WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama and his two daughters enjoyed a pre-Father's Day visit to a dessert shop Saturday.
The president took 10-year-old Malia and 8-year-old Sasha to The Dairy Godmother frozen custard store in Alexandria, Virginia, a short drive across the Potomac River from Washington.
Obama wore slacks and a short-sleeve shirt, and both daughters wore t-shirts and pants for the casual outing, which drew cheers from surprised onlookers.
The president's security detail screened customers seeking to enter the shop while the Obamas were inside.
Shop owner Liz Davis told CNN her first inkling that something out of the ordinary was happening came when several men wearing suits entered her store.
"My manager and I were thinking, 'Wow, they're kinda fancy-dressed for Saturday," she said. "And then they came and said that we were going to be getting a special visitor in about five minutes and would I let them up on the roof?"
She got the key and did just that. When she returned to the store, which was doing a brisk business, at least a dozen Secret Service agents had joined the regular customers, she said.
"I told my staff to put on clean aprons and we just did our usual thing," she said. "We continued waiting on our customers until they came in."
Upon entering, Obama shook Davis' hand ("just right, not too firm and not wimpy").
Except for cutting in line ("nobody minded at all, everybody was very happy to see them"), the first family's experience was like that of any other customer, Davis said.
Sasha got a waffle cone with vanilla custard; Malia got a brownie sundae and vanilla custard and hot fudge with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry, she added.
Their father got a cup of vanilla custard with hot fudge and toasted almonds, she said.
But it didn't end there. After Malia decided she didn't want the whipped cream on her sundae, "the president just took a spoon and put it on his sundae, which is a scene that we see enacted multiple times every day, but it was nice to see it enacted by them in just a normal family way."
After getting their $12.40 order (they paid cash), the family sat in the store and ate, she said.
The transaction went both ways. "My gift to him was to give him as normal an experience as possible for him and his children," she said, noting that she had no qualms about letting him pay.
"I didn't ask him to pose with me, I didn't ask him for his autograph. I wanted it to be just like he was a regular customer coming here because I'm sure it must be really hard for those children to be where they are right now. He probably just wanted to get them custard and not have it be a big deal."
But she did give at least one member of the first family special treatment - three puppy pops for the first dog, Bo.
Davis, who developed her taste for frozen custard growing up in Wisconsin, said the global downturn has not affected her adversely, with her business of 18 part time and two full-time employees up about 20 percent this year over last.
"Maybe they're coming to me instead of doing something more expensive," she said.
Davis said neither the president nor his daughters said they liked the custard, but she's confident they did. "They ate it all," she said.
– CNN's Tom Watkins contributed to this story.
Apparently, (besides the fact Bush never went up and holed out in his house mostly), People have forgotten this is standard fair in covering the president. It's why there is a press pool and has been forever. just because you people never paid attention before doesn't mean the press hasn't always posted about outings. My, God, how many times did we see Bush "clearing brush" on the ranch? People are so weird.
Uh....slow news day?
Wonderful story! I love getting little peeks into the non-political life of our President. Seeing that he and his family enjoy the same kinds of things as I do with my family makes me feel good. It make me feel that maybe, just maybe, he has an inkling of the perspective of the average American family. I think these feelgood pieces are important, however fluffy they may seem on the surface. THANK YOU, CNN!
trying to butter them up for a great Father's day gift, I think. :)
Nice for them. Now cnn and every other station will run this 50 thousand times.
@ elb –
Bitter? I don't think Allison's bitter...that's typical liberal rhetoric from folks like you that haven't the mental capacity to defend any position Obama spews out on us....
Sorry Allison, that you have a brain...and soon they'll call you "hater," as well, or if you're like me, you'll achieve the level of being censored most of the time by CNN because too much truth gives liberals difficulty...
And the jobless rate in Florida is now in double digits and more than 230,000 unemployed. Foreclosures are running at an all time high and the homeless are melting from the 104 degree heat index. No one here in Florida cares about his custard outing.
The biggest problem in this country is that they don't require a test to show that you have a brain before you buy a computer. Some of you people are just plain idiots. This man is the POTUS and EVERYTHING he does is going to be news. The same as every other POTUS we have ever had. The difference is that is man is just one of the people and he and his family live the same way MOST of us do. A lot of the other presidents didn't even try to have a life with their family. Some of you people must live miserable lives because you are just negative about every thing. Most of the stuff you gripe about you don't even understand and rarely take the time to even read the whole story. Grow up ! Get away from the computer once in awhile and maybe get out there and see what the real world is all about. Not your paranoid, negative world you insist on living in..
Someone needs to sell CNN to the National Enquiror and put it out of its misery.
Any journalistic integrity left there in Atlanta folks?
I don't remember reading about the Christian who was raped and beaten to death because he refused to convert to Islam anywhere on CNN but this is news???
