Barack Obama and his family arrived in Hawaii Saturday for their annual two-week Christmas holiday and to ring in his final year as president, reports the Associated Press.
Before their arrival, first lady Michelle Obama and the president stopped in San Bernardino, Calif., to meet with grieving relatives of victims of gun violence.
The Obamas spent nearly three hours late Friday at a high school library listening to the loved ones of 14 people killed Dec. 2 after religious extremists opened fire at a workplace holiday party. The FBI is investigating the shooting as an act of terrorism, the report says.
President Obama described the meeting as “moving,” saying that the families were representative of the nation, according to the news outlet.
The Obamas and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, usually spend Christmas vacation in Hawaii, the island state where the president was born. He frequently can be seen golfing, dining and spending time at the beach.
Obama plans to return to Washington, D.C., just after New Year’s Day to begin working with the Republican-controlled Congress in his last year as president.
“Since taking this office, I’ve never been more optimistic about a year ahead than I am right now,” he said before leaving Washington, AP reports. “And in 2016, I’m going to leave it out all on the field.”
Lynette Holloway is a contributing editor at The Root. The New York-based writer is a former New York Times reporter and associate editor at Ebony magazine.