One Happy Podcast

The One Happy Podcast Holiday Carolers present the Twelve Days of Christmas

Day 12 Vallon Davis EP4
Day 11 Andrea James EP2 and EP20
Day 10 Marelene Scherrenburg EP32
Day 9 Chloe and Lori Donlan EP18
Day 8 Cheryl Talcof EP19
Day 7 Marcia and Ray Frost EP23
Day 6 Tracey Beaver EP8
Day 5 Maggie G EP 1, 11 and 27
Day 4 Dee James EP 28
Day 3 Kristina Tisellano EP 33
Day 2 Cindy of Rob and Cindy O from EP 3 and 9
Day 1 Me Aruba Curt Robinson

Direct download: Christmas_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is fellow Aruba fanatic Amy White.  Amy was first exposed to Aruba many years ago thanks to a college friend and has been in love ever since.  Over the years she has taken many trips that range from family getaways with her son to girl only trips perfect for letting loose.  Over the years Aruba has taught Amy many lessons, one of which is to not make too many plans if you really want to experience all that the island has to offer.

Amy frequently stays at the Divi Dutch Village but has stayed all over the island in not only the high rise and low rise areas but also apartments outside of the hotel zone.  Amy is extremely adept at finding deals, which has allows her to visit Aruba without breaking the bank.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • Why Amy doesn’t plan anything
  • The advantages of staying at the Divi Dutch Village
  • Which tools Amy uses to save money on Aruba trips
  • About Amy’s most embarrassing Aruba moment
  • The types of deals you can find on EBay



Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

  • Mi Dushi
  • Palm Pleasure
  • Pelican
  • Kukoo Kanuku
  • Mama’s Food Truck
  • Redfish


Links and resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP36_-_Amy_White.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EST

Episode 35 of One Happy Podcast features Dawn Bellantoni who has been visiting the island for 22 years.  Despite having traveled the world, Dawn has over the course of her Aruba visits fallen in love so much that now it’s pretty hard to stay away.  In fact, today’s guest has visited the island 4 times since May of this year.  Told you it’s hard for her to stay away!

Although Dawn is an owner at La Cabana, due to the sheer number of visits she makes to Aruba she has experienced staying at numerous properties on the island.  Some of these properties include all of the Divi properties in addition to the aforementioned La Cabana resort.  Make no mistake about it Dawn prefers staying in the low rise area of the island; however she does maintain an appreciation for the night life that Palm Beach offers. 

It should come as no surprise that over the course of about 30 trips to Aruba, Dawn has developed many friendships on the island.  In fact, despite living more than two thousand miles away from her Arubian friends, many of them are closer than some friends who reside much closer to home.  One day Dawn hopes to live on the island of Aruba full time and I’m sure she feels it’s comforting for her to know she already has a community ready to welcome her home.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • About the best lunch you’ve never had in Aruba
  • Where to find incredible Peach and Mango Margaritas.
  • What it’s like to cruise to Aruba after you’ve fallen in love with paradise
  • Why you don’t bring sand to the beach


Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

  • Fishes N More
  • Kukoo Kanuku
  • Mama’s Food Truck
  • Palm Pleasure
  • Redfish
  • Senor Frogs


Links and resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP35_-_Dawn_Bellantoni.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:33pm EST

Joining me today on Episode 34 of One Happy Podcast - the Officially Unofficial Podcast of Aruba are two very special guests, Debbie Mitchell and Patrick Mallison.  If those names aren’t familiar to you just think back couple of months.  Do you remember a couple from the UK who purchased and began renovation on a villa in the Savaneta area of the island?  It was an incredible project that transformed what was a quaint home relatively traditional looking Aruba home into something truly magnificent.  

There were lots of posts about the project in the various Aruba centered Facebook groups.  Eventually those postings became so popular that a dedicated Facebook page was started for those of us who wanted to keep up. It was then that Fortuna Villas was born.  Then over a 2 month period many of us followed along living vicariously through the adventures of Patrick and Debbie.   If memory serves me, at one point we were even enlisted to help make a design decision.  

Now finally after so many weeks of dedication, focus and hard work Debbie and Patrick were kind enough to come on the show. In this episode of One Happy Podcast we talk about their discovery of the island and how falling in love at first sight compelled them to do what so many of us dream about... buying a home on the island of Aruba.  


