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Gore Marks 50th Birthday

Vice President Al Gore, back in Tennessee after a Utah ski vacation, was starting off his 50th birthday Tuesday with his parents over breakfast.

Gore, his wife, Tipper, and college-age daughters Kristin and Sarah left Salt Lake's Utah Air National Guard Base late Sunday afternoon, a day earlier than originally scheduled.

"They just kind of headed out and headed home. They had a great time," said state Utah Senate Minority Leader Scott Howell who had helped welcome the Gores to Utah.

The Gores arrived in Utah last week to ski at Deer Valley Resort and to celebrate the vice president's birthday early.

They skied from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday, staying at the borrowed Deer Valley vacation home of Martin Granoff, a clothing and textile executive from New Jersey.

The mountaintop home, where the Gores stayed during previous summer and winter trips, is in a gated community with direct access to the ski slopes.

Later Tuesday, Gore was scheduled to head back to Washington, where the Second Family will fix up a home as part of a Habitat for Humanity project.

In the afternoon, Gore's staff planned to throw a party for him. The Gores were to host friends and family for a private gathering on Capitol Hill.

"He likes to say that he doesn't think of it as a half-century," the vice president's spokesman, Larry Haas, said. "He likes to think of it as a 20th of a millennium."

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