Obama leaves DC for Massachusetts island vacation

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Obama leaves DC for Massachusetts island vacation
President Barack Obama laughs while golfing with former NFL player Ahmad Rashad at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. President Obama on Saturday fled Washington for his familiar spot on Martha's Vineyard for a two-week summer vacation, which comes as the U.S. is engaged in airstrikes against Islamic militant targets in Iraq. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama speaks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, about ongoing situation in Iraq before his departure on Marine One for a vacation in Martha's Vineyard. Obama announced late Thursday that he had ordered military airstrikes in northern Iraq to hold off Islamic State forces advancing on the Kurdish capital of Irbil. Obama also ordered airdrops of food and water to member of a religious minority group who fled into the mountains to escape the militants. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama salutes as he exits Marine One followed by his daughter Malia Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama, as they arrive on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Mass., Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at the start of their two-week family vacation, which comes as the U.S. is engaged in airstrikes against Islamic militant targets in Iraq. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama walks with daughter Malia Obama, left, and first lady Michelle Obama, right, as they exit Air Force One at Cape Cod Coast Guard Air Station in Bourne, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, en route to family vacation on the island of Martha's Vineyard which comes as the U.S. is engaged in airstrikes against Islamic militant targets in Iraq. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Vice Commander of the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrew Air Force Base Col. Preston Williamson IV, and his wife Christine Williamson, stand left, as First lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and daughter Malia Obama, board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, en route to a family vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard. President Obama is opening a two-week summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard just as the U.S. is engaged in airstrikes against Islamic militant targets in Iraq. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama second from left, walks from Marine One with Vice Commander of the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrew Air Force Base Col. Preston Williamson IV, third from left, followed by his daughter Malia Obama, left, first lady Michelle Obama, second from right and Christine Williamson, to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. en route to a family vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard. President Obama is opening a two-week summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard just as the U.S. is engaged in airstrikes against Islamic militant targets in Iraq. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama, right, with first lady Michelle Obama, third from right, and daughter Malia Obama, second from left, are greeted as they exit Marine One to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, en route to a family vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Passers-by walk near a cut-out of President Barack Obama, left, outside a shop Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard. President Obama and his family are returning to the island off the Massachusetts mainland Saturday. The president is doing something unusual with his summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard: He'll come back to Washington midway through the getaway to attend White House meetings. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
President Barack Obama waves to various Hawaii dignetaries before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to return to Washington Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, in Honolulu. The President along with his family spent the last two weeks vacationing in Kailua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
President Barack Obama reacts as he watches his putt on the second green at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course on Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama shakes hands with people waiting to meet him as he holds his shave ice outside Island Snow, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2014. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama waves to people along the 18th green at Mid-Pacific County Club in Kailua, Hawaii, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama holds his shave ice as he exits Island Snow to greet people waiting outside, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
U.S. President Barack Obama, fourth from left, golfs at Mid-Pacific County Club in Kailua, Hawaii, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, with Marvin Nicholson, Bobby Titcomb, and Eric Whitaker. The first family is in Hawaii for their annual holiday vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Palm trees are reflected in President Barack Obama's motorcade vehicle as he is driven through the Kailua, Hawaii, neighborhood where he is spending his annual holiday vacation with his family, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, en route to Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, Hawaii, to play golf. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
FILE - This Aug. 11, 2013, file photo shows President Barack Obama reacting as he misses a shot while golfing on the first hole at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard. President Obama has booked a two-week summer getaway on the picturesque Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard. It will be the longest summer vacation of his presidency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
President Barack Obama, right, stands with World Bank President Jim Kim, left, while golfing at Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013. Obama returned to the golf course Sunday to play his sixth and final round of a weeklong vacation on Martha's Vineyard. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
President Barack Obama and daughter Malia ride bicycles in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in West Tisbury, Mass., Friday, Aug. 16, 2013. First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha, both not shown, passed by on the same path moments before. The first family are vacationing together on the island. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Sasha Obama, left, followed by her mother, first lady Michelle Obama, ride their bikes in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in West Tisbury, Mass., Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, during their family vacation on the island of Martha's Vineyard. President Barack Obama, with daughter Malia, rode by shortly after. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama greets people before ordering lunch at Nancy's restaurant in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. The President and first lady are on vacation on the island. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama orders lunch at Nancy's restaurant in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. The President and first lady are on vacation on the island. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)\
President Barack Obama greets people as he visits Island Snow for shave ice in Kailua, Hawaii, during his holiday vacation, Thursday, Jan 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Barack Obama, and daughter Malia, ride bicycles in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in West Tisbury, on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama leave Nancy's Restaurant in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard, Mass., Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011, during a family vacation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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By JULIE PACE

CHILMARK, Mass. (AP) - President Barack Obama on Saturday fled Washington for his familiar spot on Martha's Vineyard for a two-week summer vacation, which comes as the U.S. is engaged in airstrikes against Islamic militant targets in Iraq.

Obama, along with wife Michelle, daughter Malia and dogs Bo and Sunny, arrived at a Coast Guard station on Cape Cod before heading to the island off the Massachusetts coast. The presidential motorcade wove its way around Martha's Vineyard before pulling down a secluded drive that led to the Obamas' rented vacation house.

The Obamas' youngest daughter, Sasha, was not on Air Force One, but the White House said she would be joining the family for part of the vacation.

The president spent just 30 minutes at the house before taking off for the golf course. Joining Obama for a round at the Farm Neck Golf Club were former NFL player Ahmad Rashad, NBA player Ray Allen, and Cyrus Walker, the cousin of White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Obama has spent at least part of his summer in Martha's Vineyard each year he has been president except 2012, when he was running for re-election. In an unusual twist, he's breaking up his vacation with a two-day return to Washington midway through the trip.

Obama's advisers have been cagey about why the president is returning to Washington, saying only that he plans to hold in-person meetings at the White House

The president typically keeps a low-profile on his annual summer vacations, making the occasional visit into town and playing several rounds of golf. But he will headline a Democratic fundraiser on the island Monday night.

Before departing Washington Saturday, Obama said told reporters that he was ready "to not have a suit on for a while."

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Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

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