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will Learn:

  • About a couple who fell so in love with the island they decided to purchase a home on their first trip
  • Why the property is called Fortuna Villas even though there is only one home
  • Some of the advantages to staying in Savaneta
  • The one feature Debbie and Patrick are most proud of
  • About a snorkel mask for those who hate snorkel masks


Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

  • Iguana Joe's
  • Fermin's
  • The Kitchen
  • The Flying Fishbone
  • Zeerover


Links and resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP34_-_Debbie_and_Patrick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Kristina Tisellano an Aruba traveler who has been visiting the island nearly her entire life.  First visiting the island at the age of 4, Kristina, now 26 spends multiple weeks each year on the island.  I guess you could say she grew up on the island.


Typically Kristina and her family stay at the Playa Linda, the resort property where her parents purchased that first timeshare many years ago.  Not being familiar with the Playa Linda, Kristina painted an incredible picture for me, highlighting the family friendly atmosphere of the resort.  One thing I thought was particularly cool is there way the families the Kristina has met over the years gather year after year becoming a sort of vacation family. She also mentions several of the staff members who have also become part of her Aruba family over the years.  


As you could probably guess, a 26 year old who has been visiting the island for more than 20 years knows all of the ins and outs.  Kristina was kind enough to share with us many of her favorite restaurants.  One part of the interview that will be of interest to those who struggle searching for nightlife is where Kristina talks about some of her favorite night time hotspots.  


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • Why the Playa Linda is the ideal timeshare property for families
  • About the amazing staff at the Playa Linda.
  • What a 26 year old does on the island for fun
  • Which bartender makes the best  “Brown Lady” on Aruba
  • What the Electric Festival is all about
  • The best thing Kristina has ever eaten in Aruba


Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

Links and resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP33_-_Kristina_Tisellano.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:37pm EST

Today on One Happy Podcast I am being joined by Marlene Nichols-Scherrenburg.  Marlene is a Chicago born but raised in California girl who has been living on the island of Aruba for the last 15 years.  Over the course of those 15 years Marlene has experienced the island in ways that most of us will only ever dream about.  I met Marlene on my latest trip to Aruba while visiting Cheryl Talcof (from episode 19) and asked her to be on the show.  Just like some of you at first Marlene didn’t know she was the right kind of person for the show but as you will find out she was actually a fantastic guest.

On this episode of the show Marlene gives a glimpse into Aruba from the point of view of someone who lives and works on the island.  As an Aruba vacationer we do things one way but, when you are living on Aruba things can be quite different.  Listen as Marlene explains what adjustments she needed to make in order to get used to life in paradise.  Also find out what restaurants earn Marlene’s seal of approval as awesome values.  You may want to pay special attention to the food part as in addition to Marlene being a foodie she is also married to one of the best chefs on the island, Jan Scherrenburg of Barney’s. 

While most of the episodes of One Happy Podcast are geared towards vacationers this is a must listen for those considering someday making the move.   As many of you can attest it’s quite normal to dream about moving to the island while on vacation.  Marlene did things a bit differently as she moved there without having ever been to Aruba.  On Episode 32 you will not only hear why this isn’t the best way to go about things but Marlene also shares valuable advice for the right way to decide whether or not Aruba is the right place for you to relocate to.


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • The differences between vacationing on Aruba and living there
  • Some of the best hidden restaurants on the island.
  • What does Marlene miss about living in the United States
  • What advice does Marlene have for those looking to relocate to Aruba
  • An awesome sailing excursion for groups


Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

Links and resources mentioned this episode

Direct download: EP32_-_Marlene_Nichols-Scherrenburg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Nancy Gallagher.  Nancy is a listener of the show who you may recognize if you are a member of any of the popular Aruba Facebook groups.  Known for her stunning photography and insightful posts I asked Nancy to be a guest on the podcast a couple of months ago, but she was reluctant.  Fearful that listeners wouldn’t be interested in her version of Aruba, Nancy asked in one of the Facebook groups what they thought.  The support that was shown was overwhelming and as a result at fantastic podcast episode was born.

Nancy has been visiting Aruba since 1990 and over the course of that time she has seen it all… literally.  I am sure you will agree that most visitors to Aruba actually only see a small portion of the already small island, but not Nancy.  Over the course of the 26 years she has been visiting the island of Aruba, Nancy has made it a point to get off the tourist trail and to actually get to know the island we all love so much.  Although the bulk of her vacations are spent at the Divi Dutch Village, Nancy’s trips usually start out with a couple of days booked at a lesser known property out of the tourist area. This practice that has exposed Nancy to the Aruba that locals live.

Listen as Nancy tells us about her version of Aruba which starts at the Coral Reef Beach villas in Savaneta and finishes in her timeshare at the Divi Dutch Village, just 32 steps from the beach.  Over the course of the interview Nancy tells us about those two properties as well as about some of her favorite restaurants on the island, many of which you don’t need to make reservations at even during high season.  We also learn about some of Aruba’s off the beaten path treasures such as Seroe Crystal and Aruba’s National Art Gallery which is a great way to learn more about the culture of this very special island.

