Little Red Retro

Our blog is all about
life as seniors, our love of camping and so much more. It's named after our sweet little red Riverside Retro RV - our very first camper. We hope to share ideas, campground info, recipes and just thoughts and feelings. At this stage in life we are going through so many changes and we hope to share our journey and learn from others as we navigate this time in our lives.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Camping Gadgets and Goodies...We Got Em.....

Since we began this journey with Little Red last September, we are learning all about the need for gadgets..and goodies.....and there are lots of them.  Some are just fun and others really make so much difference in your camping experience.  I thought I would take a minute to review a few things that we have found invaluable for us. Everybody who camps has their own personal preferences but these are our favorites.  Let us know some of yours.  We love hearing about and trying new things.  So here's our list so far.

Wagon - We looked at these for years and we received this one as a gift from our Son.  We love it and it's just perfect for our car.  Ours is the blue color which works perfect with our other stuff.  😄  We actually leave it open with the wheels down in the back of our car and store things in it for the road.  Lucy also uses it as a place to hide under when she is afraid on the ride.  Really...we need to work on her car issues but that's another post.  This wagon is so easy to use I can even do it and the wheels turn so it's very east to steer.  We are so looking forwarding to using it this Spring and Summer for the beaches and lakes we visit.

Flip Flops - Now I'm not sure these qualify as a true gadget but they are on the top of our list.  We just call them flippers or floppies but as old tent campers who took many bathhouse showers, they are an essential and we have lost more pairs than I can count as well as just plain worn them out.  They become our go too shoes because they can be hosed off, thrown in a bag etc and they are just comfy.  Our new favorites are the Okabashi which I originally found at the gift shop at a campground.  Then I found them on Amazon so we both have a pair.  For us they are hands down the most comfortable flips we have ever had and they are solid one piece construction.  Check these out and you may never go back to the old style.  They are also very reasonably priced.

Collapsible Bag - These bags are indispensable and we use them for several functions every trip.  These sides snap and they stand up.  The elastic strap  wraps over it to flatten it when not in use.  We pack them and put them on the bed during travel.  One our last trip I even used one to pack my clothes and stored it at the end of the bed.  It worked perfect for me.  This one is a little different from the link but there are so many choices on Amazon.

Dog Bowl - We found this little dog bowl when we were on a camping trip and we have been amazed at what a difference it makes.  Lucy cannot spill it and so far we haven't either. 😄 This is the bottom side and it has sections for her food and water and the little feet really work.  We had tried different bowls but always spilled.  I forgot to empty it on one trip home and not a drip ended up on the floor.  It was very inexpensive.  We have such limited floor space in the 166 but this one fits right by the fridge beside the bathroom door.  We are able to squeeze a small trash can there too.  This link is not the exact one but it is very close.

Hooks - I can't say enough good things about this hook.  It attaches with an adhesive type rubber backing and is easily removable just like Command hooks. can reattach it by wetting and reapplying.  This particular one holds up to 20 pounds.  We put it up in the bathroom and it was the perfect place for hanging clothes.  It worked great and has not slipped a bit.  Love it and we will get more of these.  If you camp in a small camper or any camper, then you know that hooks are so important. 

Okay - these are just a few of our favorites and we are learning each time we go out what works and what doesn't.  We have more to talk about like our portable grill which is just awesome and our tag along potty tank - AKA the pooper.  We will be trying it out on our week long trip to Devils Fork in May.  Next up is the round up and pics from our trip recently to Table Rock State Park.  It was awesome and so much to do there.  Definitely on our return list.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On the Road.....

Tybee Island Lighthouse
At the end of February we made a week long trip in Little Red.  I was a little apprehensive but we so thoroughly enjoyed it.  We pushed ourselves to see if we could make it through 4 different campgrounds within the week.  We started out with Tybee Island and camped at Rivers End.  From there we traveled down to Tamoka State Park in Florida and then to Blue Springs and finally Fort Clinch.  It was so much fun and we will definitely do this again.  This trip also taught us more about packing up and setting up in short order and making adjustments for each campground.  We set up and visited Blue Springs in full pouring rain but still enjoyed every minute.  Warning this may be a long post.

Our first stop on this almost week long trip was Tybee Island and Rivers End Campground .  This was our first visit to a non-state park in Little Red and we just loved this campground.  All sites are covered with gravel which helps to keep things clean.  They have full hookups, cable television and wireless all through the campground.  The bathhouses are all family style and very clean.  The beach is just a short walk and you can visit the lighthouse on the way.  This beach is so beautiful and there are actual swings set up right on the beach so that you can sit and relax and watch the waves.  I wish had gotten a pic of them..they were just awesome.  This is a quaint little
campground and the sites are very close together.  This is our little site and each one comes with a picnic table and fire ring. We were there the weekend before President's Day so it was absolutely full.  We really enjoy that and it was so much fun.  This one will definitely be on our return list.  While we were in Savannah, we visited Wilmington Island which is where we spent our honeymoon almost 32 years ago.  Back then we stayed at the Savannah Inn and resort for two nights and then camped at Huntington Island for the rest of the week.  We were able to visit the location but now it's condominiums.  We also visited Fort Pulaski and it is a must see if you get to this area.  We were able to get a picture of us in the same place that we took one on our honeymoon. So much fun!!

