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.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Update on Life with Little Red

We have owned Little Red for about 8 months and we have been on seven trips and visited 10 campgrounds.  We feel a little more seasoned now but still learning with every outing.  Usually we learn by mistakes but at least none have been too serious so far.  Crossing fingers and holding breath.....😌  So after having a little experience under our belts we still love camping in Little Red and we are still so enjoying the journey.  Our only regret is that we can't go more often.  We have been able to go every 4 to 6 weeks so that's not too bad.  We skipped the month of April this year because we have a week long trip planned back to Devils Fork in May.  The kids will be coming in and out during the week so we are very excited!

If I were forced to pick a favorite campground so far, I would have to say that River's End in Tybee Island would have to be my absolute favorite.  Sadly it's not a state park he so it's a little more expensive but the cost it worth it to me.  I love the close sites, the cute family style bathrooms, the cable and yes please!!  The gravel on the sites help keep things clean and it's a really a family atmosphere.  The beach is within walking distance and I absolutely love the swings on the beach...really!!  The lighthouse is right beside the campground and Tybee Island is so much fun!  Good food and entertainment.

Greg likes the state parks better and we both love Hunting Island State Park here in SC.  We camped there on our Honeymoon and went back there last September right before Hurricane Matthew came through and ravaged it.  We just found out that it has opened back up and we have reservations for August of this year.  Hopefully it won't be too sad to see how much has changed.

Here is our list  so far and we keep track of this on the left side of the blog.  We will add on as we go.  Let us know if you have questions about any of the campgrounds we have visited.  We love sharing our experiences and love hearing about others.  See you on the road....

Campgrounds Little Red Retro Visited

Monday, April 24, 2017

Mac and Cheese...Oh Yeah....

I have been searching and researching mac and cheese recipes for the longest time.  I have tried so many and could never get that creamy cheese gooey goodness I was looking for.  They always ended up dry and lacking taste or having a weird yucky taste.  Ugh!!!

On Easter I had several recipes pulled up on Pinterest that looked so yummy but I knew my chances weren't good at pulling one off.  Well this time my experiment worked and I did my best to get it all down so that I am able to recreate it.  There was one ingredient that I would never have thought of or tried but a customer of Greg's had recommended it.  It turned out to be the key ingredient!  One small can of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup.  Yep...that's it.  In this pic its still very creamy but if you like it a little more solid you can continue to simmer on the stove top or place it in the oven with butter, shredded cheese and bread crumbs.  So awesome!!

So here's my recipe and how I do it but there are lots of ways to accomplish good mac and cheese and Pinterest is full of them.  😋  As always this recipe freezes really well and is perfect for a take along camping.  If your fridge works on propane while driving you can put your frozen mac in the there while traveling and it will help the chill in your fridge on the road.  Frozen dinners can also keep things cold in your cooler.  When you arrive you can finish thawing and warm.  You are ready to eat.

Creamy Cheesy Mac and Cheese

2 pound box of macaroni
4 cups shredded cheese - I used sharp cheddar but you can change or mix it up
2 sticks of Velveeta Mini Blocks
2 cups milk
1/4 cup half and half
1 stick butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 small can cheddar cheese soup
3 heaping teaspoons corn starch
1/2 cup water 

To start I boil all of the macaroni until it's firm but not too soft.  I drain but don't rinse and put aside
in a large heavy dutch oven. I use my lodge porcelen coated cast iron one.  Cut the butter and mix with the macaroni.  This will keep it from getting too stiff.  Put the pot on low heat and season to taste.  I truly believe this pot makes a huge difference and if I decide to bake it off, it is all ready to go.  It also keeps it from sticking or burning on the bottom.

While the mac is boiling, I start the sauce in a large pot.. First add the cheese soup and place on medium heat.  Add one cup of the milk and mix well.  Add the Velveeta and simmer until completely mixed.  Place corn starch in a lidded jar and add water.  Close the jar and shake until it's all dissolved.  Pour the mixture into the sauce and continue to simmer.  As the sauce thickens add the other cup of milk.  This should be getting very creamy and not too thick.