As some of you may know in addition to being a wealth of information on all things Aruba, Nancy is also an incredible potter.  In the past Nancy has crafted pieces as a fundraiser for the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary but can also do custom pieces.  So if you have an idea for an Aruba themed piece of art, you really should get in contact with Nancy. 

You can see examples of her work at:


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • About a fantastic place to stay in Savaneta
  • One of the best spots on Aruba to find sea glass
  • Where you can get custom made Aruba inspired pottery
  • Who has some of the best ribs on the island
  • Where you should dine while watching the sunset


Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

  • Baby back grill
  • Flying Fishbone
  • House of Cake
  • Marina Pirata
  • Zeerovers


Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode

Direct download: EP31_-_Nancy_Gallagher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is a repeat guest, Marie Geerman.  You may remember Marie from episode 15, “Rescuing Dogs with Marie Geerman”.  In that episode Marie took us on a journey to her Aruba.  Marie took us all the way from her first exposure to Aruba, through taking on the task of feeding Aruba’s homeless animals, all the way to her present day work of trying to completely eliminate the stray animal problem in Aruba by educating and informing Arubans on the benefits of responsible ownership.

I asked Marie to come back onto One Happy Podcast to not only check up on the status of her spay and neuter campaign but to also learn more about Aruba Flight Volunteers.  Aruba Flight Volunteers is a Facebook page that was started to better organize the animal transportation efforts from Aruba to the United States. 

For a while now I have been aware of the generosity many tourists show in helping getting adopted dogs and cats from their birthplace of Aruba to their “fur-ever” homes back in the states, but like many of you I was completely ignorant of the process.  This lack of information really struck home on this last trip to Aruba when I made my first trip to the Aruba Animal Shelter.   Visiting those puppies and kittens really makes you want to help and although we did make a donation we wanted to do more.  Maggie came up with the idea of possibly transporting a puppy home.  The only problem is we had absolutely no idea how to go about setting something like this up.  

When I arrived back home I promised that I would find out more about the transportation process and figured what better place to turn for that information than Aruba Flight Volunteers.  That I when I got in contact with Marie to set up another interview.  It is my hope that this newest interview with Marie answers not only my own questions about animal transportation but also the questions of so many others that have the inclination but not the information to help save a life.   

While I hope every episode of One Happy Podcast is informative, this one goes the extra mile to provide focused insight into the topic of Aruba Animal Transportation.  My hopes are that it can be used as a primer for those curious about transporting in the future.  Both Marie and I realize there are questions that weren’t answered in the podcast and can’t be answered in this format due to everyone have different circumstances but it’s a start.  Your next step next step should be to go to the Aruba Flight Volunteer’s page and like it on Facebook; there you will be able to find even more information about transporting.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn

  • Which airlines allow transportation of animals
  • How much notice you should give prior to your trip to Aruba
  • The Status of the Aruba Spay and Neuter campaign we talked about in episode 15
  • How early you need to arrive at the airport on the day you are departing
  • That it costs you nothing but time to transport an animal
  • About the failsafe’s Aruba Flight Volunteers has in place to make sure your transportation experience is perfectly executed

Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode

Direct download: EP30_-_Aruba_Flight_Volunteers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21pm EST

On today’s episode of One Happy Podcast I am trying something a bit different.  This episode is actually my first ever solo episode.  So what does that mean?  Well today instead of having a guest on the show it’ll just be my talking as I am recapping my September 2015 vacation to Aruba.

The trip itself was pretty uneventful as I usually have a pretty solid game plan going into vacation.  However, even though I have now gone to Aruba several times I am still learning different and better ways to enjoy vacationing there.  That learning process is a central part of this podcast as much of this trip was spent evolving as an Aruba vacationer.

So even though this podcast episode is a recap of my trip, I am not going to give you a complete play by play.  When we vacation in Aruba we are all over the place so a complete rundown of everything would be impractical.  Besides I really doubt you guys want to hear me drone on about hopping from Palm Beach to Eagle Beach to Arashi Beach every day.  So, instead what I am going to do is countdown my top 5 takeaways from this latest trip to One Happy Island.


One this Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Hear About:


  • Re-kindling my love for Photography

Although I do have a love for picture taking, over the past few trips I’ve been neglectful when it in the department of memory preservation. This trip I made it a point to be a more active photographer and it has paid off in the form of more images for me to share.  So be certain to check out the One Happy Podcast Facebook Page to see some of the photos I snapped on this last trip to Aruba.

