Ron and Hazel's 'Travels with Nuggie' travel blog

Our campground on the Apple River

Grandkids (LtoR) Ava, Gabby, Mitchell, Amanda

The first day was sunny, but it rained the next day.

Playing cards for pudding snacks

My office had a nice view of the river.

The Brake Buddy system helps a lot, and is required in most...

We brought four of the grandkids to Somerset, Wisconsin last year for a couple of days on the Apple River, and had a great time. A couple of months ago, I got an email offering a "Groupon Deal", two nights of camping, with one day of tubing, for less than $30. So, on Monday I disconnected the electric, cranked-down the tv antenna, drained the holding tanks, hooked up the Chevy Tracker, and Hazel and I took off for the Twin Cities to pickup the kids. It's been so long since I've done this, I had to pull out the instruction manual for the Braking Buddy system for the Tracker, but it didn't take long, a lot easier than our old car dolly, and off we went.

The skies were blue, the temperatures climbing, and by the time we arrived at the campground in Somerset, Wisconsin, it was in the 80's, but nice and cool inside the coach. Apple River Hideaway is usually jam-packed with young people on weekends, anxious to tube down the river with a cooler of beer in tow, but on a Monday, we almost had the place to ourselves. After an evening of cooking, watching a kid's movie, and taking a big chunk out of our snack supply, everybody turned in, the sofa folded down, and the dinette doing a rare conversion into a bed.

Next morning, Hazel was up getting breakfast, and as it is with kids, everyone wanted something different. This would have been a good place to open a diner, but microwavable blueberry pancakes, toaster waffles, and pre-cooked sausage, all on paper plates, made the task easy.

Into the bathing suits and "water shoes", and thanks to my daughter Annie, I got an early Father's Day gift, a nice pair of Speedo shoes, perfect for the task, and they fit perfectly. My mother used to buy me a pair of shoes for my birthday every year, and they were always the wrong size, so this was a real treat.

Down to the inner-tube rental building, and we were ready to go. Into the water everyone went, and within 10 seconds one of Gabby's new water shoes was off and heading down the river bottom. To keep the kids from getting away from us, I tied the tubes together. Pretty soon, we were bumping our butts over rounded rocks in a shallow area, followed by an exciting ride through some rapids.

The trip took about 3 hours, an exciting time, and when we arrived back at our campsite, I had a heck of time getting out of the inner-tube, and I suddenly felt like a beached whale. (No fat jokes, please). By rolling over, I finally got free, and immediately heard "GRAMPA, PULL YOUR PANTS UP, WE CAN SEE YOUR BUTT!" Then came the giggling. "GRAMPA", Ava said in an exasperated tone, "ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PULL YOUR SWIMSUIT UP, AND YOUR SHIRT DOWN, YOU KNOW ... "

A firm resolve to lose some weight passed between my ears.

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