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America's first family recharge their batteries with laid-back island break

August 27, 2009
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Life as the first African-American family ever to inhabit the White House has undoubtedly provided plenty of thrills and excitement. But the chance to enjoy normal activities with their kids like Joe and Jane Public have been few and far between, which is why the Obamas' summer vacation is so precious. Their holiday base is the picturesque island of Martha's Vineyard in New England.

A summer retreat for the wealthy, it offers a small town American feel with white picket fences and a traditional general store. It also boasts luxury leisure facilities like golf courses – a must for the US leader when he's unwinding. With their executive chef left behind at the presidential mansion, Barack and Michelle still had to cater for their hungry girls Malia, 11, and Sasha, eight. 

So, clearly not keen on slaving over a stove during their break, they headed out to pick up a takeaway of fried seafood at a local diner. They'd obviously been chilling out at the beach because on the food run the first lady – who refers to herself as the Mom-In-Chief – was seen shaking sand out of her elder daughter's long, curly locks. 

The break is the first real chance for them to let their hair down since the president took office. Joining them is friend Valerie Jarrett, one of their Chicago circle and now a White House adviser, with her family as well as the US leader's younger sister Maya and her husband.

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