Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer

1st and 2nd Wednesdays during Issues & Ideas (1-2:00 p.m.)

Tom Wilmer’s Lowell Thomas Award-winning NPR Podcast, recorded live on-location across America and around the world- showcases the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts.

We cover nouns and verbs—people, places, things, and action—everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls, and interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.

Fresh delectable oysters served at Hangout Oyster Cook-off in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Thomas Wilmer

The 10th annual Hangout Oyster Cook-Off Gulf Shores Alabama, the first weekend in November 2017 revisited. Join Kay Morgan with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism for a walkabout visit with some of America’s top oyster producers. 

Rum Sisters alcohol infused cakes in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Rum Sisters

  

Elizabeth Jones had no clue that baking a batch of rum cakes to serve at her family aviation business would lead to a new career that’s been going viral. Everyone loved Jones’s gourmet alcohol infused rum cakes so much they clattered for more, which led her to open award-winning Rum Sisters with online sales and a brick-and-mortar in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The Hangout Oyster Cook Off held every November in Gulf Shores, Alabama draws thousands from near and far
Thomas Wilmer

The Annual Oyster Cook Off at the Hangout held every November in Gulf Shores, Alabama is just one of the many events that draw thousands of visitors to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. 

Sonoma County Wine Library in Healdsburg, California
Thomas Wilmer

Megan Jones, Curator at the Sonoma County Wine Library in Healdsburg, California talks about the go-to place to research everything from historical Northern California wine industry archives to accessing more than 1,000 rare books dating from 1514.  The Wine Library is regarded as one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of wine information.

Pete Seghesio behind the counter at Journeymen meat Company in downtown Healdsburg, Cailfornia
Thomas Wilmer

Pete and Cathy Seghesio created a modern incarnation of the old-country butcher shop in downtown Healdsburg, California. The Seghesio’s offer fresh custom cut meat to go, or cooked on-site, with the added twist of wine tasting and culinary treats such as pizzas, salumi and sausages fresh from their wood-fired oven.  

Dovetail Gallery, downtown Healdsburg, California
THOMAS WILMER

Patricia Kirkish, owner of the Dovetail Collection Gallery in downtown Healdsburg, California talks about the unique collection of handcrafted furniture, glass, pottery, and unique 3-D paintings. 

Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
Thomas Wilmer

65 miles north of the Golden Gate is Healdsburg in the heart of wine country. Join Casey Marks, docent at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve; Ryan Birrer manager at Barndiva Restaurant in downtown Healdsburg, specializing in locally sourced modern country cuisine; and innkeeper John Harasty at historic Haydon Street Inn.  

Healdsburg Shed--winner of James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design 2014
Thomas Wilmer

A conversation with Perry Hoffman, Culinary Director at the Healdsburg Shed—the winner of the 2014 James Beard Award for best Restaurant Design in America. The Shed is a popular market, café, and community gathering spot in the heart of downtown Healdsburg, California.

Jordan Winery cellars, Alexander Valley
Thomas Wilmer

Tom and Sally Jordan pioneered producing Bordeaux-style California Cabernet Sauvignon in Alexander Valley back in the early 1970s. Join Tom and Sally’s son, John Jordan and Chef Knoll for a visit at the winery. 

The vistas of dry Creek Valley from Trattori Farms tasting room is worth the visit all on its own
Thomas Wilmer

Mary Louise Bucher and her husband produce award-winning Rhone style wines and produce estate grown extra-virgin olive oil. Join Mary as she talks about her family farm and giving back to the community in the wake of the devastating fires that swept through the region.

Gia Baiocchi serves up some fresh organic juice at her Nectary in downtown Healdsburg, California
Thomas Wilmer

Gia Baiocchi’s Nectary in downtown Healdsburg, California is raising the bar with organic cold-pressed juices and artisanal raw foods. Close by, a block from the Plaza is Sonoma Cider, a leader in California’s burgeoning hard cider industry. Join Kole Christen in Sonoma Cider’s Tap Room.

Dustin Valette chef at Valette Restaurant, Healdsburg. Cailfornia
THOMAS WILMER

The path of destruction of the October 2017 Northern California wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and more than 25 wineries was indiscriminate. For example, the town of Healdsburg in Sonoma County was spared, but none-the-less there’s not a soul who was not directly affected. 

Al Sawyer shows off platter of Royal Red shrimp at King Neptune's Seafood Restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama
Geiger

Join Al Sawyer, owner of King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama—where he’s been running the show for 24 years. King Neptune's rare deep-water Royal Red shrimp draws repeat diners from as far away as New York City.  

Morro Bay Lighted Boat Parade shark entry
Morro Bay Winterfest

Teri Bayus talks about the array of waterfront events at the Morro Bay Winterfest 12 Days of Christmas events (December 1-12). Highlights include a lighted boat parade, a flotilla of stand-up-paddling angels, a Santa pub crawl, a tall ships sea battle, A gingerbread house competition, caroling with cops, and much more.

Adventures come alive at the Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit
THOMAS WILMER

Linda Walter, Director of Detroit’s Outdoor Adventure CenterMichigan’s first urban state park takes us on a tour of the three-story 41,000 square-foot Outdoor Adventure Center. 

Fowling utilizes regulation bowling pins with a truncated alley and a football.
THOMAS WILMER

Fowling--bowling with a football started as a lark fifteen years ago has become the rage in Hamtramck, Michigan and it’s poised to spread across the country. Come along and join Chris Hutt, the inventor of fowling (pronounced FOH-ling), at his 20 lane Fowling Warehouse, complete with two bars. Discover why thousands of Midwesterners and Canadians love the game. 

