Vacationing First Family, other families, put family first
Pam Boudreau had no idea she would soon be vacationing on the "playground of presidents," when her family woke her before dawn last Sunday. The vacation birthday present from her husband Ken, daughter Anabelle, and son Cross came as a complete surprise.
"We woke up and they said, 'we're going,'" Ms. Boudreau said. "They wouldn't tell me where."
She figured it out when they got close to Woods Hole, and the Halifax, Massachusetts family got into the swing of vacation quickly. By 9:45 am Sunday, they had already checked into the Harbor View Hotel, and were walking down the path to visit the Edgartown Lighthouse.
"We didn't know the president was going to be here," said Mr. Boudreau.
The Boudreau family intended to take in the usual sights around the Island with plenty of beach, and maybe some fishing in their vacation plans. They weren't overly optimistic about catching a glimpse of the president. "We won't see him," said Ms. Boudreau. "But you never know, you might get lucky."
When you're the president, it's not likely you'll inherit the task Patrick Senatus inherited in Oak Bluffs. He stood patiently near the Flying Horses, holding his wife Annjanette's pocketbook, camera, and other vacation paraphernalia, while she and their daughter Pascale, age 3, rode the antique carousel again and again and again. "She can spot a carousel a mile away," said the proud dad.
Like the first family, who didn't venture outside their vacation home on Sunday, Dr. Senatus and his family eased into vacation mode from their rented home in Oak Bluffs. "We rested a little, saw some friends," said Dr. Senatus. "We took it easy the first day."
A neurosurgeon from Hartford, Dr. Senatus is keenly aware of the health care debate that will occupy some of the president's working time while he is here on the Island. "I'm optimistic he can get some things done," he said. "If you can get a little bit accomplished, that's a success. I wouldn't expect any congress or administration to fix everything."
Yarden Sobelman is an example of how small the world has become in this media age. Yarden, age 5, is visiting from Israel with his family. Walking up Circuit Avenue, he spotted a poster in the window of DeRosa's Printing welcoming the first family, and immediately recognized the new American president.
"That's Obama," he said with a fair amount of 5-year-old excitement.
Father Eran, mother Gabby, and little sister Yaar are staying with their relatives, the Feinstein family, in Chilmark, so they are all vacation neighbors of the first family. Like the Obamas, they planned to spend a lot of time together. "We're spending a lot of time at home with each other," said Isabelle Feinstein, "and trying to spot the president."
The two families laughed about their quick change in vacation activities, after learning the first family was staying in the same Island town.
"Let's be honest, we are looking for the Obamas," Gabby Sobelman said. "We were supposed to be reading a lot. That's not going to happen."