Sunday, February 14, 2016

2016 so far!

Happy New Year!

How in the world is it already 2016? As of January 3 Will and I have lived in Japan for exactly 1 year calling it our "Japanniversary". There have definitely been some long days but it is mind blowing that 1 year is behind us. 

In pure Craven fashion we have not slowed down. For New years we had friends over to our house to celebrate, I have been teaching english classes nonstop, Will has been busier at work then ever and we have added some weekend travels in there too. After all of our friends returned from holiday travels we also had a White Christmas party at our house. It was so much fun and the Japanese gifts given were hilarious. Most recently we returned from our Squadron ski trip which was a blast. Here are some pictures from the year so far. 

Japanese Light Show 

Cooking Japanese food with my english students

One of my best friends had a sweet baby girl! 

Squadron Ski Trip

Will hitting people with snow balls...of course

Since Will is leaving for 2 months of training soon, we decided an overnight trip to Tokyo was long overdue. We took a train Saturday afternoon and checked into our tiny Japanese hotel....seriously the room was basically just the bed. We then took a train to Kappabashi street which is also known as "Kitchen district", to walk around and shop a bit. We didn't buy anything because our kitchen is already overflowing with things we probably don't need, but it was fun to see yet another shopping street in Tokyo. After working up an appetite we went to dinner at another favorite amongst our friends out here...the famous "Devil Ramen". With a name like that I decided to go for the good ol' regular spices...ramen. Will of course went for the numbing spice and said it was delicious. Ramen in Japan has yet to disappoint. 

Finally...the best part of the night and the big reason we were in Tokyo. 


We had heard about this a few times while living here and we had some friends try it out the weekend before...said it was amazing. Of course we had to try...

We got our choice of character costumes and our own go-cart. I chose to be Luigi and Will was Bowser...turtle shell and all. We had a tour guide who drove the go-cart in the front and we followed him through the streets of Tokyo! It was amazing getting to see Tokyo like this. We drove to the Tokyo Tower, through the streets of Roppongi and my favorite the Shibuya Crossing. Only in Japan is it legal to drive a go-cart, dressed as a Mario Kart costume on the street with taxis and cars surrounding you. Will and I agree it was one of the most incredible things we've done out here. Highly recommend if you ever get the chance! 

The Bowser Costume

After another successful weekend in Tokyo, we are happy to back home for Valentines day. Will leaves soon for training so we are trying to make the most of every day together. I'd say after wearing costumes and mario karting through Tokyo...we are doing just that. 

Oh and another thing...when Will leaves for training I'm headed back to the states for some much needed family time! 

U.S.A. Im coming for you! 

Caroline and Will 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Even though we were sad to leave the incredible island of Koh Samui we were really excited to see Bangkok and celebrate our favorite holiday of the year as well! Never did I ever think Will and I would spend Christmas in Bangkok, but we were ready to explore and make some memories. 

We left Koh Samui on the afternoon of Christmas eve. It was an easy 1 hour flight and put us in Bangkok around 5pm. We quickly realized that we had made the best decision in getting our hotel to send a driver to pick us up because traffic and rush hour in Bangkok was no joke. 

Our hotel was in the heart of Bangkok and in the middle of everything! It was so interesting coming from the laid back feel of Koh Samui because Bangkok could not be more different. I wasn't aware of just how big the city was and just how much there was to do. After checking in to our hotel we wasted no time and hit the streets on a mission! We ate some yummy Japanese food...surprise surprise...did some sight seeing, and did lots of people watching. We walked down the popular bar area called Soi Cowboy and to say it was a sight to see is an understatement. There was a certain bar at the end of the street that made Will literally run for his life...I'll let you ask him about it so I don't have to go into detail. It was hilarious. We ended up at a bar called "Whisgars" which is exactly what it sounds like, a whiskey and cigar bar a.k.a. Will Cravens perfect mash up. After Whisgars we were exhausted and went back to our hotel excited about Christmas and our only full day in Bangkok ahead.  

Christmas day was a gorgeous and very hot day. The only reservation we could get for a dinner was at 9:30pm which was fine because it left us with an entire day to explore. We did a Christmas service just the 2 of us in the morning then spent the rest of the day shopping and riding around in "tuk tuks". These are the Bangkok taxis and so much fun to ride around in. 

We got back to our hotel to start getting ready for dinner and there was a Bangkok girls choir in our hotel singing Christmas carols. This made me so happy and was exactly what I needed to really feel the spirit of Christmas day. It even made me a bit emotional just feeling the reality of missing our families back home being the first Christmas without them. They sang about 10 songs and Will and I loved the show!  

We made our dinner reservation at the restaurant Vertigo. We read so many good reviews and the pictures looked incredible. The name Vertigo quickly showed as we made our way to the top...the 59th floor rooftop to be exact. Even though it was already dark, being that it was 9:30pm, the view did not disappoint and the food was amazing. 

The Poinsettia Christmas Tree in the hotel

View from our dinner table

Christmas was definitely a bit different this year but in the best way possible. Will and I will always remember this incredible trip and could not believe it was already over. Our flight back to Japan was the next day and even though we were happy to be back in our own bed, we still to this day talk about how much we wish we could go back. Being away from family has been the hardest challenge of all, but moments and memories like these with my sweet husband make me realize this is what life is all about. The few months out of the year I get with Will are precious and spending them wisely is crucial. I would say if this is any indication of our future Christmases together...bring it on. 

Can't believe 2016 is here! So much to look forward to. Thank you all so much for your continued thoughts and prayers this past year as it was a very scary one! Love you all.

Caroline and Will