One Happy Podcast

Let's get the show going for One Happy Podcast's long-awaited 100th episode, where we turn the tables by having a good friend and guest, Louis Johnson, interview me this time around in what we dub as the "Aruba Curt Special".


Louis is actually the guy who inspired me to continue on with this podcast when I was just starting out, so it really is meaningful to have him be with me in this special milestone of an episode.


In here, I get asked a bunch of questions about the podcast and myself including what made me decide to a podcast, how do I find guests, and do I have a certain criteria for choosing them. I also relay my Aruba story, and it may come as a surprise to you all that it wasn't love at first sight with the island for me at all.


We also talk about my first impression upon seeing the gorgeous sunsets in Aruba, know where me and Maggie usually stay in the island, our favorite restaurants, the excursions I like to go to, and recommendations.


One important point in our discussion is how do I convince people to go to Aruba. Among the reasons listed: Aruba is below the hurricane belt, there are direct flights coming from the USA, everyone speaks English in the island, American money is accepted, no one haggles you about anything, and the crime rate is very low.


Of course, a One Happy Podcast interview is not complete without the "Eye of the Hurricane", and in addition to that, Louis threw me a curve-ball in the form of a new segment called the "Millionaire's Dream Package". Tune in to find out what that is!


The interview ends on a positive note with Louis asking me what my plans are for One Happy Podcast going forward and him offering valuable suggestions.


I would also like to take this time to thank each and every one of you dear listeners who stuck with One Happy Podcast all this time. It has been an amazing journey. Here's to a hundred more episodes ahead!




- Hear why I decided to start One Happy Podcast

- Hear why I still get nervous before every show

- Have an idea of who would be my ideal guest in a podcast

- Hear about Cheryl Talcof, the woman who encouraged me to go Aruba skydiving

- Hear a great story about an Aruba kindness done to Louis, and paying it forward



Quinta del Carmen

Yemanja Woodfire Grill

Skydive Aruba

Aruba Ray Comedy

Kukoo Kunuku Bus


Direct download: EP100_-_Aruba_Curts_Aruba_Story.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:17am EST

Strap yourselves in for a holiday season full of raucous laughter as master comedian "Aruba" Ray Ellin joins us once again to discuss the return of Aruba Ray Comedy to One Happy Island this coming 12th of November to the 20th of December.


He is truly one of the most passionate Aruba fanatics I've ever met, and soon he'll back to Aruba with his merry gang of excellent comedians to make the entire island laugh.


I sure wish I could be down there at the same time. In case you're not familiar, Aruba can get slow around the evenings without a lot of entertainment options to choose from; and no doubt Aruba Ray Comedy is the best nighttime entertainment activity that you can get in the island. I've watched the shows multiple times and every single one of them had been hilarious.


Ray and I talk about the comedians that will join him. A lot of them will be first-timers in Aruba so it's bound to be exciting! He's positive that this might end up being the best line-up in the history of Aruba Ray's Comedy. The top-notch comedians are as follows:


  • Des Bishop
  • Mia Jackson
  • Don Gavin
  • Tony Woods
  • Anthony DeVito
  • Robert Kelly
  • Tom Cotter
  • Kerri Louise
  • Eric Neumann
  • Christine Hurley
  • Tony V.
  • Pete Lee
  • Joey Vega
  • Brian Scott McFadden


For more information about the line-up and shows, you can visit It is encouraged for interested persons to purchase tickets online because it's more guaranteed and can save money. As an added perk, there will be a raffle after the show for a few lucky ticket holders.


If by some chance you will have to give the upcoming shows a miss due to lack of opportunities in heading down the island (like me), don't worry! Aruba Ray Comedy does a series of shows for about 3 times a year so make sure to drop by in Aruba during one. One Happy Podcast and "Aruba" Ray Ellin himself will keep you posted for any updates.



