Trip dull. iPod ran out of batteries after one hour. Submarine cramped and understaffed. We docked, and for lunch I suggested many fine Atlantean cafés from the guidebook. Cultured little sister, Rachael, “in a Burger King mood.” My detached-and-intellectual-tourist persona already in jeopardy.
Airline fish still disgusting underwater. Dad’s “sea-nuts” pun not funny.
Unbelievably, Rachael complained about lack of hotel swimming pool. Dad lied, marijuana not legal. Day of rest and relaxation ruined.
Air helmet made me look fat, didn’t come in black.
Walking tour of city marred by constant requests to buy hats that said “I Had a Whale of a Time in Atlantis” and shirts that said “Someone Who Loves Me Very Much Went to Atlantis and All I Got Was This Soggy T-Shirt.” Atlantean Tourism and Travel Commission slogan “Atlantis: Wet & Wild” cropping up everywhere.
Had lunch at C’lka Dol Offa Re Go Molam, a heavily praised chic café. Sophisticated Atlantean meal disrupted only by difficulty in drinking through air helmet.
Went to National Museum of Modern Art. Met really hot mermaid named Jenny, arranged to have dinner tonight. Also, saw art.
Dad’s “sleeping with the fishes” pun not funny.
City: Beautiful, crafted intricately in coral and pearl through hundreds of generations. Rachael: Still won’t shut up about it.
Day Two: Night
Family went to Ryan’s, met them back at hotel. Took Jenny to Ju’lo Hus Aa De Tru De K’stor, a critically acclaimed salad bar. Seaweed better in sushi. Had to pay Mom $5: Jenny wore seashells instead of bra.
Dad’s “great catch” pun not funny.
Dad had business, so Mom and I took Rachael to the terrarium. Sign outside boasted, “Most amazing land animals you will ever see.” Special exhibit featured domestic dogs.
Had lunch at McDonald’s. Pretended to be angry.
Day Three: Night
Attempted to kiss Jenny through air helmet. She called to dump me after I got to the hotel.
Dad unable to restrain himself from “Plenty of other fish in the sea.”
Mom said I was not allowed to stay in my room and mope, so I agreed to go the “Land Park,” featuring 14 waterless slides. I bought six ice-cream cones and cried into my air helmet. Ice cream helped a little bit, though tasted surprisingly like sardines. I refused to go on any rides.
Rachael helpfully suggested that if I cut my wrists underwater no one would notice.
Family went to a concert, but let me stay home and watch pay-per-view movies. Watched The Notebook, cried myself to sleep.
Dad reminded me not to drown myself in a sea of tears. Not funny.
Went to Atlantean Zoo in the morning. Much less of a disappointment than terrarium. Rachael and zookeeper got into heated debate about whether or not baby giant squid are just regular squid. Family uninterested in animal-rights speech.
Went to petting zoo right before we left. Rachael learned that jellyfish don’t like it when you squeeze their heads.
Family takes me to Su Sha Ju Ju De Fo Fe Foo to cheer me up. Could hardly swallow food without gagging.
After lunch went to see the Atlantean Science Museum: Has interesting information about how centuries-old people managed to keep an entire city from being crushed by deep-ocean pressure. No hot mermaids.
I talked to Dad about wanting to get together with another mermaid. He reminded me I didn’t have much time, since we are on the tail end of our trip. Not funny.
Leaving tomorrow, so we decided to see the famous palace of Atlantis. Security tight. Strip-searched by edgy merman. Inside of palace richly decorated with fine fabrics and jewels. English tour led by non-English-speaking mermaid, who kept giggling and pointing at the ceiling.
I wanted to go see the Atlantean war monument before we left; Rachael wanted to see the sea-horse races.
Family voted for sea-horse races. Sea horses 4 inches tall.
Last-ditch effort to go out with a mermaid tonight failed. Air helmet finally came in handy, pepper spray ineffective.
Dad’s “didn’t take the bait” pun not funny. Considering removing his air helmet while he sleeps.
Trip home uneventful. Dad said after spending so much time in a foreign culture, he feels like a fish out of water. Not funny.