Obama Touring In Hawaii

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Obama is all the rage.  Many people plan to capitalize on the new president’s long-tailed roots.  There have been articles already written about tours in Africa and Chicago.  Now comes a new entry to the mix, the Obama Tour Hawaii.

Since the places where Obama lived and went to school in Hawaii are on private property, why not create your own tour with a map and rental car?  Here’s my take on both options.

1.  Their tour:

The website claims the tour features “stories of childhood friends, teachers, and coaches.”  When I called to inquire what that meant, I was told that interviews had been conducted with those people for the tour.  There was no mention who these people are and their relationship to Obama.  Also keep in mind that the tour will drive by many locations.

The site claims that they have been “serving the visitor industry since 1992.”  It’s true.  Mitch also operates Hiking Oahu Hawaii.  I remember meeting him in the ’90’s when he hawked tours from the top of Diamond Head.

If you want to try the tour, it stops in downtown Honolulu, Chinatown, and at the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific where Obama’s grandparents are buried.

The cost is $49 (kids $39).  It operates daily from 1:00pm-3:30pm and includes pickup at selected Waikiki hotels.

2. Self-touring Obama Hawaii.

If you are somewhat skeptical about this tour, or If you aren’t the tour type, you definitely needn’t miss out on President-Elect Obama’s Hawaiian roots on your next trip to Honolulu.

Here are Barack Obama’s family residences in Honolulu, together with Google Mapping to each.

6085 Kalaniana’ole Highway.  Barack’s home, where he first lived in 1961.

1427 Alexander Street, Apartment 110.  Grandparents’ home from 1962 to 1963, where Barack and his mother also sometimes lived.

615 Eleventh Avenue.  Father’s home from 1960 to 1962, although the building is no longer there.

2234 University Avenue.  From 1964 to 1967, this was the home of Barack, his mother, and grandparents.

2277 Kamehameha Avenue.  In 1963, Barack’s mother lived here while she attended college.

1617 South Beretania Street.  From 1971 to 1979, Barack lived in this apartment building with his grandparents. This is where his grandmother lived until the time of her recent death.

1839 Poki Street.  Barack’s mother and younger half-sister lived here from 1974 to 1976.  Obama lived there sometimes as well.

You can also drive by Punahou School where Barack attended grades five through twelve.  It’s at 1601 Punahou Street.  Entry to the campus is limited during school hours.  You can buy a Punahou T-Shirt on line if you can’t visit the campus.

What do you think?  Would you pay $49 for the Obama Tour Hawaii or create your own?  Do you feel that it’s an invasion of privacy?  Let me know your thoughts.

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