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.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Changes, Camping and More....

In the last four months we have been through lots of changes and we find ourselves in a bit of a new reality.  That's not always a bad thing and we are working to embrace our new day to day.  Life changes quickly and if there is anything we have learned it's to embrace each and every day, enjoy life, and don't waste time on things that just don't matter.  I'm posting this rare picture of us here because we want to come out from behind the camera and let everyone know that we are the face of senior life and the challenges it can include. 

We are in that now common position where our parents have been our responsibility and concern in day to day life.  In the last few months we have lost my Mother and Greg's Dad.  Now Greg's Mom is alone and that is a daily worry.  She is very independent and self sufficient but loosing a partner that you have spent more than 60 years of your life with can bring on all sorts of dilemmas.  The loss of Greg's Dad was quick and somewhat unexpected and has left a hole in our family.  My Mother was ill and in long term care for over a year and a half and while expected, it was much sooner than anticipated.

In the midst of all of this Greg has suffered a long chronic illness which resulted in his loosing a job that he loved.  This has been another death of sorts for him and has been a process to begin to move forward from that.  We have been stalled and having difficulty in moving in that direction but we are now on the road and hoping to keep plodding ahead.

Another event that has definitely effected our lives was the loss of our beloved 14 year old Beagle Jack, Beeger.  He was the most loyal and sweet boy and his favorite person in the world was Greg.  He never left his side when he was home and he was happiest in the yard helping out.  He had been declining for quite a while and also had dementia.  We had to make the very difficult decision to put him down four days before Greg's Dad died.  We could not allow him to suffer any longer.  He talked to us until he drew his last breath.  He was never able to camp with us due to his health but he was so happy to see us each time we returned.  Understandably this has been very hard on Lucy as well.  She knows that he is gone and she is alone with out a sibling for the first time in her life.  Hopefully at some point we will find another rescue the she loves like she did our sweet Beeger aka BJ!

What's the point of sharing all of this??  We hope that others out there who are suffering similar difficulties in life can see that it is possible to find joy even in the midst of pain and loss.  We have felt that we have been hit by a landslide of loss lately but as the clouds clear away we are left with a glimmer of bright light and hope for our future.  We are so excited to be welcoming our very first Grandchild this month and the joy and anticipation of his arrival gives us hope for brighter days ahead.  We are so very fortunate to have four beautiful grown sons and their wonderful spouses!!  And...we know that all of these events are part of life and endured by us all.

We are looking forward to a camping trip hopefully next week before Greg gets back to work in a new and different job.  A little time spent in Little Red always gives us perspective and brings us back to whats important in life.  Stay tuned to see where we travel to.  Spring is usually beautiful in South Caroling!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Huntington Beach State Park.....and COLD Weather!

We made a quick trip down to Myrtle Beach in January while we were having a little spurt of warmer weather.  We had reservations at Huntington Beach State Park. We have visited this park many times but never camped here.  It is a beautiful campground with lots of trees, wildlife, trails and more. Of course the beach is the main attraction here and it is absolutely beautiful.

Unfortunately the day we left home, it was rainy but that normally doesn't slow us down.  When we arrived at the campground it was so dark and we had a little trouble finding our site.  After rounding all of the loops about 10 times I talked Greg into talking to one of the campground hosts.  They were awesome and actually had an extra site map that we used and quickly found the spot.  The temperatures had dropped considerably and getting into our site in the cold rain with me on flashlight duty was not exactly fun.  However, it made our cozy little camper with some tasty homemade vegetable soup that much more appealing.  Those frozen meals sure do come in handy.  Miss Lucy was so happy to snuggle and get warm.  She did good on the ride down but as always it's not her favorite thing to do. I can't recommend the car seat and seat belt enough for those who have puppers who don't like riding in cars.  It keeps her from pacing and climbing all over the car.  The most important part of this is the seat belt clip.  We clip it to her harness and she is safe and sound. 

The next morning it was beautiful and sunny although very cold and brisk outside.  I'll take dry cold any day.  Miss Lucy stayed behind in the warm camper while we ventured out and about.  We rode down to an RV store and looked at a little larger camper made by Gulf Stream and checked out the Vintage again as well.  Sadly neither can match the quality of craftsmanship of the Retro so we will be working to figure out how we will order one when we are ready to move up to a bigger size.  The closest place to find one near us is Florida.  I surely don't mind venturing down that way to camper shop.  (Big smile!)  We are thinking 180 or in the 190 range but we are researching models before we make a decision.

Next we dropped off the deposit for a summer rental for the family vacation in July.  There are 10 of us and by then we will be 11 when our sweet little Grandson will have arrived.  We plan to take Little Red and we will use that space as necessary.

