US President Barack Obama on Monday got to work replenishing his mind, body and spirit, playing tennis and golf and taking on a hefty stack of books on his first full day of vacation.
After a brutal seven months facing economic blight, rising trouble abroad and fighting for an increasingly under-fire agenda, Obama opened his day with a workout at the mansion he is renting on the Martha's Vineyard resort.
Then the athletic commander-in-chief challenged First Lady Michelle Obama to a game of tennis and hit the links at an island golf club with partners including UBS chief executive officer Robert Wolf.
"Thank you," said a smiling Obama, clad in brown slacks and a black shirt, to a cheering crowd as he stepped up to the tee to fire off his opening drive.
Aides said the president was seeking respite after a punishing few months in Washington's political swamp.
"The president's been coming to Martha's Vineyard for some 10 years," said White House deputy spokesman Bill Burton.
"He's probably been five or six times over the course of that time period. He enjoys it, it's comfortable, the beaches are nice, the people are particularly nice. There's really good food to eat."
The president had no planned public events during his weeklong vacation -- his first since taking office -- but was expected to make telephone calls to lawmakers in support of his top priority health care reform drive.
Obama arrived on the millionaires' playground off the US east coast on Sunday, and planned to get stuck into a list of books -- amounting to a wedge of nearly 2,300 pages, revealed by Burton.
If in the mood for gritty fiction, Obama had at hand "The Way Home" by George Pelicanos, who has created his own genre focusing on the crime and tensions stalking wrong-side-of-the-tracks streets in the nation's capital, Washington.
Obama had more inner city atmospherics at his finger tips with Richard Price's "Lush Life," a fictional look at a shooting on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
The vast landscape of Colorado is the backdrop to Obama's final fictional choice, "Plain Song" by Kent Haruf, which delves into small town life in the heartland.
Next on Obama's list was "Hot, Flat and Crowded," by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, which is subtitled: "Why we need a Green Revolution and how it can renew America."
One of Obama's top agenda items starting in September is pushing a plan through Congress to establish a cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and he has spent considerable capital on calling for a new renewable energy economy.