  • The continuation of my Aruba Food Truck infatuation

Hear me talk about some of my favorite places to eat in Aruba… the food trucks.  The rolling revolution has hit Aruba in a major way.  In my opinion some of the absolutely best places to pick up a quick and cheap meal are the Aruba food trucks.  Here I focus on 4 food trucks that impacted me on this Aruba vacation in a major way.  I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but personally I could do an entire trip and eat nowhere else.

  • The Kukoo Kunuku

Even though I am not as young as I used to be, every once in a while my brain tricks my body into believing that I am still a young man.  This particular Aruba vacation, my bravado resulted in me taking an excursion on the Kukoo Kunuku party bus.  While I will say that I did pay the price for foolishly believing I could still party like it was 1999 (literally), I wouldn’t change it for the world.  If you have never gone on the Kunuku but do like to party you should absolutely check it out, you won’t be disappointed.  Tell the Aruba Curt sent you.  It will get you absolutely nothing.  In fact, they probably won’t even know who the hell Aruba Curt is but tell them anyway.

  • Meeting new friends

As I’ve stated before I am a bit of an introvert.  On this trip I actually do let my guard down and interact with quite a few different people while in Aruba.  I’m not talking about the odd superficial bar or beach conversations.  I mean I actually go to structured events to meet and mingle.  So find out what happens when Aruba Curt stops being such a loner and let’s life happens.  Does he actually have fun?  Will he once again crawl back into his shell?  Is it possible Aruba Curt embraces his newfound status as a social butterfly?  There is only one way to find out.  Press play on Episode 29 of One Happy Podcast.

  • Visiting the Puppies and Kittens of Aruba

The more I podcast the more I get exposed to all the different aspects of Aruba.  One part that I was exposed to a few episodes ago was the plight of the stray animals in Aruba.  This trip I decided to stop in at the Aruba Animal Shelter to see things first hand.  The plan was for us to set out one morning to make a quick stop to pet some puppies and make a donation.  What ended up happening was an experience that will forever change the way I vacation in Aruba.

Direct download: EP29_-_Aruba_Curt_September_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:13pm EST

Today on Episode 28 of One Happy Podcast we travel to Aruba with newlyweds Craig and Dee Bell.  A few months ago I met Dee on one of the Facebook groups as she was planning a honeymoon to One Happy Island. She really stood out as someone who wanted to do more than just travel to an island and sit under a palm tree, Dee wanted to really get to know the ins and outs of where she was going.  It was apparent by the questions Dee asked that she wasn’t your average vacation… she was one of us.

Through conversations I learned that she had stumbled across my podcast and asked if she would like to be a guest upon her return.  Luckily for me (and you guys) she said yes, which brings us to now.  Now Dee is here with her brand new husband Craig to take us on a journey to their Aruba.  

On this episode we get a chance to look at Aruba through the eyes of someone who had never visited before.  It all starts with how they met and fell in love… who doesn’t enjoy a good love story.  Then we talk about how they ended up going to Aruba, an island neither of them knew about, for their honeymoon.  

Whether you’ve been visiting so long that you can’t really remember your first visit or if you are someone who has yet to step foot on Aruba, you’ll get something from this episode of One Happy Podcast.  We hear Craig and Dee describe in their own words what was like when they first exited the airport.  From their they take us on a little tour of the Riu Antillas including a description of the beach, dining areas and the oceanfront view from the 11th floor.  

While it is true that the Riu Antillas is an all-inclusive, don’t think Craig and Dee spent all of their time on property.  They also tell us about a couple of restaurants they visited off property; the super romantic Passion’s on the Beach and ever popular Linda’s Dutch Pancakes.  If that isn’t enough we also get a very detailed description of two excursions these honeymooners enjoyed while on the island.  Of course we finish it all off with a visit to the “Eye of the Hurricane”.  All together this episode is about 40 minutes of imagery and information for your listening pleasure as told by those who experienced it, Craig and Dee Bell.  

