The first lady had gone on an afternoon shopping spree throughout downtown Nantucket on Saturday, walking the cobblestone sidewalks with a five-car motorcade and a gaggle of grandkids in her wake.
At one point they stopped inside a seafood restaurant called Slip 14 – where a local outlet reported Dr. Biden got ‘behind the bar.’
‘First Lady Jill Biden was living it up behind the bar Saturday afternoon at Slip 14 on Old South Wharf on Nantucket,’ the Nantucket Current reported.
When asked to partake in a shot she reportedly said, ‘No, my grandkids are here!’
But today it’s back to business for the Bidens – the president and his family returned to Washington this afternoon, hours after a White House official revealed that he would be meeting with his top health advisers including Dr. Anthony Fauci for a briefing on the new coronavirus mutation first identified in South Africa.
Jill Biden was reportedly asked to take a shot during a stop for lunch at a Nantucket restaurant, where she appeared to have some fun
Starting on Monday the US will ban most travel from eight African countries in a bid to get ahead of the virus.
Upon returning from Massachusetts Biden was asked whether he was considering additional travel restrictions.
‘I’m having a meeting with my medical team as I get back to the White House. I’ll have more to say,’ he said.
Meanwhile Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, has been on a Sunday media blitz trying to both raise awareness and reduce panic over the new variant – which he said would ‘inevitably’ end up in the US.
But on Saturday, the first lady appeared at ease as she popped into shops along Nantucket’s Main Street, browsing in Pageo Jewelers and Nalu of Nantucket before picking up some items at Polo Ralph Lauren.
Today it’s back to business for the first family – a White House official said earlier on Sunday that Joe Biden will be briefed by his medical advisers on the concerning new COVID Omicron variant
Biden and his family returned to Washington aboard Air Force One on Sunday afternoon after their traditional Thanksgiving holiday in Nantucket
Upon his return to the capital Biden was asked whether he’d consider further travel restrictions besides those imposed on eight African countries over the new variant
‘I’m having a meeting with my medical team as I get back to the White House. I’ll have more to say,’ he replied
Grandkids Maisy, Hunter Jr., Natalie and Naomi were spotted with her at various stops. They spent time in the posh Italian shoe store Clorinda Antinori trying on options.
Crowds gathered to see the spectacle, waving and taking pictures with their cellphones.
Dr. Biden was easily seen, given the nearly dozen Secret Service agents surrounding her and the motorcade moving along the street next to her as she walked the sidewalks.
Wearing a long black coat and a purple scarf, Dr. Biden wished people a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ and posed for selfies between stops.
She stopped in nearly a dozen stores throughout the day, capping off her shopping at Flowers, the local florist.
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Jill Biden went on an afternoon-long shopping spree throughout downtown Nantucket on Saturday
Biden and her grandchildren spent time in the various posh stores on Natucket
The First Lady is spending the long holiday weekend on the island with her husband, President Joe Biden
The First Lady spent an afternoon out shopping and lunching with an assortment of grandchildren in the picturesque town
Wearing a long black coat and a purple scarf, Biden wished people a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ and posed for selfies between stops
Dr. Biden leaving a shop with granddaughter Natalie. Her other grandchildren, Maisy, Hunter Jr. and Naomi were also seen
Dr. Biden and Natalie were escorted by a large Secret Service presence
Dr Biden’s husband, President Joe Biden, did not join the shopping trip, going to mass with son Hunter and grandchildren later in the day
Dr Biden spent the day partially masked up. Both she and the president have been vaccinated
The sunny but cold day on Nantucket was part of the opening of the holiday shopping season
Biden, much like her husband, appreciates a good pair of aviator sunglasses
The Biden clan stopped for a late lunch at Slip 14, on the town’s Old Wharf, for a food break. It serves seafood such as calamari and local cod.
Then it was back at it.
The first lady waved away her waiting motorcade at the restaurant to walk across the town square to shop some more, stopping in Faherty Clothing. The family-owned shop sells clothes made out of sustainable clothing. Dr. Biden also stopped in a local flower shop.
She didn’t respond to a question from DailyMail.com on whether Americans can have a safe holiday season given the new Omicron variant of COVID, which the World Health Organization called highly transmissible and a ‘variant of concern.’
The White House has been pushing Small Business Saturday, pressing people to patron smaller outfits instead of large retailers.
It was day two in a row of shopping for the first lady, who joined President Joe Biden and her grandkids for a post-Thanksgiving lunch on Friday and then a stop in the local bookstore.
From there, she and a few grandkids split off from the president to do their own shopping while he wandered around town.
Jill Biden spent Saturday shopping in Nantucket
The first lady waved as she came out of the Ralph Lauren store
It was a full shopping weekend for the first family.
Biden spent more than an hour wandering around the cobblestone sidewalks of downtown Nantucket, popping into stores and stopping to talk with the locals.
‘He was really nice. We had a conversation,’ said one of the staff of Craftmasters of Nantucket, where Biden bought a leather passport holder to give as a Christmas gift. The store sells leather goods.
‘He’s a very fine gentleman,’ the staff member added.
At the Sunken Ship, Biden bought Pokemon cards for his grandkids, paying with $100 bill for the $19.99 pack, according to employees inside.
The Biden grandchildren – Naomi, Finnegan, and Maisy (the children of Hunter Biden) along with Natalie and Hunter Jr. (the children of the late Beau Biden) – joined the shopping on Friday. Some stayed with the president and a few others split off to hit separate shops with first lady Jill Biden.
At Nantucket Bookworks, where the Biden family has shopped for over 35 years, the first couple purchased some hard cover children’s books for Baby Beau, the son of Hunter Biden who is named after President Biden’s late son Beau. Baby Beau is almost two years old.
