We giggled all the way to the beach reading Jen Leo’s women’s travel/humor anthology Sand in My Bra
, nearly laughed our britches off perusing Whose Panties Are These?
, cracked up overThe Thong Also Rises
, and enjoyed even more hilarity when What Color is Your Jockstrap?
transformed the “Leo trio” into a coed quartet. Fans feared that this fabulously funny “Empire of the Underwear” series might come to an end right then and there, but no way Jose!
Jen along with fellow travel writer and misadventure enthusiast, Julia Weiler, just couldn’t resist all those requests to keep the comedy coming. So slip on your sarong, slap on some sin-block, and get ready for the funniest beach read this season with More Sand in My Bra: Funny Women Write from the Road, Again!
Following up on the best-selling original, this latest collection of slapstick sojourns and globetrotting guffaws returns to the strict “ladies only” policy of its alma mater, and these travel girls gone wild really know how to deliver. With 29 tales of on-the-road mishaps from botched bikini waxes in Vietnam to surviving seventh-hell strep in Peru, these true stories of travel gone hysterically awry are sure to have armchair tourists and hardcore trekkers alike laughing their panties off, again!
- Get lost in sex camp with Suzanne Schlosberg
- Tag along with Ellen Degeneres on her cross-country comedy tour
- Dare to hop aboard Vietnam’s craziest booze cruise with Tamara Sheward
- Discover how to dress like a local with Laurie Notaro in San Francisco
- Experience strange cross-cultural culinary creations with Ayun Halliday
- Dodge mega-doody with Janna Cawrse as she sets sail on her honeymoon…and much more
Just in time to pack along for that summer vacation, More Sand in My Bra not only celebrates hitting the road, but teaches us how to laugh out loud when the road hits back.
By Jennifer L. Leo
Travel dreams are often born from the most innocuous secrets. I’m quick to credit Tim Cahill as the inspiration for my love of the travel-writing world. But when I was plotting how to break into a men-only adventurer’s club in the heart of an aging Los Angeles neighborhood, the roots of my passion came rushing back.
My secret came from my pre-teen years, when I maintained a constant hunger for thrilling, romance-filled movies. I was barely wearing a training bra when Raiders of the Lost Arkcame out, and had I owned a stick of eyeliner my lids would have been professing my love for Indiana Jones, too. Romancing the Stone released when I was in seventh grade and immediately filled my fantasies with notions of love travel. The scene where Michael Douglas surprises Kathleen Turner with a new white dress, and then takes her dancing beneath colored lights at a Colombian street party, left me aching for my first real kiss. Throughout my teens more and more adventure flicks grabbed my heart and imagination, but it was Meryl Streep as the tenacious Karen Blixen in Out of Africa that left a permanent impression. From her steadfast dedication to her Kenyan coffee plantation to the love-swept safari nights with Robert Redford—I’ve had romantic notions of travel for as long as I can remember.
So there I was walking up the stairs and into The Adventurer’s Club, hoping I could be just like Baroness Blixen in the scene where the men who previously shunned her for being a woman opened their exclusive doors and offered her a drink. Nothing could have made me want to climb the flight of stairs to the second floor faster than a rule stating that I and my breasts weren’t allowed. I was there with Rolf Potts, who was giving a speech on behalf of the Land Rover Drive Around the World expedition, but club members weren’t going to give any special allowances for something as trifling as an alleged friendship. No, The Adventurer’s Club was serious business.
At the top of the stairs, the lobby was something to behold. A giant stuffed polar bear in a fighting stance shot me a menacing look that suggested I stay where I was. More hunting trophies, antique oil paintings of raucous sea voyages, vintage kayaks, climbing tools, and other age-old gear adorned the walls. The archives of the club dates back to 1921 but the feel of history just in the immediate entryway was enough to humble any journeyman or woman. While the decision-making board members convened in another room to decide my fate that night, I thought about the adventures I still dreamed of taking and the ones that I’ve read about in these books.
As you know, we’ve built our women’s humor series on making you laugh. In Sand in My Bra, Whose Panties Are These?, and The Thong Also Rises, we took you from horrifying honeymoons and globetrotting calamities to embarrassing encounters on both sides of the border. We included innocent yet challenging travel experiences told by women who just couldn’t and wouldn’t say no to the open road, and then answered the call of the wild by adding men to our lineup in What Color Is Your Jockstrap? You’d think that with more than 125 stories of dream trips gone amok we’d covered it all. We’ve been there and done that on all the continents and in the seas and airspace in between. But the wonderful thing about the world is just how darn big and rich it is in possibilities for adventure and misadventure—and more great stories. Hence this book.
For the past five years I’ve toured the nation to meet our fans, create new ones, and speak about what is so wonderfully compelling about travel—and especially travel gone wrong. What I found in the audiences from Seattle, Washington, to Atlanta, Georgia, were two types of people: women looking for just a little more inspiration, if not an outright O.K. to get out there and fulfill their travel dreams; and travelers who have experienced the wonders of transformation for having stepped out the door, and wanted to share the joy with their friends or family. I was told over and over again that our women’s series had helped travelers who needed that extra nudge—the confidence in knowing that “If that happened to her and she lived to laugh about it—I can too!”
