After a delay, Obama begins Hawaiian vacation

President Barack Obama walks with Donna Willard, wife of Admiral Robert Willard, to greet people waiting for him on the tarmac as he arrives on Air Force One at Hickam Air Force Base in Friday, Dec. 23, 2011, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

HONOLULU (AP) -- It isn't taking any time at all for President Barack Obama to get into vacation mode.

Less than 30 minutes after arriving in Hawaii, Obama and first lady Michelle Obama joined friends for a Friday night dinner at one of their favorite places, Morimoto Restaurant.

Mrs. Obama has been in Hawaii with their daughters for a week. But the president delayed his departure to stay in Washington while Congress worked out an agreement on extending expiring payroll tax cuts.

Obama has no public events planned while in Hawaii. A small group of advisers is traveling with him to brief him on domestic and international developments.

A native of Hawaii, Obama plans to spend the rest of the year on the islands before returning to Washington shortly after New Year's Day.


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