And Jill Biden bought several of the Christmas oranaments for sale, a tradition for the first lady.
‘Dr. Biden enjoys the ornaments,’ one of the book store staff told DailyMail.com.
The ornament options in the store include minature shops, different colored globes, and Christmas-themed ones, such as Santas and reindeers. The store also has an extensive children’s area, filled with books and toys.
Dr. Biden, a community college professor, also purchased several books.
President Biden made his stops ahead of Small Business Saturday, a time people are urged to shop at smaller stores.
‘Small businesses are the backbone of communities across the country — and it’s crucial we support them during the holiday season and all year round. Shop small,’ the president wrote on Twitter, including pictures of his shopping spree.
President Biden got some of his Christmas shopping out of the way on Friday; at Nantucket Bookworks he and the first lady bought Christmas ornaments and books for Baby Beau
At the Sunken Ship, Biden bought Pokeman cards for his grandkids
Biden spent over an hour walking the streets of Nantucket on Friday, where he shopped and stopped to chat with locals
The president, who has been coming to Nantucket for Thanksgiving most years since the mid-1970s, indugled in one of his long standing traditions – walking around stores, chatting with people and watching the town Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.
For that brief period of time on Friday he was plain ‘Joe’ again – except he was surrounded by Secret Service, White House staff, and members of the press. Agents cleared the sidewalks before him and The Beast rolled down the street next to him as he walked.
It’s rare for a president to be able to walk around outside, particularly for as long as Biden did.
And he was impossible to miss – a moving mass of people and vehicles surrounding him as he walked. It was uncontrolled chaos as Biden chose his path and everyone raced to catch up as locals gathered en mass to see what was going on. There was pushing, there was shoving yet there was also holiday cheer.
Despite the pandemonium, the townspeople seemed thrilled to catch a glimpse of the president.
And Biden looked just as happy to be out, stopping to talk to people even as a yellow police line and a row a Secret Service agents separated him from the crowd.
‘You look younger in real life,’ a man said to him.
One little girl in a pink coat, sitting on an adult’s shoulders, was so excited she waved her stuffed toy dog and barked at the president.
Others cried out: ‘We love you Joe,’ ‘Hey, Mr. President,’ and, of course, ‘Happy Thanksgiving.’ Nearly everyone had a phone out, taking photos and video of the moment for posterity.
For this trip, Biden, who emphasizes his Scranton roots, was staying at the 13,000 foot home of billionaire David Rubenstein, situated on a private compound on the island’s inner harbor. Coast Guard ships patrolled nearby and state police closed the local access road.
President Joe Biden, with two of his grandchildren, walked the streets of Nantucket on Friday to do some shopping
Biden waves to the crowds during his jaunt around Nantucket
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden stand with members of their family during the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
Baby Beau Biden on dad Hunter Biden’s shoulders with mom Melissa at the side
President Joe Biden’s granddaughter Maisy Biden holds Beau Jr. as the president’s family attends a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
Biden had lunch at the Nantucket Tap Room where he ate a burger and posed for photos
For his shopping spree, the president broke free from the bubble of the presidential motorcade after a post-Thanksgiving lunch with his family.
As agents led him toward the presidential limo known as the Beast, Biden ducked to the side and up the street, walking toward some of the shops. The agents moved quickly to clear the mass of locals who gathered to see the motorcade leave as staff and media raced to catch up.
The on-and-off again rain showers didn’t deter the president – umbrella in hand, some Biden grandchildren at his side, the president walked the cobblestone sidewalks, baseball cap on head, face mask in place. At times, Maisy Biden held onto his arm as they walked.
He waved to shopkeepers who came to their doors, cell phones in hand, to see what the fuss was about. He visited an array of stores – Sunken Ship, Island Cashmere, Centre Point and Freedman’s of Nantucket.
He made a circular route around the downtown shopping area, ending his loop where the town Christmas Tree stood dark, waiting to be lit.
The Biden clan gathered in mass for the tree lighting: baby Beau was passed around from family member to family member: Maisy brought him closer to see the tree after it was lit, dad Hunter held him on his shoulders and mom Melissa held him for photos.
Biden didn’t light the tree but stood to the side next to wife Jill and the rest of his family, watching the ceremony take place.
The Biden grandkids took selfies, and danced and sang to the Christmas carols, sung by local high school students.
President Biden talks to the crowd gathered to see him
Biden appeared to make some purchases in some of the shops
Crowds of people gathered to catch a glimpse of the president
The Bidens attended the ceremony for the lighting of the Nantucket Christmas Tree
President Biden shakes hands with the town crier, next to him Maisy Biden holds Baby Beau
The Bidens’ grandchildren cheered as the tree was lit
A crowd gathers on the street of Nantucket to see the president
Locals posted their sightings of the president
President Biden spent more than an hour walking the streets and visiting shops
Biden carried an umbrella and wore a face mask and a baseball cap for his jaunt around town
President Biden also talked to the press about his decision to place a travel ban on some African countries after a new variant of COVID was detected
President Biden started his day taking his family to lunch at the Nantucket Tap Room, which serves traditional New England food and is located in a historic building from 1845 in downtown Nantucket.
The president was spotted shaking hands and taking selfies with patrons while inside. A local reporter noted he had a burger.
Afterward the Bidens stopped Nantucket Bookworks, where staff there said the family had been shopping for 35 years.
Jill Biden was there, as was Hunter, Melissa, Ashley, Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie, Hunter, and baby Beau Biden; and, Peter Neal, Naomi’s fiancé.
Dining out the Friday after Thanksgiving is a longtime Biden family tradition.