Category Archives: Reblogging Jill’s Cabana Stories

Majestic Mountain Vacation, Estes Park, Colorado


Can’t wait to be in the mountains again!

Jill's Cabana Stories and Travels

Today, I am thinking about mountain vacations.  We have seen many mountains sailing through the many inlets on our Alaskan vacations.  We also saw Mount Rainier when we were in Seattle, Washington before our Alaskan cruises.

My daughter loves the mountains.  The serenity of a mountain vacation, gazing up at the snow-covered peaks, brings her total peace.  That is why mountains are on my mind today.  We are in the planning stages for another trip, and this time we are returning to the mountains.

Our only real mountain vacation was our trip to Estes Park, Colorado, and the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Estes Park was a lovely little city at the base of the Rocky Mountain.  It was the perfect city to stay at because of its close proximity to the national park.  Staying in Estes Park gave you a perfect outlook of the mountains before you went…

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Our One Night Stay at the Polynesian Resort


Love the Poly!

Jill's Cabana Stories and Travels

When we were driven up by Disney’s Magical Express to the Polynesian Resort, we were greeted by cast members that had hula necklaces for us.  They said, “Aloha,” and placed a necklace on our neck.  That immediately put a smile on our face, and was just a preview of the night to come.

We had been at the Polynesian Resort before to eat at both Ohana and Kona Café.  When we had visited the Poly, we just knew that we wanted to stay there one night.  On this vacation, we got our wish.

We walked into the Great Ceremonial House and saw the familiar sight of the grand waterfall in the entrance.  It smelled crisp and fresh, just like we had always remembered.  We checked in, and we able to go to our guest room.

We had a guest room in Samoa.  That proved to be a wonderful location as…

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On My Soapbox–Paula Deen


Very sad…I can’t believe that Paula Deen is so different than the person she portrays herself to be on Food Network. She always seemed like such a nice Southern lady.

Jill's Cabana Stories and Travels

There has been a story in the news that has captured my attention the last several days, so again, I am writing an article for On My Soapbox.

I am an avid Food Network fan for many years. I have tuned into many shows of the 30 Minute Meals by Rachel Ray, Iron Chef, Chopped, Bobby Flay, and Paula Deen. I will miss Paula Deen. I was very surprised to hear that the Food Network let her go so quickly.

After her three apology YouTube videos for using “hurtful language” when using a racial slur, many of the released quotes in her deposition, and videos surfacing over the course of a few days, I now see that Food Network really had no choice. She was too much risk for their brand.

Nevertheless, being inquisitive as I usually am, I read the 33-page complaint and her deposition. The…

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Senses Spa and Rainforest Room- Disney Fantasy


This post makes me want to take a nap…sooo pleasant. 🙂

Jill's Cabana Stories and Travels

One of my highlights of our recent 7-Day Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy was time spent with my daughter having Spa treatments in the Senses Spa. This was a very luxurious, relaxing, and self-indulgent time spent.

We had pre-booked our treatments online, to correspond with our first fun day at sea. My daughter received an exfoliation skin treatment, and I had the Quartz Collagen treatment, (you know, to reduce those fine lines and wrinkles.)

Each of our relaxing treatments was one hour long. My Spa tech was a lovely woman from South Africa. A nice shout out to her for the wonderful time that I had. After a brief consultation about my skin, and treatment plan, it was time to begin.

She used Elemis products, and they felt soft, clean, and perfectly soothing. I felt no harshness at all, as I do have a tendency for sensitive…

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The Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz Book Cover

Wizard of Oz Book Cover

L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was published in 1900.  At the time, this was probably a landmark book because it probably would have been one of the few books that was written for children and incorporated fantasy elements.  At the same time, it probably garnered a lot of controversy because of these fantasy elements.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are transported to the land of Oz in their house by a cyclone.  Dorothy’s house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East.  In order to get back home to Kansas, she must journey to the Emerald City.  Dorothy gets the late Wicked Witch’s silver slippers, and the Witch of the North kisses Dorothy upon her forehead.  Dorothy then begins the journey to Emerald City.

Along the way, she meets the scarecrow, the tin man, and the cowardly lion.  The Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion each have their own story to share, and they all wish for something that they are apparently lacking in their lives.  The Scarecrow wishes for brains, the Tin Man a heart, and the Cowardly Lion courage.  The trio has to battle many adversaries on their way to the City, including the Kalidahs and a field of poppies.

