Michelle Obama and her two daughters have escaped to a luxury Aspen, Col., resort for a skiing vacation on President's day weekend, drawing criticism for taking yet another trip during difficult economic times.
The Aspen Daily News first reported on the vacation. Michelle, Sasha and Malia reportedly arrived at Aspen on Friday afternoon, but few details about the trip are available. The three also went skiing in Vail for President's Day last year.
Sources told the paper and the Daily Caller that the Obamas are staying near Buttermilk Mountain at the "huge private home" of Jim and Paula Crown, a couple who owns Aspen Skiing Co. and has donated to the Obama campaign. They are reportedly staying with two female friends of the first lady.
Like the Obamas, the Crown family is from Chicago. Paula Crown is a member of President Barack Obama's President's Committee on the Arts of Humanities. Federal Election Commission filings show that Mrs. Crown has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats, with a few exceptions like Republican Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).
Pictures obtained by The Associated Press (they can be seen in the Daily Caller) show Michelle Obama in Aspen sporting a white ski jacket, blue pants, and matching black boots, beanie and gloves. Sasha, 10, and Malia, 14, are with her, also dressed up in warm jackets.
The Aspen ski trip is the latest of many vacations the Obamas have taken since President Barack Obama took office. The Washington Examiner calculates that the ski resort is the 16th vacation the Obamas have taken.
Critics say it's inappropriate for the Obamas to be taking lavish trips during a recession, when so many Americans have to cut back on costs. CBS News points out that the Obamas have taken less than half of the amount of trips George W. Bush took to his Texas ranch while he was president, but the Obama vacations tend to be more expensive.
For example, the Hawaii Reporter said Obama's Christmas vacation in 2011 would exceed $1.5 million. Michelle Obama's trip to Spain in 2010 reportedly cost $375,000, according to the Telegraph.
Click on the slideshow above for more pictures from Obama family vacations.