May
31

Obama Family Spends Memorial Day Weekend at Home — Updated

May 31, 2010

President Obama had quite the busy weekend in Chicago, complete with basketball, a barbeque, and controversy.

The Obama family returned to Chicago for the first time in over a year to spend Memorial Day weekend at their home in the Kenwood Mansion District.

Obama in Chicago

The Obamas arrive in Chicago on Thursday. Hope they weren't eager to leave today.

The President began his day on Saturday in a motorcade from his home at 5046 N. Greenwood, Chicago, to the University of Chicago Lab School to play basketball. His daughters attended the school, on 58th and Kenwood, before moving to the White House. Obama wore a White Sox hat.

Later that afternoon, the Obama family, with dog Bo in tow, left their Chicago home and walked a few blocks to the house of Chicago businessman and close Obama friend Marty Nesbitt on Woodlawn Avenue for a backyard cookout. Also there was the First Lady’s mom and brother with his family.

It just so happens that Nesbitt lives across the street from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan; a press bus filled with reporters and photographers covering the President parked in front. Someone from the bus had the audacity to touch some curbside grass on Farrakhan’s property (I think the grass in question officially belongs to the city), which led to a ridiculous stand-off between Farrakhan’s people, the press pool and the Secret Service, ending only after the Obama family left the Nesbitt’s party just before 11 p.m.

More controversy: At least three single-engine planes were forced to land after they each flew in restricted airspace over the Obama’s Chicago home this weekend. It’s unclear where the pilots knew about the restricted flight area.

Sunday, like the rest of the weekend, was low-key. Obama worked out at a private gym and then spent the rest of the day with his family in his highly guarded neighborhood.

The President was supposed to make a Memorial Day speech at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elmwood Monday, but a 30-minute rain delay turned into the cancellation of the program. It was the President himself that called the event, saying he was concerned about thousands of people being in an open field during a storm.

Before leaving town, Obama visited the Hines Fisher House at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, where he toured the newly opened facility, ate a bratwurst lunch, and spent time talking with wounded service members and their families that live there. Seems like a good way to honor Memorial Day.

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