Got is wrong, Christian Omar.......We lost, you lost, and now, we're all losing.
You see, conservatives don't have to "get over," anything. Here's why. We've known all along what a sham and facade Obama and his cabinet picks are; how they're going to devastate the country both financially and morally. So, we're not surprised by anything, therefore, there's nothing to "get over." It's liberals like you, deep in the ignorance of the ways of socialism and racism, that voted for this circus...who'll ultimately be shocked and surprised that his taxation and freedom crushing tactics will INCLUDE YOU......thus, you'll be frustrated at the very infommerical you elected and will suffer through pangs of wrongness; for many years...so, OMAR...you'll be the one having to get over it!
The retards are in pain and you can read it in their vitriolic blogs. I LOVE it. Stew in it, losers. That's what you are, losers who lost an election and are now acting like spoiled brats because they don't have Darth Vader and Minnie Me anymore. LOL
Well, we wouldn't want to discredit the National Enquirer, now.....
@ P. Y. –
Hmmm....I'm guessing you're one of the fortunate ones that's benefitted from there being no test, eh?
You're a great man, Mr. President!
You have already done more than the 8 years of Bushonomics!
@ Scott – you're jealous of how wonderful Obama has been.
Get over it Scotty!
Comment by John June 21st, 2009 9:24 am ET
Right on! And to think that I used enjoy watching Anderson Cooper up until he decided to jump on the Obama bandwagon...
You go Debra, you tell those libs just how it is....you are a conservative, right? I mean the hate you're spewing.....that would qualify....
It must be difficult to be the president. He must navigate a treachorous future originating from a timultuous past. I know he wants to help the Iranian people but does not want to unjustly meddle in Ianian affairs again
The fact they are an ordinary family, and that he wants his children to experience as closely as they can under the circumstances, a normal childhood is admirable. Any of you who would be spiteful hateful and accusatory about that are just sorry examples of humans and Americans.
Fluff pieces like this have always been part of the news media. Particularly in this case because it is Father's day and it shows the POTUS being a father. If you don;t want to read it feel free to skip it. But the fact you are so bitter about it elies something different and something very sad.
As a Jamaican reading these comments, I am really pleased to see that President Obama took his children out for a Fathers Day treat. Good example for Black fathers globally, and especially (for me) a celebration of the US Senate's apology this week for slavery. Couldn't have happened until/unless Obama became US President.
Happy Fathers Day to all who take their fraternal responsibilities seriously. My Dad did.
P. Y. @ 9:50 am "The difference is that is man is just one of the people and he and his family live the same way MOST of us do. A lot of the other presidents didn't even try to have a life with their family."
Do you REALLY believe what you just wrote?!!? That the Obamas live the same way most other Americans do?? And you call others "idiots"?
BTW, name one President that "didn't try to have a life with his family."
What a bunch of hypocrits. Conservatives preach the importance of family and family values, yet when this president does something with his family, he gets criticized by the same people. Does anyone ever remember George Bush doing anything with his family in the DC area? I don't think so.
I have reached the conclusion that whatever decision he makes, there will be dissent from the right. They still think the campaign is ongoing and they have a shot at the WH-pathetic.
@ ALLISON –
One correction though; Obama's kids really aren't morons. Here's why...despite his campaign rhetoric of spewing, "I'll put my kids in a public school...in DC.." He lied, and the little kids are enrolled in a fine private school...along with many other politician's kids. So, by now, they're probably smarter than Pelosi. Just lie number #615 told by Obama....
It's amazing that so many complain that the POTUS takes time to spend with his daughters on Fathers Day. Had he not taken time they would have complained that he didn't even give them time on Fathers Day.
There is no winning here for this man. After taking us 8 years to get our economy in the tank he is being knocked because the economy is not bustling with growth after a full 5 months in office. When he makes a trip overseas he is knocked for the cost of fuel. When he goes out locally he is knocked for not being in the White House working. When he wakes up in the morning I would not be surprised if some complained that he was spending to much time laying around and sleeping late in the White House. You whiners need to get a life and get up off this man and let him breath. You have no clue what is being done and I guess that's good because it the manner in which you complain about everything, you would not understand it if you did have knowledge of what was going on.
I think a lot of this crap you haters are putting down is stupidity and a lot of it is just plain old racism. I know that for many years I have always herd talk of how lazy Blacks are and then one comes along that you can see and you complain about everything he does. I see why people around the world think Americans are arrogant. Many of you are.
amazing comments at times.... one has to wonder ... if you lived in Iran right now and made derogatory comments about your supreme leader, somehow, the Revolutionary Gaurd would track down your comments, show up at your home, drag you away screaming, then likely torture you at some remote prison, maybe never to return.... think about it....
I'm thankful to be an American, and I enjoy seeing the president being able to spend time with his family and being able to mingle with other Americans... the entourage and security are required..... give it a rest, will ya?