msnbc   |  December 27, 2010

Obama working during island vacation

While the Northeast digs through the snow, it's beach week for the Obamas. But it's not all fun in the sun for the president, who still has business to attend to on the island. NBC's Athena Jones reports.

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>> airline.

>> while we dig through the snow in the northeast, it's beach week for the obamas but it's not all fun in the sun for the president. still business to attend to on the island. here's shot of president obama speaking with saudi king abdullah , wishing him well after successful surgeries in new york. the saudi leader congratulated the president on the ratification of the start treaty . athena jones up early for us in honolulu. luds howe does it look there.

>>> >> reporter: it's still dark but hoping the sun will come out and rain will stay away . as you mentioned the president and his family mixing business with pleasure . most of it's out of the public view, away from network cameras. but you could say it's been a variation on the 12 days of christmas . the president has made three trips to the gym, played two rounds of golf, two calls to leader. you showed that picture of him talking with king abdullah . in both cases the leaders discussed the new s.t.a.r.t. arms control. the president's made one trip to the beach at the marine base where he's staying with his family that was on christmas eve . one trip to visit with the troops on christmas day . yesterday he and his family went to church at the marine base. a nondenominational chapel that holds all kind of services. we watched him in the front row , singing to the church songs "oechblt holy night " "the angels we heard on high" takiing part in communion. the president was briefed on the ongoing counterterrorism efforts the security briefing he gets every day. briefed on that bus crash that killed the american tourists in egypt. they've been mixing it up. there's been business, there's been pleasure. the president's reading a biography on reagan. we expect more of the same, hoping to see the sun come out today.

>> have you had the hole fare yet? he likes local smoke cos and anything with spam. have you tried any of it?

>> reporter: he hasn't been to the shop he loves so much, it's a version of a snow cone here in hawaii. we checked it out. we talked to them. the same place that he's been going. island snow, he's been going to this play. a new snow cone called the snowbama, it's red and green and we tried that out. as far as we know, he hasn't gone there about mostly the marine base, going back and forth with the gym and golf. i'm sure the island snow place is hoping he'll stop by.

>> if all fails, the ocean which is behind you. last thing about the food, as we go here, i always called hawaii the one southern state that wasn't in the south because everything they've got there is with gravy and eggs everything's fried. it's very