The Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Cape Cod, Mass., revives the Roaring '20s for one afternoon of "Great Gatsby" grandeur during its annual lawn cotillion July 30 to raise money for charity.

Dressed in summer whites and vintage costumes, guests stroll across the mansion's five-acre lawn -- in the middle of which sits the course for the afternoon croquet tournament, where there's more at stake than the title. Prizes include luxury vacations.

If croquet is not your game, musical performances, children's activities, a costume contest and silent art auction are on the agenda before the afternoon champagne sabering presentation in the resort's formal gardens. The tradition originated with Napoleon. The glass neck of a large champagne bottle is struck with a sword, releasing a fountain of champagne for the drinking. Gourmet meals, cigars and jazz finish the evening.

Adult tickets cost $125 ($100 of which is tax-deductible); children's tickets are $35 ($25 is tax-deductible). Call 508-896-9000 for reservations.

Ringing in the convention

As Philadelphia prepares to welcome the Republican National Convention next week, a group of artists has been making its own preparations, developing versions of the Liberty Bell that best represent their home states and territories. The results will be displayed at the "Liberty Bells: An American Celebration" exhibition July 26 through Aug. 3.

The presentation is part of the city's "PoliticalFest," an interactive multimedia celebration of American politics, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, to welcome guests, delegates and media to the convention.

Maryland's Liberty Bell, made from chicken wire and papier-mache, is covered from top to bottom with everything Maryland. Painted on the bell is the Star-Spangled Banner, the Inner Harbor, Edgar Allan Poe's grave, a Navy cap, the Baltimore Oriole, black-eyed Susans and a blue crab. Resting regally on top is the Bay Bridge.

New Mexico's bell incorporates red and green chili peppers, and Louisiana used Mardi Gras beads. Expect Michigan's bell to be sculpted from automobile parts.

For more information, go to www. philadelphia2000.org, or call 888-467-4452. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster for $10 (call 215-336-2000).

A world of access

Hostelling International is offering free worldwide communication services to travelers, and you don't have to be a Hostelling International member to take advantage of the offer.

An "eKit" gives the user instant access to Web-based e-mail, free voice mail, low-cost long distance from 40 countries and a secure, online "travel vault" for storing important information such as credit card and traveler's check numbers. You can set up your eKit account online or over the phone and then use it as a calling card to access rates as low as 9 cents a minute and to call your voice mailbox to check messages, which can also be played over the Web for free.

To sign up, visit Hostelling International at its Web site, www.hiayh.org.

Travel and get paid

The Caretaker Gazette offers opportunities to leave the rent payments behind. The bimonthly newsletter lists classified ads from property owners looking for caretakers (some at salaries up to $8,000 a month) and caretakers looking for new positions.

In the current issue, for example, there are ads seeking a gardener for a Caribbean estate, a housing vacation swap with a home in Paris, someone to care for two cats in Amsterdam for two months, and positions in Poland, the Virgin Islands and nearly every state in the union.

To subscribe to the Gazette, go to www.Angelfire.com/wa/caretaker, or call 480-488-1970.

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