The former first couple kicks back in the Caribbean
So long White House, hello beachside villa!
Barack and Michelle Obama arrived in the British Virgin Islands on Monday for a much-deserved post-presidency vacation. The former first couple departed Washington D.C. on Friday following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Before boarding a plane bound for the West Coast, the 44th president joked, “Michelle and I, we’ve really been milking this goodbye thing, so it behooves me to be very brief.” They wasted no time, however, in getting into full vacation mode.
The Obamas headed to Palm Springs, California, where they enjoyed a brief stay at the Rancho Mirage home of James Costos, ambassador to Spain and Angora under President Obama, and Los Angeles–based interior designer Michael S. Smith, who redecorated the White House while the Obamas lived there.
Their stay in the States was short and sweet, and after leaving the desert city on Monday morning, the couple touched down at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport in the British Virgin Islands at 8:47pm, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News. They then reportedly made their way to Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson’s private island retreat by motorcade and boat.
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Branson’s Caribbean home, known as Necker Island, is a 74-acre stretch of sand that includes a luxurious resort for up to 30 guests. Anyone can book a stay there or rent the entire island when Branson isn’t using it himself, and many celebrities have taken advantage of the businessman’s hospitality. Mariah Carey, Kate Winslet, Robert DeNiro, Nelson Mandela and Diana Princess of Wales have all reportedly vacationed there. Kate Moss held her 40th birthday party there and Google cofounder Larry Page was married there.
A staff of 100 is on hand to serve guests staying in the Balinese-style villas, many of which offer panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea, according to Coastal Living. Guests can also take part in daily feedings of the resident lemurs, flamingos, giant tortoises and iguanas.
It’s not clear how long the Obamas intend to stay on the island, but here’s some information from which to draw your own conclusions: The weather today in the British Virgin Islands is 81 degrees and sunny. In D.C., it’s 47 and cloudy with a nearby Nor’easter and a political storm brewing.