As his motorcade passed by, people on the side of the road waved and one jogger danced in joy. Construction workers wearing white helmets and lime green shirts stopped their work to watch the line of about 11 vehicles, not including Honolulu police escorts.
— BILL SIGNINGS: Obama signed several bills in private, without reporters present, including a bipartisan budget deal easing spending cuts and a defense bill cracking down on sexual assault in the military. The signings mark one of Obama’s last official acts in 2013.
The budget deal alleviates the harshest effects of automatic budget cuts on the Pentagon and domestic agencies. It reduces those cuts, known as the sequester, by about one-third, restoring approximately $63 billion over two years.
The comprehensive defense bill gives military personnel a 1 percent pay raise and also covers combat pay, ships, aircraft and bases.
— WATERFALL HIKE: After signing the bills, Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters traveled across Oahu to hike at Manoa Falls, a popular, easy tropical trail that leads to a 150-foot waterfall.
Hikers seemed surprised to see the first family arrive. Security kept many hikers from entering the trail as the family started their hike, which lasted about one hour.
Husband and wife Paul and Kathy Besser of Sunnyvale, Calif., said they were excited at the prospect of hiking near the Obamas. Kathy Besser said she hoped the first family would see the kids in her group of 10 hikers.
Besser said she was OK with security restricting access to the trail because she thinks the Obamas deserve privacy on their vacation.
“The girls live in a fishbowl and they should have some private moments,” she said.
Associated Press writer Josh Lederman in Honolulu contributed to this report.
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