First lady Michelle Obama and the first family came to Laie for a round of golf and shave ice to wrap up their holiday vacation on Friday, Jan. 4. The Laie Shopping Center was under lock down from the public during their visit.
Andrea Snowden, a sophomore major- ing in nursing from Roseville, Calif., works as a hairstylist for The Haircut Shop, which is right next to Angel’s ice cream, smoothies and shave ice. “I was working at the Haircut Store when we noticed several SUVs with Maryland license plates pull up and block the Laie parking lot outside our store,” Snowden said. They then noticed the Secret Service agents come out of the SUVs.
Ho’oulu Cabrinha was also at the shopping center at the time and posted a video of the Obamas there. “I was on my way to Foodland when all the cars pulled in to the shopping center. As soon as I found out what was happening, I started recording,” Cabrinha said. The 30-second-long video shows Secret Service agents backing up armored vehicles into the shopping center and then making a perimeter around Angel’s ice cream shop.
First lady Michelle Obama was spotted there along with her daughters, Sasha and Malia and friends of the first lady. President Obama was reportedly playing golf at Turtle Bay.
“Around about 10 people were here, all ladies,” Angel’s owner, Angel Ho said. Secret Service agents came into the shop and secured the area. Onlookers tried to get a picture of the first lady; Ho wasn’t able to do so. “We respect her. That’s the reason we didn’t ask for any picture,” Ho said. Dawn Kaohe works at Angel’s and came into work late. Kaohe navigated her way through onlookers outside of the store and the Secret Service.
“I was a few minutes late, and when I see people lined up, I just say, ‘Excuse me,’ and work my way in there. I didn’t know it was the first lady,” Kaohe said. “I was in shock because I didn’t know after the fact that, but I was happy.” It isn’t everyday that the president’s family walks into your store. First lady Michelle Obama’s visit caught Ho off guard.
“First we were nervous, but we just try to be nice and service her just like any other customer,” Ho said. First lady Obama ordered double fudge brownie ice cream. The Obama girls ordered cookie and cream as well as cookie dough.
Ho expressed her gratitude toward the Obama’s for coming into her store. “I just want to say thank you,” she said.