An Arctic Circle Visit with Santa in Finnish Lapland

Rovaniemi Arctic Raindeer with Christmas parade in Helsinki Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Rovaniemi Arctic Raindeer with Christmas parade in Helsinki                       Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Finnish Tourist Board Image

Finnish Tourist Board Image

Finnish Tourist Board Photo

Finnish Tourist Board Photo

Listen to the dispatch from the Arctic Circle on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer”. Check out this episode!

Travel Correspondent, Tom Wilmer reports from the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland where he visits with Santa Claus at Santa Park.

Kids at Santa Park with Helsinki in background Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Kids at Santa Park with Helsinki in background
Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Husky Dog Sled--FInnish Tourism Photo

Husky Dog Sled–FInnish Tourism Photo

 Arctic-- FInnish Tourism Photo

Arctic– FInnish Tourism Photo

Finnish Tourist Board Photo

Finnish Tourist Board Photo

http://www.visitrovaniemi.fi/

Finnish Tourist Board Photo

Finnish Tourist Board Photo

http://www.santapark.com

www.laplandsafaris.com

 

 

Alex Alexiev Part 2—Radical Islam’s Threat to the West

Alex Alexiev

Alex Alexiev

Listen to Alex Alexiev on the Lowell Thomas Award Winning travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer: Check out this episode! 

Alex Alexiev is a Senior Fellow for Eurasia Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington D.C. He has logged more than 35 years as a specialist in U.S. national security as a senior analyst and project director with Rand Corporation’s National Security Division, as well as several Washington D.C., think tanks. He has directed numerous research projects for the Department of Defense, Office of Net Assessment, U.S. Army Intelligence, US Air Force intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, and other agencies, and has testified before Congress numerous times.  

Afghanistan1Afghnistan

Part 2 includes Alexiev’s commentary on Saudi Arabia’s funding of Wahhabi (ibn Abd al-Wahhab) schools and mosques in the United States and other non-Muslim countries around the world. Shariah Finance, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, “Partition” as a viable option for Iraq, the threat of Islamic terrorism in India, and more. The author of 12 books, Alexiev’s most recent is The Wages of Extremism: Radical Islam’s Threat to the West and the Muslim World. I’m Tom Wilmer, come along and join me for a most fascinating conversation with Alex Alexiev.

Link to Alexiev’s June 26, 2003 testimony before the Senate subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-108shrg91326/pdf/CHRG-108shrg91326.pdf

Pashtun xAfghans

Alex Alexiev—From Communist Bulgaria to the Russian Afghanistan War

 

Sophia, Bulgaria

Sophia, Bulgaria

Alex Alexiev

Alex Alexiev

Alex Alexiev is a Senior Fellow for Eurasia Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center in Washington D.C. He has logged more than 35 years as a specialist in U.S. national security as a senior analyst and project director with Rand Corporation’s National Security Division, as well as several Washington D.C., think tanks. He has directed numerous research projects for the Department of Defense, Office of Net Assessment, U.S. Army Intelligence, US Air Force intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, and other agencies, and has testified before Congress numerous times. 

Listen to Alex Alexiev on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer”

Check out this episode!

Sophia, Bulgaria

Sophia, Bulgaria

Born and raised in Bulgaria under the communist regime, Alexiev’s father, a revered member of the Intelligencia, was arrested, tortured and killed while his mother spent more than six years in a gulag. Raised by relatives, Alexiev did his undergraduate work at Sofia State University in Bulgaria. Subsequently while living in Germany as a political refugee, Alexiev was sponsored by a priest in Indianapolis Indiana where he went to work as a janitor. He worked his way west and moved to Los Angeles where he attended UCLA, graduating in Political Science. And this is when his life journey turned full circle. Because if his expert understanding of Communist Russia and the dynamics of its multi-ethnic Army, Alexiev was hired as an analyst by the Rand Corporation. His various career assignments include serving as a Faculty member of Rand/UCLA Graduate School for Public Policy from 1984 through 1990. And a mere sampler of Alexiev’s diverse areas of expertise includes a detailed understanding of ethnic and religious conflicts throughout Eurasia and the Middle East, Islamic finance, and Islamic extremism and terrorism. Within days of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Caspar Weinberger’s number-two man at the Department of Defense dispatched Alexiev to Afghanistan. Filing monthly reports, Alexiev lived with the Pashtun people off and on for eight years. Subsequent to a stint serving as Director of Radio Free Europe’s Bulgarian Service, shortly after Bulgaria was free of its communist rule, he spent a year in Sofia as pro-bono advisor to the Bulgarian Prime Minister. Alexiev has also been a guest scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. The author of 12 books, Alexiev’s most recent is The Wages of Extremism: Radical Islam’s Threat to the West and the Muslim World. I’m Tom Wilmer, come along and join me for a most fascinating conversation with Alex Alexiev.

