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Returning to his former home of Hawaii as President-elect, Barack Obama and his family are enjoying a 13-day vacation.
Obama is secluded at a compound of oceanfront estates, guarded by seven-foot walls made of stone and lava rock and situated along a quiet sliver of snow-white-sandy beach.
The Kailua Estate seems is ideal for a Presidential retreat, sitting neatly on a peninsula, with only a single narrow road leading to it, thus offering plenty of privacy.
Behind the walls, the Obamas can enjoy picturesque beach and ocean views from the master bedroom, heavy granite in the kitchen and detailed woodwork throughout. There are Tiki torches dotting the manicured gardens, and the interior features stone imported from Peru, Jerusalem and Italy.
The entire Kailua neighborhood once was the private estate of Samuel Castle, a sugar magnate whose Castle & Cooke company was one of the Big Five firms that dominated Hawaiian politics for decades. The Obamas’ current retreat is situated close to land that was once Castle’s horse pasture and skeet ranch.