- Learn why Aruba Ray Comedy is encouraged as an adult-only event; however, children are allowed on the parents' own volition

- Hear about Ray's experience at George Clooney's Halloween party

- Hear about Ray's performance at The Carney Awards in front of big time actors like William H. Macy



Direct download: EP99_-_Aruba_Rays_Comedy_Winter_2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06am EST

So here we are to finish out the last part of our play-by-play October 2017 Aruba Trip Report. At the end of episode 3, we were hanging out at Arashi beach enjoying the sunset but now we're in our living room back in Delaware, where it's a far cry from the nice and sunny weather in One Happy Island.


The last time we left off, it was Thursday around dusk. We went for dinner at Twist of Flavors, which was fantastic. We thought we would get food from the Eat Local Restaurant Month menu, but we just got what's in the regular menu because honestly, everything sounded great. Twist of Flavors was really nice. It's a small place but it has good service and tasteful décor.


Later on we headed home to unwind and play a game called Chill Out. It's basically a card game with a bunch of peppers on top. The goal is to get rid of your set of cards before anyone else. Maggie personally loves to play games with family, and we really enjoyed this one especially since we turn every game into a drinking game.


Friday morning, we woke up early to go to Mangel Halto. It was our first time there. Unfortunately Maggie and I didn't get to snorkel because we forgot to bring our snorkeling gear, but we did enjoy the scenery a lot.


Afterwards we found ourselves in one of our favorite spots in the island which we personally call Eagle Beach Adjacent. It's a little clearing between Oceania and Screaming Eagle that no one really goes to. There, we witnessed a lovely little wedding.


Following the wedding is our little detour to the Arubian Taste Rum Shop. You can sample more than a hundred different flavors of rum there. Every time we go, they seem to have a brand new flavor for us to try.


We had Alfie's for dinner that night. During our last trip to Aruba back in July, we didn't get to have poutine on Canada Day because they ran out, so we made sure we would get some this time and boy, it did not disappoint! It was as delicious as we remembered it to be.


As we got closer to the end of our trip, we made it a point to get up earlier so come Saturday morning, we were already at Palm Beach before 8 a.m. and didn't leave until around 5:30 in the evening. The rest of the day was spent with me meeting up with a new friend named Louie, and dinner at Quinta del Carmen's with our favorite waiter, Wilmer. He always takes care of us well whenever we go there. We ended the day on a pleasant note by playing Chill Out again. For us, playing cards with the family is a good way to unwind and look back on the events of the day.


Sunday was our last full day in the island so we got up early again and chose Eagle Beach Adjacent as our destination. We had about 3 and a half hours of perfect Aruba weather until it started pouring, so we got out to get pizza at a new place in Alhambra's called Hungry Piranha. It was alright; you can't really get amazing pizza in the island anyway to be honest. We went back to the beach for about 15 minutes until the rain started again so we just gave up, drove around, explored the island for the remaining hours. Dinner was spent on Chicken and Lobster which was pretty decent; funnily enough we didn't get chicken or lobster even though it's the namesake of the restaurant. The best thing about the place is the service, no doubt.


Come Monday morning, we had to deal with the sadness of parting with Aruba yet again. We headed over to Eduardo's for some snacks and Eagle Beach Adjacent for the last time to relax then straight home to finish packing before going to the airport. We had a little bit of a delay upon returning the rental car but everything turned out alright in the end. The flight back to the States was uneventful, just how we like it, and we arrived safely home around 7 in the evening.


That marks the end of our 4-part October trip series. All in all, it was a great trip and we can't wait to do it again. We hope you enjoyed the ride along with us. Whenever you feel like getting a dose of Aruba sunshine, just tune in to One Happy Podcast's numerous episodes, close your eyes, and imagine you're in Aruba.



- Hear a few more restaurant reviews including a couple of new (for us) places

- Hear about Maggie's experience with fresh aloe

- Hear about an awesome wedding experience we stumbled onto

- Find out what we did during our first ever Aruba rainout



Twist of Flavors

Quinta del Carmen

Chicken and Lobster


Screaming Eagle

The Arubian Taste Liqueur and Rum Shop

Hungry Piranha



Bananas Apartments

L.G. Smith

Direct download: Episode_98_D_-_Part_4_of_October_2017_Aruba_Trip_Report.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17am EST

I'm back with Maggie to catch you guys up for the 3rd part of our October trip report. Right now we're at Arashi beach on location to recount what happened after where we left off last time.


