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VIDEO: President Obama Celebrates 49th Birthday Wednesday Without Family


Aug. 4 2010, Published 9:18 a.m. ET

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President Barack Obama - who's joked about having a few more gray hairs lately - turns 49 years old on Wednesday, but it won't be the big blow-out party you might expect, can report.

The President - who was born in Honolulu - is planning "dinner with some friends" in his adopted hometown of Chicago, according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Mr. Obama will be flying virtually solo since his wife, First Lady Michelle, and daughter Sasha are vacationing in Spain, while his other daughter Malia is away at summer camp.

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Gibbs said the President "is looking forward to spending the night in his house for a change."

The visit to Chicago will mix business with pleasure. Mr. Obama will tour a Ford car factory Wednesday and meet with employees there before his low-key birthday dinner later in the evening; on Thursday, he'll speak at a fundraiser.

The First lady has set up a special website where anyone can send their birthday wishes to the President.

The White House has described Mrs. Obama's four-day visit to Spain as "a private, mother-daughter trip with longtime family friends".

Mrs. Obama and her entourage arrived at the Hotel Villa Padierna in the hills above the Spanish resort town of Marbella, a playground for the rich and famous. They had flown to Malaga on a U.S. air force plane.

The hotel's owner says that the Obamas had reserved 60 rooms at the hotel for themselves, their friends and their extensive secret service detail.

Michelle Obama
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Although the trip is primarily a vacation, the First Lady is scheduled to meet Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at their summer palace on the Balearic island of Majorca, a short flight from Marbella.

Mrs. Obama will also visit the city of Granada, the former seat of Moorish rule in Spain which is located some 110 miles north of Marbella on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the municipality.

She will take in the Alhambra fortress-palace, Spain's most-visited tourist attraction, as well the city's cathedral and the hilltop Albaicin quarter of narrow alleyways and small squares, the spokeswoman added.

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