Our newest title, More Sand in My Bra, returns to the name of our original muse. But lest you think we are regurgitating the same laugh over and over, here’s reason to pause. The biggest and best addition to the series is Julia Weiler, who compiled the collection before you. True fans of the series will recognize Julia’s name instantly. I first met her when she answered our call to the Fancy Pants Contest, and won it with her Traveler’s Utili-Panties. She then went on to contribute gut-clenching stories to both Thong and Jockstrap. I chose Julia to take over editing the series because she has the most amazing ability to combine an adventurous spirit with genuine grace. She is daring and ready to step out on the most precarious back roads while also remaining flawlessly feminine. Julia proves that a woman can be both adventurous and pretty, whether wearing worn-out jeans or a flowing skirt.
So, it’s no surprise that her selections for More Sand in My Bra embody loads of inspiration. The stories within do more than just joke about bad trips— they give us far more reason to embrace our inner travel maven. This book is just what the fans have been asking for—stories that motivate us to get our butts off the daydreaming couch and onto spinning wishes into reality.
In “Oh, the Places She Will Go,” Rachel Thurston gives us a peek at her childhood and teaches us that staying true to our travel spirit can sometimes mean swimming up society’s thick, muddy, stream—but in the end, it’s worth it. Suzanne Schlosberg’s “Lost in Sex Camp” illustrates that even the seemingly idyllic Club Med vacation can make one question their definition of travel nirvana. Ellen fans, including myself, will laugh at anything she writes even if it’s simply her notes from a comedy tour in “Dear Diary.” If you, or one of your friends, need the extra push out the door please read “Once That Gun Goes Off” by Laura Katers, and take Beth Martinson’s fortitude to heart when you find that those you love just don’t get why every place else seems more interesting than home. That said, Jane Hannon proves to us that not every adventure should be taken, especially when it involves getting a bikini wax in Vietnam.
The members of The Adventurer’s Club returned and offered me a friendly welcome to their meeting. I had done it, made it through the exclusivity clause without having been to more than 150 countries, climbed Mount Everest, or rafted down a Class V rapid. I excitedly moved from room to room and found a hallway lined with portraits of past club presidents leading to the main auditorium. This was where they convened to hear the inspiring tales of other adventurers, and share their own. The room had a high arched ceiling and the decor was even more elaborate than the lobby. On this particular night there was someone more interesting than the guest speaker in the house: John Goddard. Sometimes called “The Real Indiana Jones,” Goddard is famous for his “Life List,” 127 adventurous goals he wrote down when he was 15. More than sixty years later he’s completed 109 of them, including a wide variety of explorations and accomplishments from learning languages and flying planes to swimming in numerous seas, climbing the world’s most famous mountains, photographing best-loved waterfalls, milking a poisonous snake, studying primitive cultures, and more or less experiencing life to the fullest all over the world. His list remains on the wall in their dining hall and provided enough inspiration for several nights to come.
I reminded myself then, it doesn’t matter how far you travel or who you travel with—just that you leave your comfort zone for a few moments to see what the world looks like from a different view. That’s what we’ve been trying to say by doing this series of books, and the women who’ve shared their stories have shown us that tenfold. We read about their adventures and watch from the sidelines in the comfort of our own bathtub, chaise lounge, comfy chair, or even the economy seat of a plane taking us on our own trip. Do something for me: listen to the voice that tells you why traveling would be so great instead of the voice that tells you to just stay home. The real questions you should be asking yourself are: Where do you want to go next? And when?
Jennifer L. Leo
Thar She Blows!
The Spa Who Loved Me
Honeymoon with Jaws
Nancy Olds Smay
Going to Pot
Take Two Coke Hits and Call Me in the Morning
Oh, the Places She Will Go
Rachel S. Thurston
When in Jordan
Once That Gun Goes Off
Beth E. Martinson
No Bad Smell
Mi Pulpo Es Tu Pulpo
Death by Vacation
Wax On, Wax Off
Cat Fight Cachapas
The Accidental Tour Guide
Susan Van Allen
On the Road
The Robbery-Free Plan
Swooning for Swami
The Love Hotel
The Indo-Australian Master-Pizza
C. Lill Ahrens
Lost in Sex Camp
Turks and Caicos
Thongs for the Memories
The World Is the Size of a Pinhead
Make Mine Me
Sample Chapter: Come Here
by Anne Merrigan
She put on a one-woman show.
“Come here. Come here,” the little man by the ocean calls.
Glancing behind me, I’m alone. Me? Does he mean me?
“Over here. Over here.” His voice rises above the waves. The man’s tweed cap is slung low over his forehead. He’s squatting while staring into a tide pool.
I shrug and descend the path. It’s my annual weekend at the ocean honoring myself, leaving behind life’s responsibilities, and reclaiming my own rhythms.