So the 1st part was all about arrival day which was Sunday, followed by the 2nd day which was Monday, and now we are going to talk about TuesdayWednesday, and Thursday.


At the end of the 2nd part, I was preparing to go to One Happy Podcast's 3rd Anniversary Party over at Legends Pub. First of all, I sincerely want to thank everyone who came. The party was great and we had a really nice time. Around 70 people turned up, or maybe closer too 100 at some point. It exceeded all my expectations so I have nothing but gratitude for everyone who took the time to swing by.


We stayed at the party until about an hour before midnight, and afterwards we went back to our house to just zone out while sipping some picklebacks.


The next day, we had Don Pastechi's for breakfast which is one of our favorite places to eat in the island. If you're planning to head over there, you should come relatively early because the good stuff runs out pretty fast.


After that we headed over to Eagle Beach to just hang out. It was pretty busy for a Wednesday. We also had lunch at the Eagle Beach Food Truck. As usual, their food never disappoints.


We met up with our good friend Marlene later in the day at the Local Store, which in our opinion has the best burgers in Aruba and makes these amazing deep fried pickles. They also have an extensive craft beer selection — possibly the largest in the island — so if you have a love for craft beers, you should definitely stop by the Local Store!


We originally intended to spend the rest of our evening at Matthew's to watch a live performance, but when we got there it was already jam-packed and there were no seats left for us so we opted to just relax at home instead and play a card game.


Bright and early the next morning, we finally decided to climb Mt. Hooiberg for the first time. It took us around 20 minutes to reach the summit, which will probably take a much shorter time for folks who are in better shape. I did a Facebook live of my climbing experience if you were able to catch it. The view is  phenomenal at the top. Do try to climb it if you're up for the challenge! The view is worth it.


The descent went much faster than the ascent, which took only about 5 minutes. We swung by Bright Bakery for some delicious pastries before heading to the Animal Shelter. All the animals were in very good condition which made us feel happy. It's such a good place to be in, and I urge you all to make a donation if you can. The animals and the workers will truly appreciate every single dollar.  One day we vow to to bring a kitten back home with us.


So now we're back to Arashi beach which we went to following the Animal Shelter. It's now time for sunset and whoa, I really have to take a picture of this. Well you know how Aruba sunsets are. They're absolutely breathtaking. It looks like I'm getting mesmerized by the view again. Well, until next time! Be sure to stay tuned to the next episodes!



- Know about this 4 year old kid who was with us climbing Hooiberg. If a little kid can do it, we can to!

- Hear about the jet ski incident.

- Hear why purple food is not for me.



Eduardo's Beach Shack

Don Pastechi

Screaming Eagle

Eagle Beach Food Truck

Matthew's Beachside Restaurant

Bright Bakery

Animal Shelter

Direct download: Episode_98_C_-_Part_3_of_October_2017_Aruba_Trip_Report.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:52am EST

To pick things up from where we left off last time, I'm here in Eagle beach on record for the 2nd part  of my October 2017 Aruba Trip Report.


It's a perfect day out here with minimal clouds, warm but refreshing temperature, lovely breeze, and most of the all, the water feels great. I got out of the water to record this episode but I'm gonna hop back in again after I'm done.


Now for the recount of our experiences yesterday or day 2 of our trip. It was a Monday morning filled with busy work and errands. We rented a house instead of a timeshare so we had to take care of stuff for that. Afterwards, I went grocery shopping on Super Food and headed to the digital hotspot center to get my pocket Wi-Fi reactivated.


We headed over to Eduardo's for a well-deserved snack. If you haven't tried their Acai bowls, I definitely urge you to get one the next time you swing by Palm Beach. It's basically made up of some kind of puree at the bottom, granola in the middle, and assorted fruits on the top with coconut shavings.


Most of the day was spent at Arashi, which was bizarrely empty for long stretches of time so we had the pristine beach to our ourselves during the first and latter parts of our stay. Paradise on earth.


We intended to head out earlier for dinner but we opted to relax first at home after coming back from Arashi for some downtime with just us listening to music and sipping wine.


