The World’s Greatest Shave!

Hawaii is known for it’s “Shave Ice” – a cool, colourful, refreshing and tasty treat that comes in a variety of flavours to suit every palette.

Today’s DID was enjoying some.


When I have a shave ice I’m always left wondering, “Why don’t more places in this world do this?”

At least Hawaii does. And, I’m happy to indulge in at least one every time I visit.

Mahalo Hawaii.



Mahalo, Mirror

sunsetI am struck by the majesty of Hawaii. When I’m here, I find myself agog with her beauty and it truly feels like both a place of refuge and a place for relaxation, reflection and revitalization.

Today I took myself to the beach near the Hilton Hawaiian Village, where we stayed last year at this time. I thought a different perspective on today’s sunset would be interesting and it’s also a great spot for a swim.

While I was waiting for the sun to lower itself to the water I was inspired by Hawaii and all her beauty. So much so that I wanted to get my thoughts down, so I pulled out my phone and started jotting down lyrics for a song.

I’ve never even attempted to write a song – heaven knows I probably not capable of writing the music to accompany it, but expressing my sentiments came more easily.

So today’s DID came as I watched the majesty of nature paint masterpieces in front of me – it flowed through me in appreciation for this magical place called Hawaii and I am now sharing them with you.

I am so grateful that I have had opportunities to visit. I remember my parents talking for years and about visiting here when they retired. They looked forward to it. Unfortunately, my mother died before she could – my father came on his own, but I’m sure it wasn’t the trip he had imagined and dreamed of for so long with my mom. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I leap at opportunities to do things – I don’t want to leave this world with a huge bucket list of undone items. I want to tick as many off as I can. I’ll take as many big a bites out of life as I can, as often as I can, so that when I do go, I go full  – full of experience, adventure, and memories.

Hawaii holds a special place in my heart – and if you read the lyrics,  you may understand a bit better as to why.

I guess all this is left now is to write the music – definitely an upcoming DID!


Mahalo, Mirror

By Linda Johannesson


Waiting for the night to come

Reflecting on the day

Wondering if your waves

Might help me find my way


It’s you being you

That reminds me

Of who I’m meant to be

Mahalo for your mirror

That helps me to see.

Shores of tiny grains of sand

Fall neatly back in succession

Like with my heart,

Footprints show their recent impression


Late day rays kiss my cheeks

And paint a glow upon my face

The sun hangs low in the sky

Everything rightfully in its place


A warm breath blows my hair askew

It flows freely in the wind

Unleashing insistent freedom

Inside my head it’s dinned


Your clouds drift and swirl

And change colours as they move

Their pallette grows in rhythm

Like me, they find their groove


And then there is your sunrise

It happens every day

There will be another chance,

The gift of another day


There are lessons to be learned,

Adventures to enjoy, things left to say

Hawaii’s Aloha spirit reminds us

Time in Hawaii helps you find your way


Strangers In The Day

I was out for a walk early on this beautiful Saturday in Honolulu. Instead of walking to the right and heading into the centre of Waikiki, I chose to go left this morning toward Diamond Head.

Thoughts drifted to what I could for my “doing it different” after I had had a cheery conversation with a gentleman on the beach. We had both stopped took out our phones and snapped some photos and I commented on what did we do before we had phones and publishing devices in our pockets.  It struck me that talking to strangers can be an exhilarating, connecting, and unique experience, so, of course, I decided that this made for a perfect  DID for today.

Immediately  turned to Facebook and posted this.


The goal for today was set – I was to talk to at least 8 strangers and document my interactions.

So, here they are:

  1. The gentleman on the beach who whom I discussed mobile phones and our reliance on them
  2. An older outdoorsy looking couple who were standing on the pier looking down and remarking on the fish that swam around there giving us all a show.
  3. The gentleman sitting on the park bench who caught my eye when my face registered that it was two small dogs and not a baby being pushed around in a pram/stroller – we went on to discuss dog owner types, the needs of dogs, and that he had also seen a dog in a clear plastic box earlier that day  being carried around like a handbag
  4. The young and very well attired Asian couple who did not speak English but we communicated – I pointed out the various little black crabs that were crawling around at their feet, but because of their colouring were almost indistinguishable.
  5. The woman in the ABC store about returning or exchanging Chris’ shirt for another size, then about the parade, then about the floaty toys and inflating them, and then again when I actually brought back Chris’ shirt to exchange.
  6. The older man who was out for an early morning scoot, who as he approached said, “I’m passing by you.” I joked with him saying, “Not if I speed up you’re not.” He laughed and waved back at me.
  7. The big black guy with the warm smile who said, “Hellllllooo” with a big grin, only after visibility moving his head from my head to my feet then back again, so yes, Chris “He checked me out!”
  8. The Asian couple who’s photo I offered to take when they were struggling with the couple-selfie. They asked if I was a professional photographer because I asked them to move a bit to ensure their faces were lit, move their visors up a bit so that the camera could actually see their faces, and taking some time to frame the shot.
  9. I met an exuberant and friendly-as-anything golden lab named Mya and her mom, when her mom noticed me looking a tad longingly at her, as I was thinking of Buzz and missing him a little. We talked dog love and I gave Mya all kinds of pats and cuddles and we were both better off for it.
  10.  A young couple in the park with whom I exchanged pleasantries after stopping to take a photo of Diamond Head. If it was possible, they were even more exuberant than Mya!
  11. Then I happened upon young Jayden who was running around the duck pond and had obviously been around them for a while for he knew a lot about them. He knew that there were new ducks here, that a mother duck had recently given birth and was now swimming with her offspring – he took me to see them. We talked about where his father was – nearby, but certainly not within watching distance. This led to talks of stranger danger and you couldn’t argue with his reasoning. I seemed like a nice stranger – I had a good smile. After warning that some strangers can seem nice, but not be, I chuckled at his reply – that’s okay, I’m fast, nobody’s gonna catch me. He told me his name. I told him mine. Then he called my Auntie Linda. And yes, this whole conversation and connection was only minutes in the making. He was adorable and lively and gregarious and open – everything a young boy should be.
  12. Then there was Nora the bird lady – who introduced me to her birds, offered to take pictures, placing these birds expertly on my arms and grabbing my phone to take photos – I thought this was pretty cool, well, until she said, that will be $10. I was stunned – this was the first mention of any charge, she had no signs, no mention that this was a transaction rather than an interaction. I was taken quite aback. I felt duped and taken advantage of. I started to pay, arguing with myself all the while. I handed over a $20 bill and she said is it okay if I give you change in $1 notes. I said sure. She counted them out, gave them to me and then said, wait you never gave me the $20. I defended and said I most certainly did. Took a look in my bag and couldn’t see the note, so we went back and forth until we agreed that I wasn’t giving her any more money.
  13. The couple standing beside me watching the parade, which was understated in its festivities.  We joked that Red Ford Mustangs were definitely not meant to drive that slow, that this wasn’t the sort of parade either of us had recently seen but we all honoured the effort and the celebrating.

