Real-life Jetmen

November 23, 2015 | Leave a Comment

This video is so amazing I had to include it: Armed with unguarded ambition and the vision to push boundaries beyond the unthinkable, Jetman Dubai and Emirates A380 take to the skies of Dubai for an exceptional formation flight. (You might want to turn the sound down before playing.)

More puns …

February 20, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Because I know you all love them:

  • I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
  • I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.
  • When chemists die, they barium.
  • How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
  • Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
  • I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. Then it dawned on me.
  • This girl said she recognized me from the Vegetarian Club, but I’d never met herbivore.
  • I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

PicoIyerI still like this three-year-old New York Times New Year’s essay, The Joy of Quiet, by Pico Iyer. (Click the link for the entire essay.)

The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries,” the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century, “and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” He also famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

This is only marginally related to travel (it contains the phrase driver’s license), but most of my readers love the kind of word play that drives this joke.

A mother is driving her little girl to her friend’s house for a playdate. “Mummy,” the little girl asks, “how old are you?”

“Honey, you are not supposed to ask a lady her age,” the mother replied. “It’s not polite.”

“OK,” the little girl says, “What colour was your hair 2 years ago?”

“Now really,” the mother says, “those are personal questions and are really none of your business.”

God Save the Queen

September 15, 2014 | Leave a Comment

Love those Brits! Here’s a musical commercial for the Mini auto.

Photo: Gabriel Amadeus/Flickr

Photo: Gabriel Amadeus/Flickr

Not that we need it here in northern California, but if you’ve ever wondered how people living at high latitudes manage to get through all those dark winters, here’s a clue: Hygge.

Russell McLendon explains: “Hygge, originally a Norwegian word for “well-being,” first appeared in Danish near the end of the 18th century…. It has evolved into a big part of Danish life since then, absorbing connotations over time like a semantic snowball. The dark winters of Denmark helped turn hygge from a mere word into a kind of cultural panacea, manifested in various ways to buffer Danes against cold, solitude and stress.”

Photo: terra2025/Flickr

Photo: terra2025/Flickr

“OK”—in honor of its 175th birthday on March 23, Russell McLendon explains how this uniquely American acronym went viral.

suitcase-artWhat’s practical, clever, and makes good use of all your old suitcases? Suitcase-Art Chests of Drawers, of course. I found these from design studio JamesPlumb at

If you happen to belong to a pet who likes to sleep in your suitcase, can help you out there, too, with the upcycled Suitcase Cat Bed by Atomic Attic:



And for travelers who cannot pass up fun with a pun, well, there’s an app for that: the Sandwich Suitcase from thisiswhyimbroke. (Suitcase jam packed? Heading for the Sandwich Islands? Spent all your bread on your vacation?) Added benefit: You don’t knead to be a detective to find it on the luggage carousel. (Couldn’t help myself.)


headphonesFrom Discovery News: Flight delays, bad weather, traffic jams and frazzled nerves: Welcome to holiday travel. Sadly there is no app guaranteed to lull screaming babies on a plane or a teleportation device to prevent waiting in endless lines on the ground. But there is tech that could help prevent headaches en route to holiday destinations. This subjective list was gleaned from frequent travelers who used this tech to find some relief in the rush.

lootoursLooking for the perfect gift for a traveler who already seems to have everything? Look no further than the “Loos of London: 3D Calendar with twelve months of stunning 3D photo prints! Don red-cyan glasses and watch them pop out of the page!”

The calendar was created by my friend Ethel Davis, an accomplished travel photographer who is based in London, and has apparently taken a fancy to its public facilities. (Maybe private ones are included, too—who knows?) It is offered by 3dphotolibrary, a commercial image bank that distinguishes itself from other purveyors of 3d images (anaglyphs) because “the emphasis is on quality of the image, not merely the 3D effect for its own sake.”

Signspotting: Signs gone wrong

October 8, 2013 | Comments Off on Signspotting: Signs gone wrong

Here’s another batch of delightfully goofy signs from open

Love this Leunig cartoon:


empressLooking for clarity while on the road? Check out this free Tarot app. It lets you use the traditional Celtic cross configuration, or a zodiac or tree spread. A mobile app version is also available.



