined by aide Marvin Nicholson and White House chef Sam Kass, with Robert Wolf, a former UBS Americas chairman and one of Mr Obama's principal Wall Street allies, completing the foursome.
But while the President's first day on holiday seemed an uncomplicated affair, his trip to the idyllic coastal retreat of Martha's Vineyard presented considerable logistical headaches.
Keeping a close watch: Law enforcement officials await the President's arrival. Photo: AP
Rooms had to be found for dozens of Secret Service agents, someone had to carry a selection of basketballs, and, of course, the family dog needed its own state-of-the-art aircraft.
Mr Obama left behind Washington's debates over the budget, government surveillance and his healthcare reforms for golf, going to the beach and buying books from the Bunch of Grapes bookstore.
In the air he swapped his suit and tie for khakis and a blue shirt with rolled-up sleeves, while his wife, Michelle, wore a yellow-and-white summer dress. The President's Portuguese water dog, Bo, arrived separately on one of two MV-22 Ospreys, a hybrid aircraft that takes off like a helicopter but flies like a plane.
Striking a pose: The US President swaps suits for khakis. Photo: AFP
More than 70 hotel rooms, at a cost of up to $US345 ($375) a night, were booked for Secret Service agents, who had to take charge of the luggage, including two large mesh bags full of basketballs.
The Obamas are staying in Chilmark on the western tip of the island, an area dotted with multimillion-dollar homes. The neighbours include actor Ted Danson and singer Carly Simon.
Mr Obama will be staying closer to public roads which will have to be closed as his motorcade heads for the golf course or bookshop. The Martha's Vineyard Times warned locals to expect ''extraordinary and lengthy'' detours. Local officials also emailed residents, saying: ''Anyone aggrieved by this closing should email or call the White House.''
The Telegraph, London; Washington Post