Hawaii : 36 Days of Adventure on Oahu

-- ALOHA --

And we're back from another exhilarating trip to Hawaii!!

When I was a kid (or more like, my whole life), one of my grandest goals was to visit Hawaii. I wanted to swim with the dolphins, go to a luau, make a lei, and learn how to hula dance. Since we moved to Huntsville for JD's job, we have been able to visit Hawaii three times together and experience WAY more than my small wishlist entailed. God has blessed us in such a beautiful way - most of the trip is covered financially since it's a business trip and we are super intentional about saving money throughout the trip so that my plane ticket is covered by what we save. Of course, the greatest blessing has been to share these amazing trips with my sweet husband. In fact, I can't imagine these trips without him. 

This particular adventure was the longest trip we've been on - about 36 days. We stayed at a hotel in Waikiki with a kitchen suite so that we could cook the majority of our meals (i.e. noodles, soy sauce and canned fruit - I was serious when I said we saved aggressively). Our trip consisted of several interesting hikes and beach bumming (for the first time in three years) when JD had days off. We'll give you more details over the next few posts but we wanted to leave you with a few of our favorite photos and places from the trip until then: 

Kailua Beach : Oahu, Hawaii

Waikiki : Oahu, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach : Oahu, Hawaii

Pali Puka Hike : Oahu, Hawaii

And, of course, my favorite photos always end up being of my sweet and handsome husband...

Mokuleia Beach : Oahu, Hawaii

Germany : Flag Your Cards, Know How to Read a Map and Stay Calm

We have finally made it to our documentation of Germany from December 2011! Here we go...

Before leaving on an international trip,

be sure to notify your credit and debit card providers

Someone... possibly by the name of Whitney {me}...

may have

forgotten this crucial step on our Germany trip. When we approached the Hertz desk, we tried our two cards only for each one to fail. 

I felt sick to my stomach. 

The Hertz employees were awesome and worked with us hand-in-hand. We are incredibly thankful for bank security BUT we couldn't reach the company we banked with

at the time

because they don't have a 24-hr access line. With our time change, we were forced to wait a few hours in the airport. So we walked upstairs with our American dollar bills and chowed down on the always internationally reliable McDonald's.

They only offered McMuffins... no biscuits but that's ok.

We finally settled the issue with the bank and Hertz, packed our bags into the new rental car for the trip, and JD turned the car on... only to find out it's a manual. 

Neither of us can drive a manual.

So we unloaded our bags and trekked back up to the Hertz desk.

No automatic cars are available for another hour.

Walk around airport.

Whew! Automatic car is now available. We add a GPS onto the package and load the new car up.

Set out in our VW Golf from the Frankfurt airport to Ramstein-Meisenbacher. 

GPS doesn't work. Fortunately, there's a map. 

A very hard-to-read map.

Four hours later (should've only taken one hour), we arrive to our destination! 

Even with the absolutely terrible luck throughout our arrival, my jaw dropped as JD drove through the lovely, quaint towns that were more beautiful than even the greatest photographer can capture. 

The Lord is gracious in even our most frustrating moments.

We've been on a number of trips but this was, by far, the most terrible way to start one out. 

And yet, it ended up being a favorite trip of ours overall.

Prepare for our greatest attempt as we send you through a journey of one of the most whimsical countries on the planet.

Have you ever had a time where things were terrible and embarrassing in the beginning but the outcome was better than you could have ever dreamed?

Surprise! Did You Know We Were Movie Stars for Twelve Seconds??

Today we're linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMondays! 

Keeping in line with our last post about extras...

Did you know JD and I were in a movie??

Yeah. Like, we were stars for about twelve seconds. It was awesome.

Ok, so it was only an ABC Family movie. BUT we officially made it onto Netflix. What!?

If you want to check out our part, without watching the rest of the movie - you can.

Movie: My Future Boyfriend
(It was originally named "Always & Forever" which we liked a lot better, but oh well.)

Time Stat: somewhere around the 39 minute mark.

About three months after graduating from college / three months into our marriage, we were living in "The Bungalow" (AKA: a cabin right next to my gracious grandparents on Lake Oconee). I was jobless and JD had just gotten a small job at a technology storefront in town. Needless to say, we had a small income and very flexible schedules.

So when we heard about Extras Casting Atlanta on Facebook, we were super pumped.

We heard about this company via my brother, Chase.

Side note: You can see him as an extra in the movie Wanderlust. We watched the movie on the airplane just to get a screenshot of him...

A day or so after we "liked" the company, we saw an opportunity pop up for a "kissing couple." We emailed one of our wedding photos and an engagement photo that night and two days later, we got a phone call asking us to be in the movie.

They asked us to bring in a few outfits for the wardrobe department to choose for our part. The wardrobe dept. told JD "Your outfit looks perfect," then pointed to me and said, "Uhh... What else do you have?"

I ended up with the floral dress and JD ended up with a green polo and shorts.

Then we got on set...

The director looked at JD and said, "What is he wearing? Did you even go through the wardrobe dept? Go change."

We got a pretty big laugh out of this. The wardrobe dept. got him some khakis and dress shoes within a few minutes, and we were back on set.

Our part was "so important" that we were not allowed to play as extras in any other part of the movie because the audience would notice us. This led to an entire twelve hours on set (getting paid $9 an hour), only to act for 30 minutes of it.

Our part?

We were supposed to portray "love" so JD bought me a rose, we kissed and walked off.

They shot about four different angles and we were finished.

About nine months later, someone wrote on my Facebook wall: "I'm pretty sure I just saw you on ABC Family..."

Contrary to our beliefs, they decided to keep our part in the movie and we were on TV.
How cool is that??

We still can't believe that we were in a movie, but it hits on our Top Ten List of the most exciting adventures we've had thus far. It was also the prime part to play as newlyweds.

What unexpected thing would go down on your Top Ten Most Exciting Adventure List?