Summer doesn't officially start until June 21, but the water's in the pool, campgrounds at the lake are open and the end of school is near.
The close proximity of the Lawrence Public Library and the Lawrence Aquatic Center has no doubt caused some pangs of desire in recent weeks as temperatures rose and the end of school neared.
Count Frank Demby Jr.'s children among the tempted who have been waiting for the unofficial start of summer -- Memorial Day weekend, the opening weekend for the pool in the 700 block of Kentucky.
"We drive by it all the time on the way to the library," said Demby, waiting in the line at the pool Saturday afternoon with his children, Jacob, 6, and Marie, 4.
More than 100 swimmers patiently waited for the gates to open at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. By evening, 1,419 people had come to swim.The Lawrence Aquatic Center will be open from 1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. today and Monday.
Ronda Bohanon, Tonganoxie, brought her son, Seth, 8, and nephew, Dane Hughey, 8, to the pool Saturday. The cousins have been out of school for more than a week already and don't have any grandiose plans for the weeks of summer ahead of them.
"I'll probably spend a night at my cousin's," Seth said.
Across Seventh Street, in Buford M. Watson Jr. Park, a group of teen-agers from North Kansas City, Mo., wrapped up their Lawrence day trip by tossing a flying disc. Three of the five friends graduated from high school Thursday night.
Matt Thebo, 18, said the group got up at 8 a.m. and drove to Lawrence for some downtown shopping. After seeing the pool, he said, they decided to return in a week or two .
Thebo and Brian Shortess, 17, plan to record some songs this summer, even though they haven't chosen a band name for their outfit. Music is a summer priority for the friends, and three of the youths plan to attend the three-day Woodstock concert in July in upstate New York.
"I'll be seeing as many concerts as possible," said Gretchen Engle, 17.
At Clinton Lake, a steady stream of campers, cars and pickups pulling boat trailers filled camping areas.
"We're just out here taking it easy for the weekend with a big campfire, marshmallows -- all that good old stuff," said Dave Spear, Overland Park.
The Spear family joined five other families at the lake Friday night, and some returned to the Kansas City area Saturday morning. Between picnics, field golf and using personal watercraft on the lake, Spear said, his family would have plenty to do. Saturday night plans included a trip into town to see the new "Star Wars" movie.
"This weekend has been beautiful," he said.
His daughter, 13-year-old Larissa Spear, is looking forward to spending a week at a Missouri church camp with sisters Kristen Bingham, 12, and Jenny Bingham, 14, who also spent Friday and Saturday at Clinton Lake.
Travel plans sometimes don't work out, but in Marty Glenn's case, he isn't going to let a three-day weekend go to waste despite a change of plans. Carrying a box filled with petunias, snow crystals, daisies and morning glories, Glenn perused the tables at the Clinton Parkway Nursery and Garden Store.
"We're just going to spend the whole weekend planting flowers," said Glenn. "It's kind of a hobby."
-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.