44: For Obamas, a beach vacation in the rain

By Scott Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 24, 2010; 12:37 PM

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. -- The weather here is awful, turning the island into a blustery, rain-soaked mess for the First Family's vacation. Much of their fun has, by necessity, moved indoors during the days-long storm.

For the first time since their arrival four days earlier, President Obama and the first lady braved a gale-force wind to dine out Monday evening in Oak Bluffs, choosing the French-American cuisine of The Sweet Life Café.

Joining them were Valerie Jarrett, a close family friend and one of the president's senior advisers, and Chicago pals Eric and Cheryl Whitaker. The First Couple received a round of applause from onlookers for venturing out on a night when the 30-are farm they've rented would have provided an understandable sanctuary.

Obama has only gotten in two rounds of golf, just beating the weather Sunday morning for his most recent one. He stocked up on a few large novels during a bookstore visit last week, including Jonathan Franzen's 576-page "Freedom."

He has yet to make a dent in that one, Bill Burton, the White House deputy press secretary, told reporters here Tuesday during a morning briefing. Instead, he's been enjoying some guilt-free nesting with family and friends, hunched over Scrabble and Taboo (a word-game) with the harsh weather outside.

"I'll probably get fired for saying this," Burton said before announcing that Jarrett "did not do well" against Obama in Scrabble.

Forecasts predict the weather clearing Thursday - in time for a blizzard of golf before the First Family's scheduled departure three days later.

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