Obama returns home to Washington, but first lady stays behind in Hawaii

HONOLULU -- President Obama departed his native Hawaii Saturday to return to Washington, but his wife, Michelle, is staying behind for a few extra days to celebrate her 50th birthday with friends.

As part of her birthday gift from her husband, the first lady plans to remain in this tropical paradise a little longer to hang out with friends in advance of her birthday on Jan. 17, according to a statement from the White House.

Their two daughters, 15-year-old Malia and 12-year-old Sasha, were scheduled to depart Honolulu late Saturday and arrive in Washington on Sunday morning. The girls are set to go back to school at Sidwell Friends on Monday.

Before taking off, the Obamas enjoyed a family dinner at Buzz's, a casual restaurant with tiki torches in Lanikai, near their Kailua vacation home. Earlier Saturday, the president and first lady went for a 15-minute hike before the president headed out for one last round of golf, this time with aide Marvin Nicholson and White House chef Sam Kass.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.
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