Later on we ate at Chihuahua's Fiesta and Grill for some good ol' Mexican food. It has the best shrimp ceviche I've ever tasted on the island and is definitely one of the best, if not the best, Mexican restaurants in Aruba.


Topping the day off were some ice cream sundaes from McDonalds which was a pretty decent way to end the day if you ask me.


So back to Eagle beach, I'm mostly just relaxing for the fun part later in the day — One Happy Podcast's 3rd Anniversary Party. The party will be at Legends Pub, which if you've never heard of, is the brain child of the geniuses behind Eduardo's Beach Shack and Scott's Brats. It's a cool sports bar that I totally recommend.


Be sure to stay tuned to the next episode to hear all about the happenings in the party!



- Get an heads up on why you should always carry an I.D. with you while you on the island.

- Know an inventive way I came up with to open beer bottles at the beach.

- Hear about me being a world class beach napper, or at least I think so.



Do it Center

Super Food Plaza

Eduardo's Beach Shack

Scott's Brats

Chihuahua's Fiesta and Grill

Hooters Aruba

Cafe Rembrandt

Así Es Mi Peru

Pelican Pier Aruba

Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill

Barney's Bar & Restaurant


South Beach Aruba

Hard Rock Aruba


Legends Pub

Direct download: Episode_98_B_-_Part_2_of_October_2017_Aruba_Trip_Report.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:52am EST

I'm down here on location in Aruba with my ever loyal sidekick Maggie for our October 2017 Aruba trip. This time, Maggie brought her daughter Jess along. The three of us have so much planned for this trip and we can't wait to show Jess what the amazing island of Aruba has in store.


What I'm planning here is a blow by blow recap of our experience in this trip. We started it with leaving Delaware for Newark where we stayed on the Courtyard Marriott for the night before heading to the airport in the morning. We arrived smoothly on the island at an ideal time, which was followed by probably the fastest transition we've had from airport to car rental company to our rental house.


Like the last time we stayed in Aruba, we opted to go for Royal as our car rental of choice. But don't get me wrong, I like to switch things around with car rentals for the podcast so listeners will get a perspective for each of them. We got an SUV instead of the usual jeep because there's three of us with a lot of luggage.


Upon arriving on the island, we wanted to eat at Don Pastechi or  Pika's Corner but unfortunately they were both closed so we ended up at... you guessed it, Wendy's. One really has to wonder why Wendy's is so popular in the island. It's always so crowded. But I digress. We had a nice, pleasant, and quiet evening after that at Así es mi Perú, where the food is excellent. We recommend it.


To wrap up this episode, we have so many plans for the duration of this trip like mentioned earlier, including One Happy Podcast's 3rd Anniversary Party that I'm hosting at Legends Pub on the 24th of October. Do swing by at 7:00 p.m. if you're up for it! I would love to see you there. It's going to be a blast.


Don't forget to stay tuned for the next parts of our October Aruba trip!



- Hear a funny story of how we initially wanted to rent a Chevy Trax, thought we were getting a Chevy Equinox instead, but ended up with a Kia Sportage

- Know Royal's bait and switch tactic for customers





Courtyard Marriot Newark

Springhill Suites

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel


Aruba Royal Car Rental

Aruba Optima Car Rental  

Tropic Car Rental Aruba

Amigo Car Rental

Pika's Corner

Don Pastechi


Así es mi Perú

Direct download: Episode_98_A_-_Part_1_of_October_2017_Aruba_Trip_Report.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40am EST

How many years have you been going to Aruba? Have you explored Aruba during those years you've been there? On this episode of One Happy Podcast, Maggie and I discuss why we encourage people, especially the Aruba lovers, to go out and explore the island. There is so much to see and do!


It all started from a post I saw on the Aruba Forums of someone taking a picture of the menu of Fermin's. One comment read that they have been going to Aruba for more than 50 years but have never even heard of Fermin's. It made me kind of sad. To me, the experience of Aruba is not complete if you haven't seen all the wonderful things that island has to offer outside the resort areas.


I know that there are some people who just wish to decompress and relax, and that's perfectly understandable. It's your vacation. Your time. Your call. But you may never know what you're missing out on if you never step out of that comfort zone.


