Friday, May 10, 2013

Bond Girl for a Day

Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Month! A big thank you for all the fellow military wives who have helped me keep my sanity over the last 12 years. And another big thank you to all those non-military wives (and their husbands) who have been my friends and my support in so many ways.  If heaven is as I expect, then someday you will all understand what an impact you have had on my life.

So today was a pretty good day. There was a trip organized for military spouses to go visit the James Bond Bridge and hike in a nearby Karaisali canyon. It's called the James Bond Bridge because scenes from the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, were filmed on the bridge. To the locals it is known as the Varda Köprüsü bridge, the German bridge, or the Devil Bridge. Whatever you want to call it, it's a pretty awesome bridge.
 Built in 1909 by the Germans (hence the name), it was part of the Istanbul-Baghdad railway line which connected Berlin to Basra enabling the direct shipment of oil to Germany.  So this bridge is over 100 years old and its still in use! 
 Here's me, pretending I'm a Bond girl. Not really. To be honest, I'm not that much of a Bond fan. It always bothered me that one night in bed with him would make the sexy Soviet spies change sides. Yeah, right. Go peddle your sexist drivel somewhere else. But the bridge was impressive.
I've always wanted to do one of these trick shots.
Here is me standing in the middle of the bridge. My leg bones are only hurting a little. (Does this happen to anyone else when they are on a height?)
Last one of the bridge, I promise. But it really was cool. Oh, and if you have seen the movie and are wondering where the tunnel into the mountain at the end of the bridge is, that was movie magic. No tunnel. No mountain.

After the bridge we hiked the Karaisali Canyon. The canyon has sheer rock walls with a river at the bottom and looks very much like something you'd see in southern Utah or even near the Grand Canyon.
 After hiking an easy 45 minutes we could see this waterfall. It was on the opposite side of the river from the trail but there was a nice picnic area where we could stop and eat our lunches in the shade. There were newly built covered wooden platforms that were lovely.
 The water was cold but felt good! I freaked out some of my fellow spouses by hopping stepping carefully out to this rock. (The water around me is quite deep.) But I didn't fall in and we made it safely back to the bus.
All in all it was a great day to get off base and see something new and a wonderful chance to get to know some of the spouses better.  It's such a small base and you see the same faces all over the place but don't always have a chance to get to know people.

Being gone all day on this trip meant typing up History exams for child 3 and 4 last night, rushing through an Algebra lesson for 1 and 2 this morning, throwing a roast into the crockpot for chimichangas 15 minutes before I left, hoping someone would remember to go pick up number 5 from the bus this afternoon, and leaving quite a few things undone that needed to get done. But I'm so glad I decided to go anyway. Sometimes its nice to get away from all the responsibilities and just have some fun. And it's nice to be appreciated!

Being a military spouse has lead me down roads I never would have dreamed of, both literally and figuratively. It has tested me, tried me, and strengthened me and occasionally come close to breaking my heart.  I am a different kind of person than I would have been without these experiences. I hope a better one but maybe just a more flexible one. And one who is grown accustomed to saying goodbye, both to my husband and friends, far more often that I'd like to.  One thing I do know is that I have a closer relationship to my children than I would have had in a civilian life.  I'd say that is pretty great perk.

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