Posted by: Ginny Prior | January 16, 2013

Exploring Portland: Mariah Miller’s top five list

Powell's Books in Portland

Powell’s Books in Portland

By Mariah Miller

By now you’ve probably heard of the city of Portland, be it through the parody Portlandia or just as that rainy city between San Francisco and Seattle. If either of these things doesn’t put you off visiting, here are the top five things to do in the City of Roses:

Posted by: Ginny Prior | January 15, 2013

Five “hot spots” in Omaha

The prairie city of Omaha at dusk

The prairie city of Omaha at dusk

By Sam Salzinger

A growing city, surrounded by the Great Plains, is not a place you call a tourist attraction. Aside from hosting the Olympic swimming trials, the College World Series, and home to America’s top-rated Henry Doorly Zoo (yes, it surpassed the San Diego Zoo), Omaha is generally a city no one has a reason to go to. What if that wasn’t the case?

Here are 5 must-see spots in Omaha.

Posted by: Ginny Prior | January 14, 2013

Surprising Oakland – Five things to celebrate

One of Oakland's celebrated food trucks

One of Oakland’s celebrated food trucks

By De Vonna Jacobs

Oakland, though usually covered for all its negative features, is actually a nice  place to grow up or visit. Oakland is the home to many food, art and creative outlets – hidden and waiting to be discovered.  Here are a few places you must go to when you stop in Oakland.

Jeffrey, Don, Sam and Declan

Jeffrey, Don, Sam and Declan

By Sam Salzinger

Over sixty countries, six hundred articles, and numerous features in anthologies, Don George is an expert travel journalist and editor. It was truly a privilege to have listened to his discussion.

Don began his career as a journalist in 1980 with the San Francisco Examiner (now known as the San Francisco Chronicle) writing its travel column. At the time, the staff was operated by only a handful of people, so Don considered this opportunity extremely fortunate. He was able to progress as an editor and never looked back. He worked for the paper until 1997. Read More…

Posted by: Ginny Prior | April 10, 2012

Audiolog show now up on KCBX website

Our 15 minute travel log on Moraga is now up on the Audiolog website. This is the second year we’ve produced a radio show in class for NPR Audiolog host Tom Wilmer. Click the link below to listen:

Posted by: Ginny Prior | January 30, 2012

Semester ends with world cuisine lunch and awards

He was a bold man who first ate an oyster. – Jonathan Swift.

Travel writers know how to celebrate the bounty of the land. We savor the taste and aroma of good food and drink. Our class wrapped up Jan Term with a world cuisine luncheon and awards ceremony, Friday. 

Here are just some of the final podcasts and videos being considered for the NPR radio show on “Moraga and Environs”, including the class winner on wine, produced by Tracy Vasquez:

Check out Tracy’s website at

Leticia Martinez focuses on fresh fruit and vegetables at the Moraga Farmer’s Market:

Maria Calderazzo ventures just east of Moraga to look at the emerging food and wine scene in Danville:

Chris Sambrano has a sweet angle for his radio/video vignette – a famous ice cream challenge:

Becca Metalon brings out the small town flavor of Moraga with its many fairs and festivals:

Check out Becca’s website at

Sam Fivey looks at the upcoming California Independent Film Festival in this radio podcast:

Kerolos Nakhla has a fascinating look at three Coptic Christian Orthodox churches in the East Bay:

Keegan Rohan covers the excitement of Gaels basketball in this podcast/video:

Ryan Meniketti takes a “spirited” look at Moraga with his haunted St. Mary’s podcast and video. He also wins best site design:

And speaking of spirits, Check out Alana Armstrong’s site at

Marielle Coyne captures the solitude on a hike to the cross:

Posted by: Ginny Prior | January 28, 2012

Mr. Pickles on the town

Mr. Pickles on the town

Every traveler needs a fuzzy friend. Our class mascot is Mr. Pickles, a bug-eyed buddy who seemed to pop up in the most surprising places. Here is the slideshow that Laura Silangil produced on “The adventures of Mr. Pickles”:

The Adventures of Mr. Pickles

Posted by: Ginny Prior | January 27, 2012

Smokin’ good time on the San Mateo Coast

By Keegan Rohan

What in the world is a Double Decker smoking bus?

That was the first thing I asked myself as our class pulled in to the famous Cameron’s Inn and Restaurant.  It was our final adventure together, and after trekking around downtown Half Moon Bay and hiking near the former site of World War II Nike missiles, our group of travel writers had worked up quite an appetite. Read More…

Posted by: Ginny Prior | January 22, 2012

SMC Travelers launch production of radio vignettes for NPR

NPR host Tom Wilmer after audio bootcamp - Photo by Marielle Coyne

Our class has been commissioned by NPR Audiolog host Tom Wilmer to do a 15 minute travel log on Moraga and environs. The is the second year we’ve partnered with this 22-year radio veteran. He came to class, recently, to do some training. Here is Marielle Coyne’s blog on his visit:

Tom Wilmer seemed very subdued as he entered our classroom, hiding behind the rim of his baseball cap. However, as he warmed up his excitement for travel radio became apparent. Wilmer has had his own travel radio show on NPR for the past 22 years and has done shows on everything from Palau, Micronesia to the 58th Confederate regiment. Because of his experience, he brought expert advise to our class, who will soon be writing and making podcasts of our own.
Posted by: Ginny Prior | January 20, 2012

San Francisco – All it’s “quacked” up to be – and more

Our intrepid travelers go “quacky” on a class tour of San Francisco via Duck Boat

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