As the White House and grounds experienced the annual holiday decorative makeover (wreaths, garlands, trees outdoors and dozens of white plastic snowmen in the first lady's garden visible Saturday), POTUS departed via SUV motorcade at 12:43 pm EDT.
POTUS arrived at 1:01 PM EDT @ NW DC's Upshur Street Books. POOL did not see him enter...
Small Business Saturday, begun in 2010, encourages people to shop at local small businesses for the holidays.
Motorcade of SUVs used Rock Creek Parkway and stopped for lights. Joggers, runners, walkers, homeless under tents oblivious to POTUS.
POTUS and daughters shopped for books in tiny Upshur Street bookstore before departing at 1:17 pm. POTUS left with a brown shopping bag, and acknowledged journos with a smile as he walked to his SUV. Book titles TK.
POOL saw Obama, wearing a windbreaker, speaking to store manager Anna Thorn, but alas, not close enough to hear the conversation, which also included Malia and Sasha. All three Obamas had books in their arms.
For Small Business Saturday, Obama has visited Politics and Prose bookstore in the last three years. It is believed this is the first time he has visited Upshur Street Books as president.
Window of shop said "Shop Local."
POTUS, and daughters Malia and Sasha, arrived at Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market and Cafe in NW DC, to order ice cream popsicles. This was stop #2 for Small Business Saturday. POOL was allowed in after POTUS spent some minutes in the cafe. Obama, after conferring with his daughters and discussing flavor choices with Manager Benjamin Thoen behind the counter, chose a strawberry version. Employees in the cafe, per WH: -Asha Hardy -Sable Daniel -Benjamin Thoen (manager) Total bill: $9.00. President paid cash from a money-clip of bills and pronounced the frozen treats "the highlight of Small Business Saturday."
He talked to Thorn about his business and learned there is a second store, which the president suggested qualified as a small business "franchise." His daughters began savoring their own pops on the spot. The president, wearing a dark collarless, pullover shirt, athletic shoes and windbreaker, waved to bystanders on the sidewalk as he returned to his vehicle, saying "Happy holidays, everybody." Motorcade was back at the WH by 1:43 pm.
Travel/photo lid called at 1:46 pm. 2015 book purchases from Upshur Street Books, per WH: "Purity: A Novel" by Jonathan Franzen "Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: A Novel" by Salman Rushdie "Elske: A Novel of the Kingdom" by Cynthia Voigt "On Fortune's Wheel" by Cynthia Voigt "Jackaroo: A Novel of the Kingdom" by Cynthia Voigt "A Snicker of Magic" by Natalie Lloyd "Stargirl" by Jerry Spinelli "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, Book 8" by Jeff Kinney "Dork Diaries 1: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life" by Rachel Renée Russell