So, just like my Fitbit step goal today, I crushed my DID assignment early in the day

I have had actual interactions with 17 adults, 1 young boy and 1 cute dog.

Here are a few photos of those who were part of my DID today.

And I’m sure this number will continue to rise.

This was a great DID for me today as I was on my own today and after all of these interactions, it didn’t feel it!

Enjoying Some Retail Therapy

I didn’t really think that I had done much different today, but it dawned on me that I actually had.

The key goal today was to enjoy some retail therapy. That in itself is different enough for I rarely shop for pleasure back at home.


Honolulu boasts one of the biggest outdoor malls in the country, the Ala Moana Center. So, there I went.

The mall is serviced by local transportation options, but as you might have guessed here on the island, that means buses and trolleys. While back in Sydney I am a regular train passenger, I’m not a fan of buses and rarely set foot on one, let alone ride them twice in a day.


One of my favourite North American stores is Old Navy. They offer a great variety of casual clothing that seems to fit my lifestyle. Not known for their quality, but rather for variety and price, I can always find a few pieces to add to the wardrobe when I finish. Unlike shopping in Sydney, they are reasonably priced and sizing is not a problem.

I also purchased a few small gifts today and one or two for myself, just little Hawaiian reminders.

Another thing I did today, that I haven’t done since this time last year was to purchase a Cinnabon cinnamon bun. This is a decadent indulgence that I am very happy is not available to me every day at home.

There were a few different experiences today, nothing life changing or really out there, but enough of a difference to keep it interesting.

Okay, time to go…there’s  Cinnabon bun calling my name.


A Hawaiian Swim

It’s been almost a year since I’ve done this.

While not radically different, it’s quite an infrequent indulgence so I’m going to count it as today’s DID.

The best part was that I got to share today’s DID with some pretty special people.

Part of it I did on my own. Some of it was with Chris and another part of it was shared with an incredibly special young lady who was doing it for her very first time.

Can you guess what this activity was that we all shared?

Today we all went swimming in Hawaii.

I began today’s swims with a quick dip in one of our hotel’s two pools just to cool myself from the heat of the early afternoon. A few hours later I was fortunate enough to be with Isabelle and her mum Kimberley as Isabelle first dipped her tiny toes into the central Pacific Ocean. Why not start in the middle of the body of water that connects the two countries to which you belong?

A little while after that, Chris and I enjoyed an unhurried late day swim that ended up in witnessing the spectacular sunset.

I might not do it often, but I have been lucky enough to enjoy it annually over the past few years. Some spend a lifetime never experiencing it at all.

There’s just something magical about swimming here in Hawaii. No matter what’s going on in your life, swimming here gives you  that break, that fix, that elixir, that welcome reprieve that just seems to make everything else that little bit better.

Something tells me Isabelle may learn this little secret early in her life and will be blessed by its benefits throughout her years.



Isabelle In Real Life


isabThere are very few small children in my life at the moment.

Most “kids” I know are now in their 20’s.

Yes, I really am that old!

Today, I had the rare opportunity to spend some precious time with the darling doe-eyed Isabelle.

She is the child of two of Chris’ work colleagues and she is the most adorable and happy child I’ve met in a long, long time.

Unfortunately for us. This fabulous family lives in Melbourne so while popping over for a coffee chat is doable, it requires a short domestic flight.

I hadn’t seen Isabelle (other than on the other end of the computer screen and through her Insta updates) for a few months.

Today’s visit was an absolute joy. I just love this kid. She’s totes adorbs, happy,  smart, inquisitive and not shy in the least – given who her parents are, that’s no surprise.

This tiny bundle of potential just makes my heart sing (and my ovaries ache) and I was grateful to spend time with her today – judging from her giggles and smiles, I suspect she might have enjoyed our visit too.