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By Jim Gerland and Mark Winer

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Vacation Plans
June 18, 1996

Now that summer's here we're all thinking about taking a vacation. Perhaps you're thinking about a romantic cruise for the two of you or a family trip to an amusement park or a camping trip with friends. Before you start making lists of what to take with you or begin worrying about who's going to feed the dog, take a few moments to peruse the Internet to find out some of the vacation information available on the web.

Thinking of taking a cruise? Start your "web" cruising at the Travel/Cruise site on Yahoo (www.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Companies/Travel/Cruises). If you don't want to type that long address (remember to use both upper and lower case as shown above) then start at Yahoo (www.yahoo.com) and search on the word 'cruise'. From this page you can get to the web sites for Carnival Cruise Lines (www.thetravelguide.com/carnival), Celebrity Cruises (www-celebrity-cruises.com), and Royal Caribbean (www.royalcaribbean.com). At the Carnival site you can make a reservation and get airline and car rental information too. The Celebrity site has information about their fleet and their destinations, but they don't provide online reservations yet. The Royal Caribbean site has a "Cruise-O-Matic" online form where you answer five questions and tailor the cruise you're looking for. The Usenet newsgroup rec.travel.cruises is also a good place to find cruise related information.

If your vacation plans include taking your family to an amusement park the best place to start your Internet research is Yahoo, where a search on the word 'amusement' lead me to their Amusements/Theme Parks page (www.yahoo.com/Entertainment/Amusement_Theme_Parks/). From there you can visit the Disney Parks page to find pointers to the Walt Disney World (www.disney.com/DisneyWorld/) and Disneyland (www.disney.com/Disneyland/) sites to find out what's new, park and travel information, and places to stay. If you're going to Florida you may want to check out the Kennedy Space Center's Visitors Center web pages (www.kscvisitor.com) for information about the exhibits and the park or just to order that sweatshirt or hat you forgot to buy the last time you were there. The 4Adventure.Com Internet site (www.4adventure.com) has information about the Busch Gardens parks in Tampa Bay and Williamsburg), the four Sea World parks, and the rest of the Anheuser-Busch Theme Parks. This is a good example of how to design a great web site. They provide a fast and a slow version so those of us with less than a 28.8 modem connection can still enjoy their site. Speaking of speed, if you go to amusement parks for the roller coasters then you'll definitely want to check out the World of Coasters (www.rollercoaster.com). It was a little slow to load, even from my high speed connection, but there was lots of good information about the history of coasters, pictures, and reviews. I'd recommend choosing the text link from their home page. Check out the Usenet newsgroup rec.parks.theme for more information.

If you're in the mood for a camping trip point your web browser at the National Parks Service site (www.nps.gov). If you're looking for a campground in a particular state take a look at the Campground Directory (www.holipub.com/camping/director.htm). Here you can pick a state to see a listing of those campgrounds in that state that have web sites. We found four listed for NY State, Hidden Valley, Jamestown (although the link from there didn't work), Adirondack Campground Village, Lake George (www.globalone.net/adk/adk3c.html), Lake George RV Park (www.lgrvpark.com). A recent addition to the Buffalo Free-Net is the Fort Niagara State Park web site (bfn.org/~fortniag/). You can find boating, camping, fishing, picnicking, and pricing information here along with the history of Old Fort Niagara. They even have an online form where you can send them comments! If you're a camping enthusiast or just interested in chatting with other folks interested in camping, you may also want to access the Usenet newsgroups alt.rec.camping, rec.outdoors.camping, or rec.outdoors.national-parks to exchange ideas and find out what others think about certain campgrounds and parks.

Finally, we want to continue to help you utilize the Internet in your life. Let us know what you're interested in and we'll check it out. You can email us, edge@edgeglobal.com , or fax us, (716) 853-1350 and let us know what's happening on the Internet in WNY or any computing related activities you're involved with.