On This Episode You Will Hear About:

  • The circumstances that led to them choosing Aruba for their honeymoon
  • Their first impressions of Aruba
  • Quite possibly the best view on the island
  • What the food is like at the Riu Antillas all-inclusive
  • Two excursions they recommend for Aruba vacationers
  • What does it take to get a palapa on the beach

 Aruba Accommodations and Attractions Mentioned This Episode:

  • The Aruba Riu Palace Antillas

Aruba Restaurants Mentioned This Episode:

  • Coco’s Mojito Stand
  • Linda’s Dutch Pancakes
  • Passion’s on the Beach
  • The themed Restaurants at the Riu Antillas

Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode:

Direct download: EP28_-_Craig_and_Dee_Bell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Today’s episode of One Happy Podcast is my pre-vacation episode.  What that means is the majority of the show will be me talking about my upcoming trip to Aruba.  I am scheduled to fly out tomorrow morning at 7ish and will be on island until September 14th.  So if you want to know what I will be up to on this upcoming trip this is the episode for you.  If you couldn’t care less what I’ll be up to but want to hear a little Aruba talk this is also the episode for you. 

On this episode we start with the night before vacation and what that typically means for us.  After that I take you through my morning as well as what we plan on doing upon our landing in Aruba.  If you have ever been curious about renting a vacation home I talk a bit about some of the items you’ll want to stock up on upon arrival.  This time around it seems like I have a pretty large list of restaurants I want to visit, so I’ll be talking about that and also how I plan on spending my days and nights in Aruba.  Towards the end Maggie joins me to talk a bit about what she’s looking forward to doing on this trip to Aruba.


On This Episode You Will Hear About:

  • Why we drive further to fly out of BWI instead of PHL
  • How to arrive in Aruba refreshed even after an early flight
  • What items I consider must haves to stock up our villa
  • My restaurant list for this upcoming Aruba vacation
  • How I plan on kicking off this upcoming NFL season
  • What organized activities if any I am planning on doing this trip


Aruba Restaurants Mentioned This Episode:

  • Buster’s
  • Casa Tua
  • Local Store
  • Matthews
  • Quinta Del Carmen
  • Tango Argentine Grill
  • The Sultan
  • Urataka Center
  • Zeerover’s


Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode:

  • forums
  • One Happy Podcast on Facebook
  • Parksleepfly
Direct download: EP27_-_Aruba_Curt_and_Maggie_Aruba_September_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm EST

This week on One Happy Podcast I am being joined by Bill Mora and Christina Canzoneri the team behind Aruba Trip Tips.  If you aren’t familiar with Aruba Trip Tips, well you should be as it’s another great information resource focused on helping visitors get the most out of their visit to the island.  Jam packed with tips and information Aruba Trip Tips was created to lessen or maybe even eliminate the learning curve it takes for visitors to get their bearings so they can start enjoying Aruba as quickly as possible.


In this episode we learn all about how the island inspired the creation of Aruba Trip Tips starting from Bill’s first visit to the island with his father up until his current visits with his wife.  We also learn how he introduced his longtime friend and business associate Christina to the island which captivated her as well.  The Trip Tips team goes through it all when they fell in love with Aruba, things they enjoy on the island and also the always popular “Eye of the Hurricane” where we pick their brains to find out how they do Aruba.


Throughout the interview you will not only learn about the current features of Aruba Trip Tips but you will also hear about what the team has in store for the future.  If that isn’t enough Bill and Christina tell you all about the sister site Aruba Festivals where you can go to find out all about the ever growing number of festivals taking place on One Happy Island.  If you are planning to visit Aruba and want to be as prepared as possible for your upcoming trip Aruba Trip Tips should be bookmarked to your browser.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this latest episode of One Happy Podcast to find out why?

On This Episode You Will Hear About:


  • The most comprehensive vegan alternative restaurant listing

  • Where you should go find the latest Aruba Festival news

  • A great horseback riding excursion you may not know about

  • Why moving to Aruba isn’t for everyone

  • How Bill and Christina would spend their last day in Aruba

Aruba Accommodations and Attractions Mentioned This Episode:


Aruba Restaurants Mentioned This Episode:

Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode:


Direct download: EP26_-_Aruba_Trip_Tips.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On today’s episode of One Happy Podcast I am being joined by long time Aruba visitor Charlene Richardson who has been traveling to the island of Aruba since 1997.  Since then Charlene has developed a relationship with the island that has made it feel like a second home.  In fact, eventually Charlene plans on retiring in Aruba, but until then she settles for visiting 3 times per year.


In this episode Charlene shares with us how she has come to fall in love with the island as well as how her tastes in accommodations have changed over the years.  Since Charlene stays on Aruba for multiple weeks she is in the unique position to enjoy her stay at the Aruba Marriott as a timeshare owner while also staying at various other resorts around the island.

Of course as someone who has been visiting the island for 18 years she has developed a love for certain Aruba restaurants.  That isn’t to say she always dines at the same places each trip as Charlene prides herself on visiting different establishments each visit.  Now as a result of having developed a friendship with fellow New Englander turned permanent Aruba resident Cheryl Talcof (Episode 19) her exposure to the entire island has to offer has increased exponentially.