Bottomline is, I urge all of you who are tuning in right now to take chances and see what the entirety of Aruba has to offer. Rent a jeep. Just take off. Find a little nook or cranny of Aruba that you can call your special place. We've found ours. And it's our wish that you will find yours too.


On another note, if anyone will be down in Aruba on the 24th of October, come join us at Legends Pub at 7:00 p.m. for One Happy Podcast's 3rd Anniversary Party. We would absolutely love to meet you there. Come, let's chat, drink, and be merry!



- Know the positive points of visiting Aruba: under the hurricane belt, everyone speaks English, everywhere in the island is easily accessible to travel

- Discover an awesome blog from someone who moved to the island and started a tourism-based business

- Hear about our good experiences with all the car rentals companies we've had business with

- Find out the different kinds of properties in Aruba for you to stay on as well as our personal preference of accommodations

- Know more about the Carubian Festival

- Hear why we think San Nicolas will be the next 'hotspot' or trendy place in Aruba



Full Throttle Tours

Z island life blog

Fermin's  BBQ

Aruba Royal Car Rental

Aruba Optima Car Rental

Jay's Car Rental

CarVenience Aruba

Amigo Car Rental

Direct download: EP97_-__Get_From_Under_the_Palapa_and_See_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EST

Coming up is a delectably exciting event on One Happy Island. For the entire month of October starting from October 1-31, the island of Aruba will celebrate Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Month.  This is an event which encourages tourists to explore the culinary heritage of Aruba with locally inspired dishes.

On this episode, Maggie and I talk about what we know regarding Restaurant Month. Basically, it's a partnership with the tourism bureau to drum up more business for the participating restaurants. The entire goal is to draw in new customers who haven't been in the restaurant.

They will do lunch and dinner specials with reduced prices in a pre-fixed menu. I would have to say that some offer a pretty good value for your money, and some not so much. But don't quote me on that, you would to check for yourself to see. All the menus are available online on the website (link provided below). So before you walk in a restaurant, you'll know exactly what to expect.

During the podcast, I highlighted several places which I think nailed the idea of what Restaurant Month should be: providing value, having multiple selections, and well thought-out choices. For around 30 to 40 bucks, you will get a full meal for your money with an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert.

Lastly, next month marks the 3rd anniversary of One Happy Podcast. I'm inviting you all for a party on the 24th of October at Legends Pub. The details aren't set in stone yet, but I'll make sure to update all of you in future episodes so stay tuned!

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

- Get an idea which restaurants on Restaurant Month will give you the best bang for your buck.

- Get a rundown of the specific menu offerings from the aforementioned restaurants.

- Here what some restaurants do wrong

- Hear an announcement about One Happy Podcast's 3rd Anniversary celebration

Restaurants taking place in Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Week:

Participating restaurants include:


Direct download: EP96_-_Eat_Local_Aruba_Restaurant_Month_2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06pm EST

For 8 glorious days, Maggie and I will be down in Aruba on the 22th to 30th of October for our third trip of the year. As it is the third trip, we have to adhere to a stricter budget this time around while not skimping on the fun.

The three most important factors to keep in mind when traveling to Aruba are airfare, accommodations, and spending money.

For airfare, where you leave and where you choose to fly can have a huge impact on your flight. We like to find flights on then follow it up with checking on the actual airline websites afterwards. It works well for us and gives us the best bang for our buck.

As for accommodations, there are plenty of choices: hotels, condos, all-inclusives, and timeshares. We personally love going for a rental because it fits our needs perfectly. Plus we really just need a place to rest and sleep that is comfortable, clean, has a convenient location, and gives us privacy so a rental home is our go-to.

Lastly, for spending money, people like to do a lot of various things. Some like to go to excursions while others prefer to just simply hop around the island to explore on their own. We're more of the latter but we want to change things around for this trip so we're planning to go to some excursions especially since we're taking Maggie's daughter along. We wish for her trip to be as fun and memorable as possible.

One of the excursions we're eyeing is Aruba Outdoor Adventures, which involves pedal kayaking. Another one is Full Throttle Tours, where they'll take you on a speed boat to a lot of different areas and snorkel.

