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Video: Michelle, Sasha Obama’s ritzy Spain holiday

  1. Transcript of: Michelle, Sasha Obama’s ritzy Spain holiday

    MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: President Obama celebrates his 49th birthday today but his wife and his daughters will not be around to help him blow out the candles on his birthday cake . NBC 's Norah O'Donnell can explain why. Norah , good morning to you.

    NORAH O'DONNELL reporting: Good morning, Meredith . Well, you could say the first lady is saying adios to President Obama on his 49th birthday. We just got pictures of the first lady and daughter Sasha arriving in Spain because they're going to be visiting one of the world's most exclusive resorts. Spain is known for its flamingo, its bullfighting and tapas. Just part of what the country has to offer first lady Michelle Obama and her youngest daughter, nine-year-old Sasha .

    O'DONNELL: The White House calls it a private mother/daughter trip with friends, a four-day visit to Marbella .

    Ms. KATE MAXWELL (Conde Nast Traveler): It attracts a lot of the world's glitzy rich and famous, professional footballers, TV stars. There's a big yachting scene and a lot of golf courses in the area as well.

    O'DONNELL: The Obamas have reportedly booked dozens of rooms at Spain 's most exclusive hotel, a Ritz-Carlton resort. The five-star Hotel Villa Padierna , boasts five restaurants, a spa and three 18-hole golf courses . And the rooms are not cheap.

    Ms. MAXWELL: The price of rooms at the Ritz-Carlton really is going to keep the riffraff out. I think they range in price form about $250 a night to about $6500 a night.

    O'DONNELL: The hefty price tag for the trip is raising questions about whether taxpayers will have to foot the bill.

    Mr. ROBERT GIBBS (White House Press Secretary): It's a private trip and is being paid for that way.

    O'DONNELL: Mrs. Obama will also make an official visit to Spain 's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia . Overseas trips for first ladies are not rare. In fact, last year the first family visited Russia , Italy and Africa . And Mrs. Clinton once took daughter Chelsea on a whirlwind trip to Africa .

    Ms. MYRA GUTIN (First Lady Historian): Mrs. Obama going to the resort might generate some negative criticism because of the fact that the resort where she'll be staying is rather lavish during times when the economy is not very good and many people are looking for work.

    O'DONNELL: And while Mrs. Obama is jet-setting overseas, the president is is home alone making a trip to Chicago on his birthday.

    President BARACK OBAMA: All right, guys.

    Mr. GIBBS: Of course he will miss them. They'll be all back together soon.

    O'DONNELL: The whole family won't be back together again until late August when they vacation in Martha's Vineyard .

    Pres. OBAMA: Malia going away for camp, which she's never done before, and I may shed a tear when she's on the way off.

    O'DONNELL: Well, today is in fact President Obama 's 49th birthday, but he won't really be home alone. In fact, he might be spending some time out on the town, his old stomping grounds in Chicago . That's where he's headed today. He's got some big fundraisers there tomorrow. Meredith :


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