Throughout this interview you will get to know Charlene and the island of Aruba through Charlene’s experiences on the island.  If you are looking to get an idea of what activities and restaurants Aruba has to offer you really should carve out a half hour of your time to give this episode a listen.

On This Episode You Will Hear About:

  • Charlene’s white knuckle drive to the Natural Pool
  • Charlene’s NEW favorite restaurant on the Aruba
  • Why she feels perfectly fine traveling to Aruba by herself
  • How meeting a local friend can completely change your life


Aruba Attractions Mentioned This Episode:


Aruba Restaurants Mentioned This Episode:



Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode:

Direct download: EP25__-_Charlene_Richardson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Diana Brown.  Diana is an Aruba-phile that was first introduced to the island many years ago as a result of her Grandmother being a long time timeshare owner.  Although her relationship with the island started off rocky, over the years it has progressed to the point where Aruba has become like a second home to her.  These days she makes the trip from California to the Caribbean more often than she does to her native New York.


Some of you may know Diana from a few of the Aruba Facebook groups where she can be seen dispensing information on a variety of topics.  Anyone who makes 3 trips each year to Aruba is bound to have picked up a load of information along the way and she is always very generous in sharing.  This interview is just one more instance of her giving back to the Aruba vacationer’s community.

Over the course of this interview Diana and I talk about everything from best practices to use when renting a villa to who has the best Sangria on the island.  Of course the highlight of the episode is the eye of the hurricane where I hit Diana with a series of questions and we find out a ton of information.  Will she be able to weather the storm?

  • In this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:
  • Why someone who lives so close to Hawaii chooses to do Aruba instead
  • When to choose a villa as opposed to a timeshare
  • Questions to ask when you are looking to book a rental from someone
  • Who has the good Sangria on Aruba
  • What happens when your 70 year old mother is more of a daredevil than you are


Restaurants mentioned in this episode of the show:

  • Chalo burger
  • Wacky Wahoo
  • El Gaucho
  • Quinta Del Carmen
  • Gianni’s
  • Zeerover
  • Red Fish

Links and Resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP24_-_Diana_Brown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me for this week’s episode of One Happy Podcast are Marcia and Ray Frost.  Marcia and Ray have been married for 35 years and have been in love with Aruba since they got married back in 1980… but they have only been visiting Aruba for 5 years.  You may be asking, how can that be, but it really is a demonstration of the power of Aruba. 

Since celebrating their 30th anniversary in Aruba in 2010, Marcia and Ray have been back 3 more times, most recently just about 2 weeks ago.  During their 4 trips they have stayed at many different properties ranging from all-inclusive to off the beaten part bed and breakfast.  They have been all over the island and seen many places most tourists never visit.  In short Marcia and Ray have quite a story.  Luckily they were kind enough to spend an hour with me discussing their various adventures in Aruba.

If you are the sort of traveler that enjoys discovering new experiences while on vacation you will really enjoy this episode.  If you aren’t that sort of traveler the good news is Ray and Marcia have such fun loving attitudes that you will have a ball just listening to them tell their Aruba stories.

On this episode you will hear about:

A first timer’s reaction seeing a place they have been dreaming of for 30 years

Aruba’s Red Light district through tourists’ eyes

What a local taxi driver thinks about the cleanliness of food trucks

What happens when a tourist gets to drive an ABC tours Land Rover

What’s behind the secret door labeled 402C that only locals seem to know about?

Where the governor of Aruba eats when he wants to mingle with his people

Restaurants mentioned this episode:


Reflexions Beach Aruba


Sushi-Ya Sushi Bar

Waka Waka

West Deck



Links and Resources mentioned this episode:

ABC Tours

All Things Aruba! – Facebook Group

Casa Del Mar

Caribbean Palm Village Resort

Divi Dutch Village

Aruba Marina Surfside

Renaissance Island


Waunter Brooke – Taxi Driver 306

Direct download: EP23_-_Marcia_and_Ray_Frost.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This episode of One Happy Podcast, Aruba's Officially Unofficial Podcast features Sue Basler.  An avid scuba diver and golfer, Sue first discovered Aruba in 2004 and immediately fell in love.  On that trip to Aruba, Sue and her husband purchased a timeshare from a fellow diver at the Renaissance Ocean Suites.  Since 2006 they have been returning to paradise annually, staying 3 weeks at a time.

Those of you interested in getting off the Palm Beach strip and enjoying other parts of Aruba will love hearing about Oranjestad, the capital city of Aruba.  Being that the Renaissance is located in the downtown area Sue points out some of the highlights that so many visitors of Aruba fail to experience. 

