This tale begins on a bright Christmas morning,
As Childs and Halls awoke from their snoring.
To open their presents from under the tree,
Including a small one from Bonnie and Dee.
But those Childs and Halls about blew a gasket,
To find a paid trip to Soldotna Alaska!
This gift brought great joy, but oh what a bummer-
The long months of waiting from Christmas 'til summer!
But a Facebook group formed so the family could post,
Of the things onthe trip they'd like to do most.
And at last as the day of the departure drew nigh,
They packed all their things and got ready to fly.
At the airport they met early one morn,
After they had ditched all the children under 18 they had born.
At the airport Dan and Russ had a McMuffin,
Which aren't the best but better than nothin'.
They watched some Bob Ross paint a happy little tree,
And then boarded the plane in Zone 1 and Zone 2 with glee.
And off they went, zooming fast through the sky,
Leaving Salt Lake with no more than a sigh.
With his mouth gaping open, Russ Hall was cold out,
And Susan, her barf bag she did tout.
But 4 hours, and one Avengers movie later,
Their plane touched down, faster than a crater.
The wheels struck land and hearts started to beat,
For Alaska we were in! And in for such a treat!
After gather bags the crew was soon greeted,
By a beloved Astro van, with Rob and Tara comfortable seated.
They drove through memory lane and ended up,
At a Subway shop, to eat sandwiches for sup.
Kristen discovered her Subway card,
Was $9.00 owing, my, this Alaskan way is hard!
Mikelle wolfed down her meal and ordered us to go.
So go we all went, toward the Soldotna bungalow.
But first we went and looked at glaciers so blue,
And Annie even went and climbed on a few.
We then climbed aboard the Astro and finished our drive,
And soon enough, in Soldotna we did arrive!
After settling in, at such nice accommodations,
We went to eat at Pizza Boys, yum, yum.
Cheesy bread and BBQ pizza we chowed down,
It was only talk of bears that made us frown.
So we went and bought some strong bear spray,
To protect ourselves and keep mean bears away!
In case it didn't work, we devised a plan,
Mikelle would be bear bait-for she's the youngest of the clan.
The Olympics kept us entertained that night,
Until we nestled into bed, so tight.
Tuesday morn we set off at 9;00
All refreshed and feeling fine.
We drove to meet our guide Doug,
Who we all wanted to hug after he showed us how to give our lines a tug.
Tustumena Lake was our next destination,
Wow! What a way to start our vacation.
Cheering galore as we all caught fish,
Fulfilling our wish to catch those famous Alaskan fish.
Next we began the hike to Tustumena glacier,
Is this a trail? We weren't quite sure.
Beautiful blue walls of pure ice we saw,
As we stared at the glaciers in awe.
Ending the day with more fishing for Reds,
Made us tired and all ready for bed.
Wednesday found us up and at 'em once more,
With Doug pushing and prodding "Best fishing at four!"
The men-folk awoke with but few hours of sleep,
To the horrible sound of a 4 o'clock beep.
Yet somehow they mustered an incredible zeal,
For Russian river Reds was the day's business deal.
We hiked past the falls and began to catch fish,
The catching of which fulfilled every fish wish.
Satiated, happy, wearing tired fish grins,
We hiked ourselves out, a fresh adventure to begin.
Meanwhile, the women back home relished sleeping in,
Then packed, prepped, and cleaned-the men's hearts they did win.
Then off we went on our next big adventure,
Through Kenai hills, valley, and trees, to Homer we ventured!
As we boarded the boat we talked and we laughed,
With our able captain Doug on his seaworthy craft.
The "Redemption" (Doug's boat) did whisk us away,
To remote Tuska Bay were the Reds we did slay.
Aye, the hooks and the lines zipped 'round us like bullets,
As we snagged fish after fish just like rednecks with mullets.
And we narrowly made our way out with the tide,
Thanks to Doug and to Russ, who endured a very wet ride.
The hour was late so to McDonald's we did cruise,
Where we relished fast food and a view of three moose.
A long ride home we endured as the sky lost it's light,
But at last we arrived. Yet another late night.
Early Thursday morn to Seward we did go,
Early Thursday morn to Seward we did go,
With Doug, his dad Brian, and the "Redemption" in tow.
We boarded the boat and set off on the ocean,
Which eventually made Susan ill with it's motion.
But oh what thrills we that day did see,
Kenai Fjords! Whales! And porpoises swimming with glee!
We caught a few silvers and lost a few more,
And Kristen caught a rockfish that she set free to swim once more.