Link to Alexiev’s June 26, 2003 testimony before the Senate subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-108shrg91326/pdf/CHRG-108shrg91326.pdf

 

 

Exploring Northwest Arkansas with Jill Rohrbach

 

Jill Rohrbach Photo Credit Laurin Hayes

Jill Rohrbach
Photo Credit Laurin Hayes

Jill Rohrbach, Travel Writer with Arkansas State Parks & Tourism, shares her insights and recommendations for experiencing Northwest Arkansas.

Jill talks about the Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View and other cool destinations throughout the region. We’ll also tour through the majestic caves at Blanchard Springs Caverns, a short drive from Mountain View, Arkansas.

Listen to Jill on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer” featured on the NPR.ORG podcast site. Produced by NPR affiliate KCBX:Check out this episode!

Blanchard Spring Cavern Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Blanchard Spring Cavern
Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

www.ozarkfolkcenter.com

www.ArkansasStateParks.com

www.ozarkmountainregion.com

www.arkansas.com

 

 

Ozark Folk Center Discovey

 

Clancey Ferguson Band Photo Credit Lauren Hayes

Clancey Ferguson Band
Photo Credit Laurin Hayes

Ozark Folk Center State Park Discovery

Listen to the show on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer: Check out this episode! Located in the heart of Northwest Arkansas, the Ozark Folk Center State Park, tucked in the charming village of Mountain View, is an awesome one-stop showcase of the local Ozark culture, arts, and musical traditions with roots in Appalachia, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England.  Mountain View is commonly regarded as the home of American folk music.

Ozark Folk Center Crafts Photo Credit Lauren Hayes

Ozark Folk Center Crafts
Photo Credit Laurin Hayes

Join Jimmy Edwards and Park Superintendent, John Morrow, for a fun exploration of the Park and region. Included is a visit to the Craft Center for a chat with a gunsmith, and 78 year-old local artist, Betty Ward.

Artist Betty Ward at Ozark Folk Center. Photo Credit Lauren Hayes

Artist Betty Ward at Ozark Folk Center. Photo Credit Laurin Hayes

Travel host, Tom Wilmer has filed numerous Arkansas features, including a two-part show recorded on location at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas—the winner of the prestigious 2013 Lowell Thomas Award-Silver for Best Radio Travel Broadcast.

Ozark Folk Center crafts Photo Credit Lauren Hayes

Ozark Folk Center crafts
Photo Credit Laurin Hayes

 www.ozarkfolkcenter.com

www.ArkansasStateParks.com

www.ozarkmountainregion.com

www.arkansas.com

http://arkansasheritagesites.astate.edu/

 

 

Pacific Grove Christmas Holiday B&Bs, Dining and more

Seven Gables Inn Pacific Grove CA

Seven Gables Inn Pacific Grove CA

Listen to Christmastime in Pacific Grove on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer”, a weekly featured podcast on the NPR Website’s Podcast directory: Check out this episode!

Pacific Grove shines throughout the Holiday Season. Starting with Christmas at the Inns–a two-night open house at an array of B&Bs, locals and visitors alike love the experience. From a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in a downtown park to a special parade, and musical events there’s a holiday affair going on virtually non-stop throughout the month of December. Join Travel Correspondent. Tom Wilmer in Pacific Grove for a Holiday Season journey of Discovery. We’ll visit with Don Martine of the Martine Inn, numerous innkeepers, local resident, David Laws, and Moe Ammar, President of the Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Centers.
www.pacificgrove.com

Lovers Point, Pacific Grove CA

Lovers Point, Pacific Grove CA

Green Gable Inn, Pacific Grove CA

Green Gable Inn, Pacific Grove CA

Gosby House, Pacific Grove CA

Gosby House, Pacific Grove CA

Kim Williams & Rosanne Cash talk Johnny Cash & Eastern Arkansas

Rosanne Cash & Tom Wilmer

Rosanne Cash & Tom Wilmer at Johnny Cash Music Festival, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Music–the Heart and Soul of Eastern Arkansas

Listen to the interview on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer” featured as a weekly podcast on NPR.ORG  Check out this episode!

Eastern Arkansas was long ago the land of cotton, but today soybeans and rice fields are common. This is the realm that incubated the classic Delta Blues tradition. It was the home of Johnny Cash and Levon Helm, Charlie Rich, Albert king, and many more blues legends.