For dinner that night we rode down to Murrels Inlet where we found many of our favorite restaurants were closed until February or March.  We didn't think of that as we haven't been to this area in January before.  We finally found a great choice - Wahoo Fish House.  Oh my gosh - this restaurant was excellent.  It has a very cozy rustic atmosphere and we were able to sit on the side by the water and watch wildlife as we ate.  The food was excellent and we enjoyed every bite with the exception of the few morsels we saved for Lucy Loo.  I ordered the seared scallops over cheese grits and Greg had a stuffed fish special that they featured that night.  Although this restaurant was a little more expensive that we would normally try, it was well worth it.  We thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it.

We will definitely visit this campground again when it's warmer.  The only drawback we saw is that many of the sites don't have shade so you will need to choose wisely in the summer months.  There are shady spots available.  This is a great campground for all ages and is very senior friendly.  The bathhouses were clean and well kept.  WIFI is available and this state park is pet friendly. They have a very nice gift shop and store with a gigantic Adirondack chair out front which makes a great picture prop.  This park is also the home of a National Historic Landmark, Atalaya, the winter home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington.  There is an arts festival held here each year in September.  If you like the Myrtle Beach area, I would put this one on your bucket list for sure.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Hickory Nut Campground ~ Lake Lure and More...

After a full year of traveling almost every month, we were forced to take a break at the end of 2017.  Greg experienced some unexpected health problems, my Mom died, his Dad fell and has been hospitalized or in rehab since and then just everyday life got in our way.  Things have been a little more crazy than usual ever since the week before Thanksgiving.  Oh well - that's just life.  We are going to try and get back out there at the end of this week for a short trip back to the beach.  Looking so forward to that!! Miss Lucy is ready to go again!!

Before the Apocalypse in October, we traveled up to North Carolina and visited the Lake Lure area and camped at Hickory Nut Campground just down from Chimney Rock.  This is such a beautiful area and so perfect for a Fall trip. There is so much to do there and great food and fun.  If you haven't been to this area, do put it on our list.  It's well worth the trip.  Part of the campground sits on a beautiful stream and our site was backed right up to it.  We could hear the rushing water and it was so relaxing!!  Lake Lure is also just down the road and it is absolutely gorgeous!!

The campground is nestled in a little part of the mountains and the sites are fit in between rocks and trees - its very natural and a great place to walk.  Of course Lucy loved it and all of the dog friends she made.  Lots of the sites are permanently set up and privately owned so it has a very homey atmosphere.  So many campers told us they had been visiting for years.  Our neighbors had been coming every year for 25 years.  We would love to return in the summer when it would be cooler than our very hot temps in West Columbia.

One of the main attractions here is Chimney Rock. We had been through that area but never stopped in.  We visited this beautiful state park and went as far as we could up the mountain - Greg made it almost to the very top and I made it up to Pulpit Rock.  It was such an extraordinary view and we ate lunch - awesome hots dogs made at a food truck at the base of the mountain -  sitting in rocking chairs with our legs dangling at the mountains edge.  We met so many awesome dogs who made the trek up and of course that was my favorite part.  We didn't take Miss Lucy up because she is a little chunky and we thought it might be too much for her.  She hung out at the campground and was perfectly happy to nap and watch the activity out of her favorite window. 

This was an eventful trip as we made our first trip to the local ER and that was way too much fun.  While making Reuben's for dinner, Greg dropped a chef's knife and as he reached for it, it sliced through his finger.  That was quite a drive through the mountains to the closest hospital 30 minutes away.  Five hours and several stitches later we returned to a worried Lucy sitting watch on the dinning table.  This made for a little bit tricky pack up but we made it through just fine.  Thanks goodness we had a full hook-up so not much to do in the way of black tank stuff.

This was our first trip to mountains of this type with the camper.  We learned a few things that we will remember for next time.  We may need to look into 4 wheel drive - our tow vehicle is a Ford Edge - 6 cylinder and for the most part if does fine with our Retro 166.  We did experience a little trouble on one of the roads inside the campground that was gravel and Greg had to back down the road because the car just could not make it up.  Slow and steady is definitely the rule with mountain driving with a camper.  If you're camping in front of a fast and furious stream, back into the site very slowly so you don't go in the drink.  I think I lost some hair with that set-up....seriously.  All is well though and we were still speaking after it all.

Hopefully we will get back on somewhat of a regular schedule with our adventures soon.  We still love our Little Red Retro so much but I have to admit that we are dreaming of a little bit bigger camper....not a lot...maybe a 177 or something similar.  That will mean also getting a new tow vehicle.  We will keep you posted.  Until next time....see you on the road.