And then, being hungry, we headed for town,
But the thought of eating more fast food made us frown.
So to a quaint restaurant we went and sat down,
And heartily feasted with smiles all around.
The drive home was boy-o-boy a joy,
As talk and laughter we did enjoy.
Great chatter about fishing with Doug and Brian,
We enjoyed the stories and no they weren't lyin,
Knees scrunched up and hard seats,
When we got back it wasn't time to hit the sheets.
To Dougee's we did go a fillet'n,
Cleanin' and vacummin' 'til daylight's end.
The other vehicle made it home and went to sleep,
Lucky suckers, 1 AM never sounded so sweet.
As Kristen had dreams about her "Spencer Twig" and rockfish,
Annie dreamt of eating her first halibut fish.
As the men lay down for the evening's doze,
We prepared our ribs for those pokes as we breathe (breathe, not snore) via nose.
The morning came quick and furious as it had the days before,
The more part of us lost the 3 hour sleep battle and lay back down and tried not to "snore".
(I personally still don't believe it,
but can only suffer through this argument for so long and now it's time to leave it.)
The 4 AM soldiers trudged on,
Through mists of the morning dawn.
Bikes and a black bear were to be these soldier's lot,
With the old codger on a bike is where this tale will stot.
But in fact this tale will not stot,
becasue more fish must be caught.
A sow and her cubs were spotted below
As the fish pushed up river with a hearty heave-ho!
Combat fishing was the name of the game,
Then we went out the same way we came.
Next were fillets, a race, dinner and campfire cones,
Then off to bed in our individual zones.
The last of our days came all too soon,
We've done it all except fly to the moon.
We were off to Resurrection Bay,
To spend a gloriously sunny day.
The boat broke down,
But the girls couldn't frown.
For they capitalized on the situation,
And shopped in true lady-like fashion.
When they guys were ready to go,
The girls smelled like roses and were all-a-glow.
Most, but not all, were jsut a little time,
To give our lines a slight jig.
First one, the two and three,
And we were off on a halibut catching spree.
Bonnie's catch was big, but Dan's was even bigger,
Doug caught a rockfish and Rob's looked like a tiger.
The two-fish catchers sunbathed on their perch,
While Kristen anxiously waited for her pole to lurch.
When there was a lull, we enjoyed sun on our face,
But when they started biting we put those fish in their place.
After such a trip the fish and house had to be cleaned,
This will never end it seemed.
And as we pack,
We look forward to how our fish, in our freezers, we'll stack.
To Dee and Bonnie who made our dreams come true,
We wish we could somehow repay you.
For you our hearts do swell,
From Dan all the way to Mikelle.
And with love for you two,
We would all like to say,
We thought our vacation was over and that all was said and done,
But we didn't take into account all the joys of airport fun.
Rob and Tara made it to the airport just in the nick of time,
And snuck their ice in their fish box through security without reason or rhyme.
The rest of the crew headed off to drive around Anchorage and explore,
But their time was eaten up by unsuccessfully looking for dry ice at every single store.
They made it to the airport to check on all their fish.
But there was quite a confusion with check in: apparently the clerk had a death wish.
Dad returned the truck and van, and things went off without a snafu,
But his nose and head were so clogged that all he could hear people say was "gargle gargle goo."
In the security line they sat and sat dreaming of an uneaten breakfast of pancakes and bacon,
Security wasn't their friend that day, as Annie's ponytail was under suspicion and Kristen's finger prints were taken.
Finally they made it through security and ordered some food to go from Chili's,
While they wasted Mom decided a Cinnabon was a great way to stop the hunger sillies.
She set off to find one, but forgot one thing,
Once you set foot out of the security area, you are pretty much a thug in a crime ring.
Going through security once more, she finally made it back relatively unscathed and fine.
While Chili's kept us waiting and we had to grab our food and run through to the terminal to make it to our plane in time
We all made it to the plane and finally got to sit.
We finally got to eat some food and relaxed for just a bit.
On the ride home there was a little girl whose parents drank while she continuously poked a man's knee,
And a boy who twirled his hair so much it made Mikelle so annoyed she could hardly see.
But we made it home, thinking the 90 degree temps that greeted us weren't fair,
We already missed that crisp cool Alaskan air.
At least we have our amazing Alaska memories and pictures to lovingly ponder over,
To get us through this post-vacy slump and keep us from hopping the next plane to Homer.
And now it's back to reality, with jobs, kids, houses to clean, and bills to pay,
But, hey, at least for now we can know that there are no more fish that we need to fillet.