This is where BB King, Elvis, and a litany of other 20th century music icons tested their mettle in roadside, Eastern Arkansas Juke Joints. This is also where Ernest Hemingway hunkered down at her wife Pauline’s family home in Piggott, Arkansas to write portions of A Farewell to Arms and numerous short stories. Come along and join the conversation with Arkansas Parks & Tourism Travel Writer, Kim Williams. Kim specializes in the evocative Eastern Arkansas Mississippi Delta Region. She shares her passionate insights about the region’s history, with a special emphasis on the Delta Blues tradition and some thoughts on the Johnny Cash Boyhood home in Dyess Colony. Rosanne Cash adds personal thoughts about the region’s incredible contributions to American Music and her involvement in the restoration of the Johnny Cash boyhood home in Dyess Colony, Arkansas.  

http://dyesscash.astate.edu/

 http://arkansasheritagesites.astate.edu

www.deltabyways.com

www.arkansasStateParks.com

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Arkansas Parks & Tourism Travel Writer, Kim Williams

 

 

Solvang CA–Time Magazine’s “Most Christmassy Town”

Tracy Farhad Executive Director Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau

Tracy Farhad Executive Director Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau

Solvang–Time Magazine’s

“Most Christmassy Town”

Listen to Christmastime in Solvang, California on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer” a weekly feature on NPR.ORG’s Podcast siteCheck out this episode!

Founded as a Danish colony more than 100 years ago, Solvang has been a popular year round destination for tourists who come to experience a taste of Denmark right here on the California Central Coast. When the Marissa Waddell, the program manager at NPR affiliate, KCBX, told me that Solvang was recently named by Time Magazine as one America’s Most Christmassy towns, well I just had to find out for myself just why this quaint Danish village is in close company with other Most Christmassy contenders such as Santa Claus, Indiana, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. I’m Tom Wilmer, come along and join me for a walking exploration around the village of Solvang with Tracy Farhad, the Executive Director of the Solvang Conference & Visitors bureau. We’ll discover that Solvang’s passionate Christmastime spirit has as much to do with its Danish roots as it does with the local’s wonderful sense of community.
 www.solvangusa.com

Solvang Christmas Photo Credit Tracy Farhad

Solvang Christmas Photo Credit Tracy Farhad

 

Solvang Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Solvang Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

 

 

Solvang Christmas Julesfest Photo Credit Tracy Farhad

Solvang Christmas Julesfest Photo Credit Tracy Farhad

Photo Credit Tracy Farhad

Photo Credit Tracy Farhad

Village Creek State Park–Arkansas Hidden Gem

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An Arkansas Hidden Gem—Village Creek State Park

 

Listen to the interview on the Lowell Thomas Award winning travel show, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer” featured weekly on NPR.OG’s Podcast site, produced by NPR affiliate KCBX.

 

Village Creek State Park, situated in the Northeast corner of Arkansas, is surely one of the State’s hidden gems. Come along and join Park Superintendent, Vicki Trimble, and Marcel Hanzlik, Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism Regional Supervisor for Parks in the Delta. www.arkansasstateparks.com/villagecreek/

 

Check out this episode!

The Legendary & Romantic Osthoff Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

 

Listen to the show on the NPR.ORG Podcast site, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer:Check out this episode!

The Osthoff Resort set above the shores of Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin has been a grand destination for Midwesterners for more than a Century.
Osthoff Resort Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Osthoff Resort
Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

The legendary Osthoff first opened its doors back in 1886 and welcomed vacationing families arrived from Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee and all over the Midwest. Summer vacationers arrived by train and they frequently unpacked and settled in for the entire summer season.  Today a new and equally grand Osthoff that’s set on the grounds of the original grand dame caters not only to Midwesterners but vacationers from around the world. The four diamond property features 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa that’s ranked 16th among the top 100 spas by Spas of America as well as one of the 35 top resorts in America by Travel and Leisure. The Osthoff also has a cooking school on premises that is a very popular draw all on its own. The enchanting tree lined village of Elkhart Lake is like stepping in to a timeless storybook scene.

Train Station Elkhart Lake  Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Train Station Elkhart Lake
Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Elkhart Lake village Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Elkhart Lake village                        Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

With less than a thousand residents and a Mayberry RFD  train depot as a centerpiece, the town is best known by some for its long history as the location of Road America races, the annual Road & Track Concours d’Elegance, and the Kohler International Challenge. I’m Tom Wilmer, come along and join me in Elkhart Lake at the legendary Osthoff for a conversation with General Manager, Lola Roeh.

www.osthoff.com

www.elhartlake.com

www.roadamerica.com