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Obama skips out of Washington for Hawaii vacation

HONOLULU (AP) -- President Barack Obama has begun his annual winter vacation in Hawaii.

The president, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia landed in Honolulu shortly before midnight local time. Their two dogs, Sunny and Bo, joined them aboard Air Force One.

Obama has no public events scheduled while he's in Hawaii. On previous trips, he's enjoyed regular rounds of golf, visits to restaurants and family trips to get shave ice, a Hawaiian version of a snow cone.

Last year, gridlock in Congress forced Obama to return to Washington the day after Christmas. This year the Obamas are hoping their vacation will go uninterrupted.

The president, who was born in Hawaii, is scheduled to be in Honolulu through Jan. 5.

AP-WF-12-21-13 1244GMT