Thanks to April Orcutt for sending along the link to this probably-too-true-to-be-funny essay from the New Yorker‘s Shouts & Murmurs

Subject: Our Marketing Plan

by Ellis Weiner

Hi, Ellis—

Let me introduce myself. My name is Gineen Klein, and I’ve been brought on as an intern to replace the promotion department here at Propensity Books. First, let me say that I absolutely love “Clancy the Doofus Beagle: A Love Story” and have some excellent ideas for promotion.

Thanks to John Montgomery for sending along these photos from the Washington, D.C .Tea Party; they were circulating on the web in October, 2009, with this preface: The ancient Greeks said, “The Gods themselves are helpless in the face of stupidity.”



Thanks to John Montgomery for sending along a little silliness:

“If you can’t find the book you’re looking for,

it’s probably because you’re in the …


Creative Transport

October 10, 2009 | Leave a Comment

Thanks to Chris Lunn for forwarding these shots of one couple’s exceptionally creative response to the high cost of fuel:



Travel humor

September 6, 2009 | 4 Comments

Thanks to Dick Jordan for forwarding this—undocumented—travel humor, supposedly offered by an airline ticket agent who works in Washington, D.C.:

1. I had a congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)

2. I got a call from a congressman’s staffer, who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then he interrupted me with, ”I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts.”

Orphaned elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Orphaned elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Thanks to Kaye McKenzie for this link to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, to which you can contribute by adopting or fostering an orphaned elephant or rhino.

Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick (“the first person in the entire world to successfully hand rear newborn fully milk dependent African Elephant orphans”) explains the organization’s philosophy: “Saving wildlife and wilderness is the responsibility of all thinking people. Greed and personal gain must not be permitted to decimate, despoil and destroy the earth’s irreplaceable treasure for its existence is essential to the human spirit and the well-being of the earth as a whole. All life has just one home — the earth — and we as the dominant species must take care of it.”

Snicker-worthy road signs in the New York Times:

CRAPSTONE, England – When ordering things by telephone, Stewart Pearce tends to take a proactive approach to the inevitable question “What is your address?”

He lays it out straight, so there is no room for unpleasant confusion. “I say, ‘It’s spelled “crap,” as in crap,’ ” said Mr. Pearce, 61, who has lived in Crapstone, a one-shop country village in Devon, for decades.

Disappointingly, Mr. Pearce has so far been unable to parlay such delicate encounters into material gain, as a neighbor once did… [follow link for rest of article]

I could have titled this post Shameless Self-Promotion, because it’s about my first book, An Erotic Alphabet. This slim volume of ABC’s for adults celebrates eroticism in all its forms, from silly to sensual, playful to X-rated.

It’s a delightful combination (if I may say so) of naughtiness and humor; one reviewer called me “the Shel Silverstein of erotica.” Here’s a sample:

Z is for the zipper
Easy access, up and down.
Nothing is much quicker
For getting to the mound.

January 19, 2009
7:00 pm

From our friends at Litquake:
Litquake is pleased as punch to team up this year with SKETCHFEST, the nationally-prominent comedy festival that takes place each January at venues around The City! We will be co-presenting Celebrity Autobiography, the smash hit lit-meets-comedy event from New York City being performed here for the first time, in which an all-star cast reads hilarious celebrity memoirs live.

The cast includes “Saturday Night Live’s” Jason Sudeikis, as well as Michael McKean (“This is Spinal Tap”), Annette O’Toole (“Smallville”), Rachel Dratch (“SNL”), Scott Thompson (“Kids in the Hall”), Laraine Newman (“SNL”) and Celebrity Autobiography co-creators Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel.

Thanks to Bob Ecker for this link to Tom Lehrer’s Hanukkah in Santa Monica, a travel video if I ever saw one.

Please grant me the favor of occasional shameless self-promotion: The book (Hot Flashes 2: more sexy little stories and poems) I co-edited, along with Linda Watanabe McFerrin, is featured in a YouTube video. Please help us spread the link far and wide, as an experiment in virtual book promotion. We all want to learn to do that, don’t we?!

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