Giant Panda Research Base isa bamboo paradise
Thomas Wilmer

The Giant Panda is revered by not only the Chinese, but kids and adults alike around the world. The Chinese have long used the Giant Panda as a diplomatic ambassador of friendship. Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores the Giant Panda Research Base facility in Chengdu, China with locals Mavis Liu Mei and Tiffany Shi Shi.

Dramatic open spaces define the new San Luis Obispo Airport
THOMAS WILMER

After two years of construction, the new $39 million San Luis Obispo Airport opened on November 1. The county's Director of Airports, Kevin Bumen, talks with correspondent Tom Wilmer about the attributes of the new terminal, enhanced parking, and the fast-changing world of commercial aviation as it impacts San Luis Obispo. 

Hamtramck

Less than 13 miles from the heart of downtown Detroit, Hamtramck, Michigan is like a little United Nations where residents collectively speak more than 30 languages. 

Detroit graffiti art at Farmers Market neighborhood
THOMAS WILMER

At the conclusion of WWII Detroit, Michigan claimed than 2.1 million citizens, today there are less than 700,000. Thousands of single-family houses have disappeared from the landscape--some city blocks have less than three houses standing— a sobering, mostly greenscape landscape. Join Kelly Kavanaugh, urban activist and owner of Wheelhouse Detroit Bikeshop as she talks about reinventing Detroit and some of the obstacles created by an infusion of investors from across the country.

Electric Vehicle charging station in Door County, Wisconsin
Door County CVB

Jack Moneypenny, President of the Door County Visitors Bureau came up with a brilliant but simple plan that stimulates tourism while simultaneously minimizing the carbon footprint. Join Moneypenny as he shares his electric charging station vision that now serves as a model showcase for the future of ecologically sustainable regional tourism.      

The panoramic vistas from atop the Hilton SF Union Square captures the diverse neighborhoods surrounding.
THOMAS WILMER

Frank Manchen, a member of the Board of Directors of the Tenderloin Community Benefit District in San Francisco, talks about the infusion of new businesses, nightclubs, and attractive rents that are attracting millennials with an adventurous spirit. 

Vintage Wienermobile on display at The Henry Ford
THOMAS WILMER

The 12-acre Henry Ford complex showcases artifacts from the industrial revolution through contemporary artifacts. Highlights include classic 20th century aircraft, an extensive automobile collection, a vintage Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, and JFK’s 1961 Lincoln presidential limo. Join Melissa Foster, Media & Film Relations Manager for a walking tour of the legendary Henry Ford museum of American Innovation.

Historic steam train rides part of the fun at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan
THOMAS WILMER

From steam trains to rides in Model A’s, Greenfield Village is 80 acres of Americana. Here you will find Thomas Edison’s lab, historic homes and so much more. Discover why Greenfield Village is one of the most popular destinations for visitors from around the Midwest and around the world since it opened back in 1929. 

WWII troop transport birthed and open to the public at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco
THOMAS WILMER

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the City’s iconic destinations for tourists from around the world, along with Alcatraz, Chinatown, Union Square and Coit Tower. Join Tom Wilmer in San Francisco for a visit with Rachel Brown, Marketing and Communications Director for the Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Thomas Wilmer

Back in the 1960s Stax Records served as an incubator of the Memphis, Tennessee Soul Music genre.

Join Tim Sampson Communications Director for the Soulsville Foundation where he talks about the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the genesis of “Soulsville”, the astounding Stax Music Academy, and Soulsville Charter School.

Joe Thorner Brewmaster at Brew Detroit (Left) with Tom Wilmer at Brew Detroit
Brew Detroit

Joe Thorner, Brewmaster and Operations Manager at Brew Detroit, produces an array of brews including the iconic Stroh’s.  Back in 1850 German immigrant Bernhard Stroh started selling his beer door-to-door from a wheelbarrow and it’s remained as an iconic Detroit brew ever since. Thorner shares his passionate core philosophy of crafting zestful beers through his intimate understanding of the core ingredients: hops, yeast, and malt, and producing classic Stroh’s. 

Vista from Ragged Point Inn--at bottom of cliff wreckage of numerous cars rot away--and some locals claim the occupants of the wrecked vehicles still hang around as ghosts
THOMAS WILMER

The journey of driving along Highway 1 through Big Sur Country is one of the most spiritual routes in America, but unless you’re a Big Sur local, you probably didn’t know that it’s also one of the most spirit filled realms on the West Coast. Come along and listen to some tales of the ghosts and spirits that haunt Big Sur Country with Rory Cosma at Ragged Point Inn and Resort.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's line up for luncheon honoring their bravery
THOMAS WILMER

Saturday morning july 8th 2017 started out uneventfully at St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch summer camp in the hills above Santa Barbara.

But a puff of smoke on the horizon alerted camp counselors that trouble was brewing. The Whittier wildfire came close to destroying the summer camp and threatened the lives of hundreds of campers and staff.

To honor the first responders who came to the rescue of the campers, St. Vincent de Paul hosted a special luncheon at Old Mission Santa Ines Parish Hall in Solvang, California. Join me for a conversation with David Fields, Executive Director St. Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles.

Detroit Beer book cover
Arcadia Publishing

Join author, podcast host, and Motor City Brew Tours founder Stephen Johnson for an insiders look at Detroit’s beer world, past and present.

Detroit brew tours include walking, biking, and by bus.

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