Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., went yesterday to Valley of the Temples Memorial Park Byodo-In Temple on Oahu's Windward side.
‘Very friendly’ senator sees Windward attractions
A day in the country brings a family visit to Valley of the Temples
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A North Shore barbecue, a scenic Windward attraction and an hour of exercise at a health club in Kaneohe highlighted Sen. Barack Obama's second full day of vacation on Oahu yesterday.
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"He was very friendly and down to earth," said Abby Santos, a personal trainer at 24-Hour Fitness, who got the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to autograph his front-page photo in the Star-Bulletin. "It's nice to know that he has a link to Hawaii and hasn't forgotten it."
In the early afternoon, according to reporters traveling with Obama, he took his family, including his half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and his two daughters, to Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.
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Even on vacation, Sen. Barack Obama can't stay away from the gym.
On Sunday Barak Obama made a surprise visit to 24 Hour Fitness Center, he was also seen swimming in the ocean and shooting basketball.
While many people typically sleep in on Sunday morning, Obama and his wife, Michelle, went for a workout yesterday at 24-Hour Fitness in Kaneohe.
On the third day of what Obama hoped to be a low-key vacation in his birth state, he started early at the gym before driving up to the North Shore for a barbecue at a friend's house, with a few stops along the way.
Obama spent about four hours in the evening at the home of Bobby Titcomb, a friend from his high school days at Punahou School. Titcomb's home is near Haleiwa.
A contingent of Obama campaign staff members made the trip from Honolulu to join the group.
Partygoers lounged on the sand by the water. Torches were lit in the background.
At about 8:15 p.m., Obama and family headed back to their vacation home in Kailua.
In the morning at about 8, Obama, dressed in a black T-shirt and gray pants, entered a gym full of regulars who were shocked to see the presumptive Democratic nominee ready to work out.
He met Abby Santos, a 24-year-old personal trainer, and noticed on the counter yesterday's Star-Bulletin with a front-page photo of him walking on the beach.
"Who's that handsome guy?" Obama joked before signing the paper for her with "To Abby, Aloha! Barack Obama."
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., second from right, walks with unidentified children of friends into an Aloha Tropical Farms macadamia nut store in Windward Oahu. They stopped there as they headed to the North Shore for an evening barbecue at a high school friend's house.
Obama, along with the teenage son of his campaign treasurer and longtime friend Marty Nesbitt, stayed around the weights area while Michelle Obama did cardio.
People working out asked for his autograph. In between sets, Obama chatted with them.
"He was very friendly and down to earth," Santos said. "It's nice to know that he has a link to Hawaii and hasn't forgotten it."
She offered him a bottle of Dasani water, which Obama declined, preferring to drink out of the water fountain.
Women in a downstairs spinning class asked the 1979 Punahou School graduate if he would like to join them. "That's too advanced for me," Santos recalled Obama telling them.
Obama stayed for about an hour, after his wife had already left. He told the employees he would be back for another workout before his weeklong vacation ends.
Since arriving on Oahu Friday afternoon, Obama has so far been able to keep a low profile, staying at a Kailua beachfront compound blocked from public view with palm trees and shrubs. After yesterday's workout he stayed inside the Kailua property for several hours, appearing only briefly to welcome a friend inside.
Obama spent most of yesterday with his family and friends.
According to a pool of reporters traveling with Obama, he took his family, including his half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and his two daughters to Valley of the Temples Memorial Park at about 1:40 p.m. Friends said he wanted his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, to see the park, set against the backdrop of the Koolau cliffs, which he had visited when he was a boy here.
The reporters were kept at a distance when the group, which also included Obama's friends Nesbitt and Eric Whitaker and their families, went to Aloha Tropical Farms, a macadamia nut farm.
In his only scheduled public appearance, on Friday at Keehi Lagoon Park, Obama shared with supporters his checklist of things to do in Hawaii: Visit his "tutu," or grandmother, go bodysurfing at an "undisclosed location," watch his girls play in the water, eat shave ice and eat a plate lunch at Zippy's Restaurant or Rainbow Drive-In.