Golden Cap

Golden Cap

Once there, Dorothy asks the great Oz for a way home, and the others ask for what they wish.  However, their success is postponed because Oz wants them to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.  He will not give them anything until they do.  So off they go to kill the Wicked Witch of the West.  This witch obviously doesn’t want to be killed.  She sends lots of things for Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion to deal with.  The Wicked Witch is unsuccessful in killing any of them, so she sends the flying monkeys after them using the Golden Cap.  However, the monkeys cannot kill Dorothy.  She bears the silver slippers, and she was kissed by the Witch of the North.  Therefore, the monkeys carry her to the Wicked Witch of the West.  The Wicked Witch of the West holds them captive until Dorothy melts her with water.  Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion set off for the Emerald City after having killed the witch, but not until Dorothy takes the magical Golden Cap.

Flying Monkeys

Flying Monkeys

The Winged Monkeys carry them to Oz because of the Golden Cap.  There, they ask Oz for their reward.  However, they discover that the “great” Oz is nothing more than a humbug who pretends to be all powerful so everyone else will think that he is a wizard.

Oz still gives them something that symbolizes what they desire.  He gives the Scarecrow pins and needles in his head to represent brains.  The Tin Man gets a small metal heart in his chest.  Finally, the Cowardly Lion drinks a potion that “gives” him courage.

Oz happened to be from Kansas also, and he came to the land using a balloon, so he agreed to take Dorothy with him back to Kansas.  He was leaving the Scarecrow in charge.  However, a mishap led Dorothy stranded and unable to go home.

Will Dorothy find her way back to Kansas?  What new adventures will Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion have?  You’ll have to read it in the Wizard of Oz.

Wizard of Oz Movie Poster

Wizard of Oz Movie Poster

I would say that the movie seemed to add a lot of scenes that weren’t in the book, such as the thing with Mrs. Gulch.  The movie also deleted a lot of scenes that were in the book, such as China country and the Kalidahs.  I’m not sure why this was done because both the book and movie seem to have the same amount of content.  It’s just different.  The movie really changed part of the plot from the original Wizard of Oz.  My theory is that the book was changed to be more of Dorothy’s dream.  In the movie, the mean Mrs. Gulch changes into the Wicked Witch of the West, and Dorothy kills her.  In the book, Dorothy wondered if the land of Oz was all a dream.  Perhaps Mrs. Gulch was added in the movie to make the plot seem more good vs. evil, and to show that Dorothy was dreaming up the land to defeat the wicked old lady in Kansas.  That seems like a big stretch though.

Because of the huge differences in the book and movie, I would recommend reading the book.  You should also check out a book/movie comparison of the Wizard of Oz at Jill’s Cabana Stories.  This blog provides many more details in regards to the differences between the book and the movie.  I give it 4 stars.

Mackinac Island, A Favorite Summertime Destination


Mackinac Island fudge…Yummy. 🙂

Jill's Cabana Stories and Travels

As a lifelong Michigan resident sometimes it is nice to get away for a few days. If we are planning a trip close to home, we have found that spending time in the Great Lakes State is always enjoyable for a summer time trip. Our family did just that a few summers ago.

As Michigan is the only state with two peninsulas, we found it is a worthwhile family vacation to take a drive from the lower Peninsular to the Upper Peninsula, and see the wonders of the U.P.

Some highlights to a Michigan vacation were visiting the Sleeping Bear sand dunes. It is a goal to see how far you can climb up. The higher you climb the more sand you will see. The best fun for kids is to climb up as high as you can, and race back down the sandy bluffs.

Another Michigan joy is…

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Disney Wishes from the Poly


The Poly is so fun!

Jill's Cabana Stories and Travels

My favorite place to be to watch Walt Disney World fireworks is on the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. We look forward to this most relaxing way to watch Disney’s Wishes by spending it in a beach chair with a Dole Whip in hand watching this evening fireworks spectacular.

Have you ever been to Walt Disney World and tried to stake out your claim for this evenings fireworks show? We have. We went early and found a spot, only to be later crushed like sardines by hundreds of people all with the same good idea to find a spot near Main Street in front of the castle, and make a quick exit once Wishes is over. That is a great idea, but not for the faint hearted.

On our first visit my husband, who was holding tight unto our daughter, and I were separated trying to make it through the…

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