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Summer Fun


Spring has already sprung, it's nearly summertime, and the living is easy. The warm, clear days have you dreamily gazing out windows from behind your computer. You think of rounding up your surfing buddies when penciling in board meetings. And don't forget the morning you pulled on your purple floral one-piece instead of your gray three-piece suit.

Rather than accidentally stumbling into summer activities, plan them online. Whether you're looking toward a three-month getaway or the occasional two-day reprieve, several Web sites can help you.

A good starting point is This portal connects you to domestic and international airline sites, hotels, rail and subway information and car rental sites, among others. In addition to assisting with the logistics, the site also links to maps, weather reports, newspapers and such travel tools as currency converters and international dialing code listings.

Want to bring along your furry friend? Some places put out the "welcome mutt" sign. Check out to get listings and links. The site also provides resources on air and boat travel for pets and kennels. If little Kujo can't make this trip, find a sitter at

If a three-month or even a three-week vacation is a pipe dream, surf the Web instead to a "swell" schedule (or strategically plan your ditch days):

n WetSand at

/wclongrange.asp features reports on water temperature, water quality, tides and winds.

n To torture yourself, get the dirt on beaches around the world and accommodations


n While you're on the waterfront, you might want to check the ultraviolet index at http://www.nws so you can figure out how much sunscreen you'll need to slather on.

n If you've just got to get away, a picnic or hiking trip could do the trick. To get on the right path, check out, which offers a comprehensive guide to U.S. national parks, including some national monuments. It also provides information on lodging, dining and activities.

n Another helpful picnic planner is at http://www This site offers recipes and weather reports.

n If you prefer hiking and climbing to sitting and eating, lists more than 500 trails for walking and backpacking in 50 countries.

n Maybe it's just the kids you want to send to Camp Idonwannago. A good camp-finding site is It gives you three ways to search for camps: by specialty, such as academics, sports, acting or special needs; by region or type; and by specific camp.

n If it's you who's itching to head for the hills, share a cabin with the squirrels and eat in the mess hall, go to to find camps specializing in fitness, sports, adventure, the arts or academics.

OK, so you can't sneak away this summer. You can become your own lord of the rings and get updates on the Summer Olympics at http://www.olympics

.com/eng, the official site. It offers highlights, records, histories and how-tos for every sport in the Games. An unofficial site, http://www.sydney2000fans

.com, has a lot of history and promises medal tallies and updates from the athletes' village.

Whether you decide to go somewhere or stay

in town, you can check the allergen projections at

to see if you're better off sitting at home mesmerized

by your screen saver.

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