Ukraine throws wrench into Obama vacation plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was supposed be a weekend getaway to Florida for President Barack Obama and his wife and daughters, an escape from the frigid weather and lingering piles of snow around Washington. But Russia's intervention in Ukraine has put Obama's plans in doubt, making it very likely the family will end up at the White House.

"It is possible the president may return to the White House on Friday as events unfold in Ukraine," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

The weekend stay was to be tacked on to a visit by Obama and his wife Friday to Coral Reef High School in Miami, where they are to address students on the importance of education.

This vacation would come on the heels of the holiday Obama spent at the Sunnylands estate in Southern California during Presidents Day weekend last month, where he teed off on the desert property's 9-hole golf course as well as on a private, 19-hole course owned by supporter Larry Ellison, co-founder of the Oracle software company and one of the richest men in America.

Obama had gone to Sunnylands for meetings with King Abdullah II of Jordan

The White House has not said where Obama planned to stay this weekend, but local media reports said it was the Ocean Reef Club, a private property set on 2,500 tropical acres in Key Largo, in the Florida Keys. For the avid golfer, which Obama is, the property boasts two 18-hole golf courses. There's also a swimming lagoon, tennis courts, a spa and fitness center, a private airport and more than a dozen restaurants among the club's varied offerings.

Every president gets criticized for the amount of time they spend away from the White House, and Obama is no different. The Florida vacation, if it happens, would be his third for the year.

Besides Sunnylands, Obama and his family continued their tradition of spending Christmas and New Year's in his birthplace of Hawaii. The president and his daughters came back to the White House on Jan. 5, but Mrs. Obama stayed behind for another week to begin celebrating her 50th birthday later that month.

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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