Obamas take a short vacation to Panama City, Fla.

Official behind-the-scenes photos from the White House Flickr.com account from July 2010.

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By Michael D. Shear
Friday, August 13, 2010; 9:14 AM

Some things in politics are inevitable.

When Michelle Obama paid a call to Panama City, Fla., last month and uttered the following words, she practically booked a presidential vacation to what's affectionately known as the "redneck Riviera":

"It's welcoming, it's pristine, and everybody should come here!" Obama said of the Panama City beaches, then threatened by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. "Truly, the best thing your fellow Americans can do is come down here and spend some money."

And so, four weeks later, the Obama family will indeed spend some quality time in Panama City -- about 27 hours, all told.

This weekend's trip is being billed as a vacation of sorts, the latest of several short trips leading up to a 10-day sojourn to Martha's Vineyard -- that haven of the rich and powerful and the friends of the rich and powerful that has become a cherished haven for the first family -- which begins next week.

(The Obamas at Martha's Vineyard in 2009)

Michelle Obama just returned from a mother-daughter getaway to Spain with her younger child, Sasha. It was, by all appearances, a fab vacation, with all the glamour that comes with jetting off to Europe for a few days.

Then there was the Maine weekend in July, when the family escaped to a tiny seaside town to hike and explore in the cool air of the upper Northeast.

(The Obamas in Maine.)

And earlier this year, President and Michelle Obama skipped town for a couple of days in North Carolina at a fancy resort that has hosted presidents for 100 years.

(Read about and see photos of the Obamas in the Blue Ridge Mountains.)


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