If you are a diver or aspire to be a diver you will gain additional value from this episode.   In addition being an Aruba diver for more than a decade, Sue also dives all over the world.  Here she discusses what makes diving in Aruba so different and special compared to other dive sites.

On this episode of you will hear about:

·         What makes the Renaissance Ocean Suites so special

·         An awesome dive excursion provider located just steps from the Renaissance

·         A seldom played Aruban golf course that’s a bit off the beaten path

·         Some of the great restaurants located in the Oranjestad Area

·         A couple of incredible resources for planning your next trip to Aruba

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode

· – The Official website of the Aruba Tourism Authority

·         Mermaid Divers Aruba – A fantastic Diving Operation

·         Renaissance Ocean Suites Facebook Group – The #1 resource for those looking for information about the Renaissance Ocean Suites.

·         Divi Links Golf Course – The premiere golf course on the island of Aruba

·         One Happy Podcast  Share your Story  - Be a guest on a future episode of the show


·         iTunes Review – Leave a review for One Happy Podcast

Direct download: EP22_-_Sue_Basler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me this week on One Happy Podcast is comedian Aruba Ray Ellin.  Some of you may remember Ray from his first appearance on episode 7 “Aruba Ray Ellin Brings Comedy to One Happy Island”.  During that show we learned all about how Ray discovered and subsequently fell in love with Aruba.



On this episode Ray is back to discuss his comedy show which is taking place June 9th through July 9th in the Amsterdam Ballroom at the Marriott Stellaris Casino.  During this half hour episode we talk about the comedians coming down this time around as well Ray’s take on a couple of about excursions and restaurants.

Direct download: EP21_-_Aruba_Ray_Ellin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me on this 20th episode of One Happy Podcast the Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba is a guest many of you are already familiar with, Andrea James.  Andrea was a guest on episode number 2 of the show and there she shared the story of how she fell in love with Aruba.  Well, Andrea is just back from a trip she took in May and is here to share that little adventure with the rest of us.

Normally Andrea stays at one of the resorts on the island but this time she switched things up by staying someplace off the beaten path, Banana Apartments.  Over the course of this episode Andrea tells us all about Bananas, a couple of different restaurants and a few activities she and her husband Paul enjoyed during their two week stay.

Andrea has 35 years of experience visiting Aruba and being able to tap into a bit of the knowledge she has accumulated over the years is definitely a treat.  The first episode with Andrea got great feedback and I am positive you all will enjoy this one just as much, if not more.

On this episode you will hear about:

Another option for you to stay if you want to try something a bit different

One of the best places on the island to snorkel

A bit of advice if you are going to be going into the water at Arashi

Some tried and true restaurants that still deliver an excellent dining experience

Advice from a 35 year Aruba veteran about what newbies should not do


Links and Resources Mentioned this episode: forums - the Official website of the Aruba Tourism Authority

Banana Apartments


Bully -  Aruba's most popular taxi Drivers

Madame Jeanette's

Sole Mare Ristorante Italiano


Direct download: EP20_-_Andrea_James.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43pm EST

Joining me for this 19th episode of One Happy Podcast is Cheryl Talcof.  Having first visited Aruba in 1972 Cheryl had visited the island for 40 years right up until the time she decided to make a permanent move.  Now she lives there year round and is here to tell us about about what it's like for a North American living on Aruba.

Throughout this episode Cheryl takes us on a journey that begins with her visiting a little known piece of rock in the Caribbean all the way through her permanent move to the island.  Over the course of this interview you gain an insight into Aruba that not many tourists will ever know.  

Sure we have all dreamt of making the move from our normal lives to a dream life in paradise but Cheryl actually did it.  If this is a dream that you have had you will definitely want to listen to this episode to see if moving is something you truly want to pursue further.  If you have already decided that relocating is something you WILL be doing in the future then you definitely will want to hear everything Cheryl has to say about life in Aruba.


On this episode you will hear about:

When will you know its time to move to Aruba

Tips for shipping your belongings to Aruba

Arubans and American Football

The Number 1 mindset change you must make to adjust to aurba

Cheryl explains why you should NOT take the all inclusive option

Cheryl's first hand account of just how safe Aruba is


The Aruba Spay and Neuter Fundraising Campaign

The Aruba Spay and Neuter Fundraising Campaign - During the episode Cheryl mentioned the campaign to help raise funds to jumpstart a spay/neuter program for Aruba.  By visiting the link here you can learn more about this amazing opportunity to help improve Aruba.  

