Monday, August 17, 2009

First Ladies Doing Vacations Their Way

Mamie Eisenhower had no shame in her game going on vacation in the dead of winter. Back in the 1950's longer plane rides made for longer presidential vacations. For 10 days in February 1958, Mamie Eisenhower hung out in Georgia with her husband. On the 23rd of February, the president went on his private plane - Columbine III with the usual assortment of staff and announced the next stop was Phoenix, Arizona where he would lunch with friends at Elizabeth Arden's Maine Chance Farm. The first lady was staying on to soak up the sun in Arizona, and he would be doing a power lunch with pals and turning right around to go back to DC. Even back then, lots of screaming between the press secretary and the press about who was paying for that,.. I was more interested that the works at the Arden beauty farm was $400 a week. Sheesh! In a top flight spa you can do that before you put on the robe. (Mamie sampling her birthday cake - she really was a popular first lady. Photo courtesy AM New York)

Now Jackie Kennedy picked exotic places, but this has to be a 1960's thing that had no etiquette precedent in the First Lady Rule Book. What do you wear to ride a camel with your sister in Pakistan? Date line: Karachi, March 25, 1962 the answer is Kitten heels, pearls, hair immaculate that dares the wind, and a designer dress as you sit sidesaddle above a bunch of men leading your walking, humped spit creator. Jackie's vacation trip was at the suggestion of the Ambassador to India, John Kenneth Galbraith.

This is a first lady who loved horses. Sardar was very dear to Jackie Kennedy and she even chats about the talented horse in her memoirs. He had a nickname that was partial to her father and gambling. The horse had the unofficial moniker Black Jack given to the gelding by the first lady. There are some famous photos of her and the horse. That horse was beloved and went with Mrs. Kennedy after she found a Virginia farm for her family. (Photo courtesy JFK Library)

Pat Nixon did her vacationing on a 125 acre island in da Bahamas mon while in the White House and afterwards. Florida was another favorite as the Nixons also hung out with very wealthy friends. Lots of presidential and first lady time was clocked in what became known as the Winter White House on Key Bisayne in Florida and the Western White House in San Clemente, California for the Nixons. Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter have a very active lifestyle post presidency. They build houses for charity, travel the world and its hot spots and while in Plains, Georgia, ride their bikes. (President & Mrs. Carter Photo courtesy of the The Carter Center & Charles Plant)

The First Family & extended family of President Obama's sister & niece got a great look at the Grand Canyon at both Powell's Point & Hopi Point.
Michelle Obama is wearing shorts in the blistering heat of the Grand Canyon. No one knows what the attire was for the whitewater rafting in the midst of pouring rain and hail while the president went flyfishing in Montana. A trip to Old Faithful was casual as they hiked to see one of America's treasured geysers. The Obamas shared thier treats of picking a basket of peaches in Palisades area of Colorado as well. All in all vacations are fun and its historically rare seeing first ladies fully being themselves while on vacation. Hillary Clinton was photographed twice in a bathing suit to her horror, but the 21st century is rewriting a first family's leisure time.

Poor Bo, left home again...


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