“See there,” he points excitedly at a group of starfish. “They’re ready to spawn.”
“Have sex,” he clarifies. “The male starfish spawn gametes which—”
“In a group?” I protest.
“Yes, yes, yes. It increases their chances of fertilization. They use environmental signals to…”
Is he a pervert? No, he’s more like a professor.
“Come here. Come here,” he repeats head down, sensing another presence on the path. I pass a couple as I ascend the rocks; now, with numbing doubts. Starfish are enjoying an orgy, and I’m single. Plenty of fish in the ocean—ha! The romantic fish I’ve encountered have passed their expiration date, and all deserved to be fried in hot oil. Repressing my disillusionment, I breathe deeply of ocean smells, the roar of the waves soothing my spirit, restoring calm.
Returning to my third-floor motel room, I have a light supper, basking in a full ocean view. The establishment sports an indoor pool with an adult swim from 9 to 10 p.m. nightly. I relax in the Jacuzzi following an evening of uninterrupted reading. My body feels like liquid satin as I prepare for bed, peacefully drifting asleep.
A loud noise awakens me. Sitting up confused, I wonder if someone’s at the door. The banging continues from behind me. Enlightenment surfaces; the couple next door are intimately entwined. Great! Just great! I lie down, feeling like a voyeur to their lovemaking. Grunts and groans reverberate at a rapid pace. The shrill of a train whistle sounds. I bolt up.There’s a train nearby? Good God, it’s the woman! Boy, she clutches a note. Enough already! I resist pounding on the wall. Eventually, her steam vaporizes. The spawning is over. Sleep overcomes me.
Struggling out of an unconscious state, noises resound an hour later. Not again! My inner peace sanctum Rabbit vibrator could not keep this pace. Oh, no! They’re coming from the opposite wall. A man’s voice…. “Oh, baby” repeats like a broken record; the utterances rise and fall like scales on the piano. What the hell is she performing on him? Wishing to lend him a thesaurus, I restrain from throwing a shoe against the wall. Silence falls an hour later. The inner turmoil of my single status leads to a troubled sleep.
Rising late the following morning, I enjoy a leisure-filled day of walking beaches, exploring little shops, and eating homemade sweets. During the adult swim, a young couple strolls in laughing. The woman wears a bridesmaid gown, the man a tux. The pair grabs the undivided attention of the middle-age crew in the Jacuzzi when they undress. The woman reveals a bikini underneath, the man strips to his thong. He hops in beside me as his date descends the steps.
“How ya doing?” he asks me. Speechless, I stare at his well defined six-pack. I’m sitting next to an unknown hunk in his underwear. Why am I surprised? “Who got married?” someone asks. A conversation begins about the pitfalls of relationships.
Upon returning to my room, uninterrupted sleep beckons me. I surrender, dreaming of the wind moaning and the cries of seagulls, except—realization slowly dawns—both rooms are fully engaged. My innate power energizes me like a wave crashing on the beach. I unfurl myself, standing upright, holding my vibrator high like a torch. Single women unite! I enjoy my own company. I can nourish myself without infringing on others’ hearing. The noises emitting from both rooms crescendo into a XXX-rated movie. I take action.
Grabbing the desk chair, I place it against the wall, banging its top repeatedly while pressing the vibrator to the wall in a circular motion, shouting, “Holy moley, do it again! Harder! Tie me tighter. Use the whip!” I pick up the chair darting to the opposite wall, repeating the performance. Back and forth I move for a full five minutes. Upon stopping, absolute silence reigns.
I blast the shower to disguise my belly laughs. Two souls are not required for my creative spirit to swell. Proud of my emotional maturity, I sleep like a baby.
Anne Merrigan is a therapist who loves to tell a tale. The accomplishment she is most proud of is receiving her scuba diving certification. She completed her check-out dives on her forty-third birthday at a depth of forty feet and still enjoys breathing underwater to this day. Anne has been known to break up starfish orgies when she encounters them on her dives, especially when she has had the recent need to perform her one-woman act. She feels no guilt about this, and sleeps like an infant afterwards.
Jen Leo is the award-winning editor of the Travelers’ Tales women’s humor series including Sand in My Bra, Whose Panties Are These?, The Thong Also Rises, and What Color is Your Jockstrap? When not chasing mischief on the road, she splits her time between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Jen is the keynote blogger for the L.A. Times Travel Blog, and her writing can also be found on ForbesTraveler.com. Keep tabs on her at www.Jenopolis.com.
Julia Weiler is a writer, editor, and photographer whose passion for travel and audacious spirit has her busy making the world a funnier place one misadventure at a time. She is currently in cahoots with her husband to escape the work-a-day lifestyle and embark on a long-term adventure of railing, sailing, hoofing, WWOOF-ing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms or World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), biking, hiking, driving, diving, blogging, and vlogging their way around the globe. Read all about her far-flung faux pas in The Thong Also Rises, What Color is Your Jockstrap?, and online at www.juliaweiler.com.