As usual, we will be staying on the Palm Beach area which is a great launching pad for our adventures and is also an ideal location to get to anywhere in the island. This upcoming trip will be a little different compared to our trips. We intend to a experience a lot of new restaurants. The goal is to go to 4-6 new places that will excite our taste buds.

 Stay tuned for our future episodes because we will go very in-depth with the restaurants as well as document how we spend so you may be able to get an idea on how to manage your finances for your own Aruba trips.


- Find out why it's convenient to fly out on a Monday

- Listen to a funny story about me dressing up as Mr. T for Halloween

- Hear why Maggie has an aversion to snorkeling and string rays and how we're planning to break that on this trip



Aruba Outdoor Adventures

Full Throttle Tours

- One Happy Podcast EP95 Shownotes

Direct download: EP95_-_3_Key_Financial_Concerns_of_an_Aruba_Vacation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06pm EST

Hello everyone!  We are in for a fresh and informative episode of One Happy Podcast as Beth Johnston, a travel designer and Aruba first time visitor, joins us to recount her familiarization trip with the island.


Beth is the first ever travel designer that I've had the pleasure of interviewing. As a travel designer who specializes in destination weddings and honeymoons, Beth's job involves handling all the arrangements for her clients in their trips. It's a career that Beth pursued after having the time of her life in a destination wedding vacation herself.


For the first time just last month, Beth decided to head off to Aruba, as a new travel destination offering for her clients.  Well-known for being out of the hurricane belt, Aruba is the absolute perfect place to plan a destination wedding.  This was a familiarization trip which is something travel professionals do as a way to get to know more about the island.  As you can imagine, in the process of becoming more familiar, Beth fell in love with Aruba as well.


Her stay on the island was basically non-stop resort-hopping, which included visiting the Aruba Marriott, Hilton Aruba, The Ritz-Carlton, and Divi & Tamarijn, among many other beautiful Aruban resorts. She describes the Holiday Inn as being reasonably priced with great service and an ideal location. Beth really enjoyed her time at the Bucuti and Tara, where she did sunset yoga on its gorgeous beach and even had a photoshoot.


The resort that she stayed at, the Brickell Bay Beach Club, was in her words economical, nothing fancy but very comfortable.  She also adds tht the Brickell Bay has a responsive staff and a cute little restaurant.


During the trip, Beth and the group she was with went to both hotel areas of the island - the high-rises along Palm Beach and the low-rises along Eagle Beach. She recommends visiting Ocean Z, a fairly new boutique hotel up towards Malmok that is upscale and luxurious, but affordable.


She also got to experience a 3-hour tour of the island, courtesy of De Palm Tours where they visited the California Lighthouse, Alto Vista Chapel, the Natural Bridge, Casibari Rocks, and Aloe Museum. Kudos to Beth for being Brave enough to climb the Casibari Rocks despite her aversion to heights.


In Beth’s words, it was fascinating to see the two contrasting sides of the island: the beaches on the touristy side and the raw natural beauty of the backside with its caves, crashing waves, and limestone formations.


Her first time in the island was definitely a memorable one. Not only will she return to Aruba to familiarize herself more for her clients, but also because she truly felt the wonders of Aruba that makes so many people come back time and time again.



- Learn what travel designers do.

- Know what typically goes on a familiarization trip in any location for travel designers.

- Hear about the qualities that drew Beth to Aruba.

- Listen to Beth give her opinion on numerous Aruba resorts

- Learn about a boutique hotel that not many are familiar with



Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spa

Ocean Z Boutique Hotel

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

The Aruba Ritz-Carlton

Holiday Inn Resort Aruba - Beach Resort & Casino

Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive

Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba

Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa  

De Palm Tours Aruba



Visit Beth's website at, voted one of the Top 40 Destination Weddings websites and blogs.


You can also find Beth on:

Facebook -

Twitter - @bethsgetaways

Instagram - @bethsbeautifulgetaways

LinkedIn -

Pinterest -


Direct download: EP94_-_Travel_designer_Beth_Johnston_gets_familiar_with_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:39pm EST