After the sauce is creamy and all ingredients are dissolved start adding the shredded cheese one cup at a time.  I use a rubber coated whisk to keep the mixture smooth.  As soon as it is completely melted and smooth, poor over the warm macaroni and mix well.  Add half and half and continue to stir on low heat.  Let this mixture simmer until it is the desired consistence and the macaroni is soft.  If you feel it's too thick or stiff you can add more butter and milk in small amounts until it is the way you like it.

At this point if you want to bake it, add another cup of shredded cheese and melted butter to the top and sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Bake uncovered until bubbly at 375.  We like ours creamy without the bake but it is delicious either way.'s really good scooped into a bowl over a campfire. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Little Red Travels to Table Rock State Park...SC

We had heard many things about Table Rock State Park for years but never made it there. Its approximately 3 hours from where we live so it's not a bad trip at all.  We left late on a Thursday so that we could be set up and ready to enjoy the day on Friday.  This was another set up in the dark and not without it's unique set of issues.  But....what's a camping trip without some fun troubles....Right???

So we left around 6:30 PM and with a few potty stops for Miss Lucy and a quick run through Bojangles we arrived at about 9:45.  This park is in the mountains but not too bad if you come in through the correct entrance.  😏  I should mention here that I am horribly afraid of heights.  I can enjoy the view somewhat but can't look down..ever!!!  This campground had two ways to come in and one is not for those towing or driving RV's.  That's because the road gets very narrow and sharp..I mean extremely sharp curves.  But luckily Greg was familiar with this after talking to the office before we left home and we made it in on the right side on our first try.

During set up on the pull through site we had, we got really close to the box that provides power but couldn't really see that when we set up.  Anyway after getting level and working inside to set up I got the shock of my life when somebody (Greg) forgot to take the chains off before pulling forward.  I thought Lucy and I were taking the short way home via the mountain.  But it was all good - we just lurched forward off of the lego block he had used to level up.  No harm done....except that Miss Lucy was significantly shaken up.  She just glared at us for the rest of the night.  She hates the ride in the car and thought she had snugged up in her bed to relax so this was particularly upsetting to her little system.  Poor baby...we have to work on her issues with riding in the car.  I have ordered her a car seat for dogs so we will see how that works.  More on that later.

The next morning we had an awesome view of the side of the mountain - our site was sort of down in a little valley.  We were on 43 and it was fairly level with the usual amenities of a fire ring, water and power.  This campground was fairly large with sites down at the bottom for larger rigs and camp hosts and the area we were in was mainly for travel trailers, etc.  This is a very busy state park and we really loved that.  There are so many trails and of course you can hike up to the top of the mountain.  We made it to the the second level and would love to be able to go to the top but I'm just not sure the ole knees could make it.  😆 It's a wonderful meandering path with different trails that are different difficulty levels.

The weather was nice for the whole weekend with the exception of Saturday night when the rain came in - it was very late though.  We prepped for this by putting away everything outside that night so that we wouldn't be putting away soggy wet chairs, etc.

While there we met the campground hosts which were some of the nicest we have met so far and they have a real community there.  Lucy met lots of dogs and especially loved Big Otis who was one of the hosts...he was a pit bull mix and just so sweet!!  We met some snow birds from Canada and all sorts of kiddos.  We also spotted something I have been looking at but had not see other than pictures.  It was the new Vintage travel trailer and its made very much like the Retro but bigger.  It would be too heavy for towing with our car but it was so nice.  We will have to watch those and see how they do.

All in all we loved this campground and would definitely return.  Because it's located in the mountains, we did have issues with our cell phones but awesome television reception.  Go figure.  Some of it was caused by the fact that our site was lower down.  If we walked outside we could get a little better reception.  I have a Samsung and was just able to send text messages and receive them but Greg has an IPhone and he got much better results.  Not sure why.

We are still loving our Little Red and would recommend the brand to anyone.  We still get lots of questions and comments and we are normally the only retro in the parks that we visit.  We have been told so many times that seniors with huge big rigs want to downsize because it just so much to haul and handle.  We will be doing an update on things we have learned after 6 months of use and our travels to 10 campgrounds.  More gadgets to come also.