President-elect Barack Obama, returning to his home state of Hawaii for the holidays, plans a beachside vacation at one of Oahu's most exclusive properties, according to an islander involved in the planning.
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Arrangements are being finalized for the Obamas and the families of two or three friends to stay at a Kailua beachfront location with three modern, multi-million-dollar homes. Each wraps around a lagoon-style swimming pool, with palm trees, grassy lawns and retractable glass walls for postcard views of the white sand and windsurfers.
Obama and his friends plan to rent the privately owned homes for several days including Christmas, said the islander, a Democratic activist who spoke Thursday night on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal the details.
The property is located across the island from metropolitan Honolulu, in a residential section of trendy Kailua. The 2.5-mile beach is popular with local families as well as tourists, and has been rated by travel magazines among the best beaches in the world.
The property also has a sweeping view of the Koolau Range, a lush, forested ridge that forms the backbone of East Oahu.
Obama's spokesman would not comment on his holiday travel plans.
Gov. Linda Lingle indicated this week that that Valerie Jarrett, a close Obama friend and adviser who is co-chair of his transition office, would accompany Obama to the islands. Lingle said she intended to meet with Jarrett.
The governor also invited Obama to meet with her, her spokesman said.
Obama was most recently in Hawaii in October to visit his ailing grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who raised him for much of his youth. Dunham died Nov. 2 at the age of 86, two days before Obama won the presidency.
While in Hawaii Obama also is expected to pay tribute to his grandmother, who was cremated, with a private family ceremony.
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