From there we headed further south to Tamoka State Park and Campground in Florida.  I have to say the campgrounds in Florida were a great surprise.  All 3 we visited on this trip had big clean newly refurbished bath houses and they were very clean and enjoyable.  Tamoka reminded us a lot of Hunting Island here in South Carolina.  We love Hunting and its closed right now for repairs from last year's storm Matthew so this was perfect. This is the view from the outpost - so relaxing and calm here.  There is boating, fishing and more in this area.  Campsites include the usual with a table, fire ring as well as an area to hang your trash. etc.  We drove into Ormond Beach and it did not disappoint!  It is so clear and the water is so blue and you can actually drive on the beach!!  This is a foreign concept for us but we really wanted to try it....but we didn't.  There is a big picture of the aqua lifeguard station on the left border of the blog. Of course that is one of my favorite colors and one of my favorite pics from the trip!

We then headed on to Blue Springs State Park and Campground and of course it was beautiful!!  It was pouring rain the entire day when we arrived so we didn't put out our full set up.  This is one of the fantastic bath houses with washer and dryer included along with a drink machine.  I know not everybody cares about the that but I do.  😊 The manatee were running while we were there and we were actually able to see a few swimming and spouting water.  We couldn't actually get a picture from where we were but it was awesome anyway.  Fish were jumping
high in the air and coming back down on their side.  I had never seen anything like it.  The next day we walked back down to the springs before we left and it was sunny and bright.  The area was full with kids and dogs everywhere - we loved it.  Lucy quite enjoyed meeting several other doodles who were visiting. The sites there were wooded and included fire rings and a large picnic table.  There is much to do here with boating, kayaking, canoeing, along with boat tours of the springs.  We would love to spend a few days there when we go back.

Our last stop was Fort Clinch State Park and Campground.  I wasn't really thinking I would like this one but it was great.  It's unusual in that the fort is in the campground or vice versa...not sure which.  We actually saw an armadillo on our camp site several times during our stay.  He was so cute but he didn't take to Lucy and he would start burrowing as soon as he saw her.  The drive into this campground is just beautiful and the tree branches drape across and
meet in the middle.  The bath houses were newly refurbished and fit right into the fort setting.  The sites included the usual picnic table and fire ring and were wooded and clean.  The fort was just a short walk and the campground has about 22 sites right on the beach.  They were amazing and we would definitely like to try one of those next time. There is a long pier and boardwalk out onto the beach as well.  It was closed for repairs while we were there.

Well that was it and from there we were headed back home.  If we had not needed to be home, we would have definitely stayed longer.  We got into a rhythm of setting up and just staying one night was not bad at all.  We can set up Little Red in about 30 minutes now and get ready to move in about the same amount of time.  We are still loving our little guy and still would greatly recommend a Retro to anyone looking for a small light weight camper.   The only issues we have had so far were totally user error.  Since this post has grown way too long I will save those stories for another day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Can We Talk....Potato Soup and More....

I have been so lax in getting up our post about our week long trip in Little Red.  Just haven't been able to get the ole brain working.  😬  Every trip we take, I think that I will take a few minutes and give a little background on our journey, but the excitement of the travel takes over.  I don't share the details much but today I felt the need to put it out there for those who may be in a similar situation.  I hope that sharing may help those who have the same struggles.

I have some frustrating and complicated health issues that make camping interesting  Lets say that.  I have some structural problems like a lot of people our age - I'm 60.  Moving and manipulating can be a slow process but for the most part we do fine.  But...and this is a big one...I also have MCI.  Now if you don't know what that is then I am so happy for you because if it has entered your life through a parent, sibling, spouse or even yourself then you know what the deal is.  MCI stands for mild cognitive impairment.  I'm sure there could be a better name for it because for many of us mild just doesn't cut it.  Anyway, in my case it can make for frustrations that just don't make sense and Greg has to deal with that.  So far so good.

Greg surprised me when he moved ahead and ordered Little Red.  We had looked at vintage campers for years and had dreamed of owning one once he retired.  Last year I think he realized that we needed to do it now....while we still can.  For me, I can tell you that camping has been the best thing I could do for myself and for Greg.  It has brought me back to living in the now and truly helps me stay focused and moving forward.  Prior to getting the camper I had become a rocking chair Grannie ---- and I don't even have grandchildren.  😊  I can't explain it but I would recommend it to anyone dealing with any of these types of issues.  Get out there and enjoy life...don't waste a minute.

Okay for main reason for this post.  Potato Soup....we are dealing with a cold snap here in SC and I'm not complaining because I know it's much worse in other parts of the country.  All kinds of potato soup is a staple around here.  We love it and it also gives us a break from meat once in a while.

This is my recipe and I just change it up depending on what I have on hand.  I made it today with just potatoes and carrots.  There are a few things that make it so much easier.  I try to keep gravy mixes like these on hand.  They
are great for thickening so many different things and they add so much flavor.  This type of bullion also makes a huge difference in taste and I love it.  You have to refrigerate it after opening but it is so worth it. 
With these two ingredients you can make lots of good stuff and they are great for camping if you like to cook.  I have thrown in chicken and corn and made chicken chowder. Another thing that goes with the soup so well are Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits.  They turn out crisp and you can even break them into your soup.  Oh My!!!  Pot pies turn our great using these and crescent rolls.  Use your imagination and enjoy!!

If you've made it this far, thanks so much for listening to my rambling on.  The post on the Florida trip will be up soon.  Our next destination is Table Rock at the end of this month.  Looking so forward to this beautiful area!