Michelle Obama's big 'sacrifices' on her Vail vacation
It has been almost a month and a half since the Obama family returned from 10 days in Oahu. With all the breastfeeding advice she's been giving out lately, an exhausted First Lady is long overdue for some R & R.
Relinquishing her role as tireless workaholic, Michelle decided to revisit last year's mother/daughter ski trip to the Ski Liberty Resort in Carroll Valley, Pennsylvania. Only this year, the Obama women have taken to the slopes in Vail, Colorado on a "private family trip" accompanied by "several close friends."
When unveiling his budget, Michelle's husband reminded Americans, "Everybody's going to have to give a little bit." The President even suggested: "If you're a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, you might put off a vacation."
According to Obama, "Just like every family in America, the federal government has to ... live within its means." Which is exactly what Mrs. Obama is doing, spending time with her daughters at a resort that is much more modest than she's used to.
Actually, the whole excursion to Vail Mountain is one of self-sacrifice. According to administration officials, the First Lady and friends are merely "chaperoning...children on a ski trip," otherwise Michelle would likely be home hunkered down, tirelessly working in the "Let's Move" office of the White House.
On a tight budget, the ski trip is but a few steps above a school-sponsored field trip. The chaperones are staying at the Sebastian Hotel, where lodging starts at "$605 per night ... and head north of $2,000 for multi-bedroom suites." Those rates are certainly more modest than the $6,600 a night Mrs. Obama was rumored to have spent at the Hotel Villa Padierna in Costa del Sol.
The Sebastian touts "spas, a Frost Bar, a Market for nibbles, a mountain-view pool, hot tubs and a fire pit." A bevy of ski valets assist patrons "into warm boots and out onto the mountain," which is just the kind of pared-down amenity that penny-pinchers across America can easily relate to.
Michelle arrived with "A motorcade of about a dozen vehicles, including 15 state and local law enforcement officers, traveled from the Eagle County Regional Airport to Vail...Roads were temporarily blocked to make way for the motorcade."
Despite the extravagant entourage, when it comes to frugality Mrs. Obama is a pro. A flight from DC to Colorado is 1,700 miles and takes approximately 3 hours. Although the First Lady usually employs a large Air Force jet to ferry her from vacation spot to vacation spot, this time she answered the call to live within the Obama family means in the following way: To save money, instead of Air Force One, which costs about $100,000 per hour to fly, Michelle chose a less expensive jet.
Not including the weight of ski equipment, a fair guesstimation would be that the Michelle Vail Vacation one-way flight cost much less than what would otherwise have set the American taxpayer back $300,000.
Moreover, Michelle's savvy decision to travel as often as possible without Barack also eliminates about 180 pounds of excess baggage weight, and in the long run helps in tamping down overall costs.
As an added budgetary bonus, the President joined Michelle in setting an example of prudence. Barry saved coaching fees for Sasha's basketball team when another coach failed to show up. Although Sasha was on the bunny slope with Mom in Vail, our thrifty President paused stirring up union trouble in Wisconsin long enough to serve America as a "parent coach" for a team of nine year-old girls, and selflessly did it for free.
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