As perfect as we may see the island there is always something that can be improved.  On Aruba there is a glaring need for a way to not only help the dogs and cats being born but for a way to get the ever growing problem under control.  Give what you can to this program and you can make a difference.  


Links and Resources Mentioned this episode:


KuKoo Kunuku

Ritz Carlton

Marriot Ocean Club

Direct download: EP19_-_Cheryl_Talcof.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm EST

Joining me on this 18th episode of One Happy Podcast are two phenomenal guests, Lori Donlan and her very talented 8 year old daughter Chloe.  Lori first visited Aruba in 2004 and since then has been back 7 times, 2 of them with Chloe.  

Even though Chloe is only 8 she has traveled pretty extensively but absolutely loves Aruba, so much that she actually wrote a song about Aruba.  Chloe and Lori are animal lovers and have visited many of the different animal centered attractions of Aruba and we'll hear all about that.  In addition we hear about the Aruba Marriot Surf Club and their kids club program that gets extremely high marks from 8 year old Chloe.  

If you travel or are planning to travel to Aruba with small children, this is an episode of One Happy Podcast that simply don't want to miss.

On this episode you will hear about:

The Aruba Marriot Surf Club's kids program

Why the Kukoo Kunuku isn't just for adults anymore

8 Year old Chloe's favorite Aruban delicacy

An option for those who want to keep their gear in Aruba

Why you should or should not wear colorful clothing to the Butterfly Farm

Many different kindnesses Aruban residents have shown the Donlans


Restaurants mentioned in this episode:

Aruba Hyatt - Pampered in Paradise

Diana's Pancakes Place


Dutch Pancake House

Flying Fishbone

Linda's Pancakes

Texas De Brazil


Links and Resources Mentioned this episode:

Aruba Donkey Sanctuary

Aruba Butterfly Farm

Phillips Animal Garden

Kukoo Kunuku  Animal Lovers Tour

Marriott Aruba Surf Club

Renaissance Aruba

Timeshare Storage Aruba


Direct download: EP18_-_Lori_and_Chloe_Donlan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EST

Today on One Happy Podcast it is my pleasure to present to you an episode I did with a wonderful guy, James Haroutunian.  James is a Massachusetts native who first visited Aruba 14 years ago as a newlywed for his honeymoon with his beautiful wife Amy.  Well now they are returning to the island for the first time since then with their two incredible children Isabelle and Jack.

This interview is very special as it actually takes place in two parts.  During the first half you will hear about how they spent that first trip.  James takes us back in time and we explore the island through his eyes.  Then we talk about the expectations he has for this upcoming trip. Then in the second half of the interview James returns to fill us in on where Aruba is as special as he remembers.  

Throughout the interview we also are joined by a couple of very special guests who offer their opinions on our favorite vacation destination.  

 In this episode you will hear about:


  • What Aruba was like for a couple of newlyweds 14 years ago
  • Why you should choose the Radisson for your next vacation
  • A pizza recommendation from a 12 year old expert on the subject
  • Awe breakfast recommendations
  • The reason why any family with kids should run,not walk to book their next trip to Aruba

Restaurants mentioned in this episode:

  • Papiamento
  • Flying Fishbone
  • Giligans
  • Pelican’s Nest
  • Bugaloe
  • Amore Mia
  • Eduardo’s Juice Beach Shack
  • The Bread Basket

Links and Resources from the episode:

  • One Happy Podcast – The Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba
Direct download: EP17_-_James_Haroutunian_new.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is another fantastic guest.  On this episode of the officially unofficial podcast of Aruba I am being joined by the incredibly talented Connecticut photographer Heather Hudson.  

Heather is a newcomer to Aruba who just returned from a trip where she and her husband Adam were in Aruba to celebrate a very special occasion, Adam's birthday.  While they were there to relax, have a great time and celebrate somewhere along the way they ended up becoming full blown members of our tribe of Arubaphiles.  

Although the Marriot was their home base they didn't stay glued to the resort grounds.  In the middle of their stay Heather and Adam rented a jeep so they could explore the other side of the island.  They even managed to make that treacherous drive to the Natural Pool.  In this 16th episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear all about their exploration, restaurants visited and of course why you should visit Aruba.


In this episode you will hear about:

The moment Heather fell in love with Aruba

Heather's experiences renting a vehicle

What the drive to the natural pool is like

Heather's recommendation for a restaurant that you should not miss


Restaurants mentioned in this episode:

Flying Fishbone

Linda's Dutch Pancakes


Passions on the Beach


Links and Resources from this episode:

Heather Hudson Photography

Marriot Aruba Surf Club

Papasan Collapsible Water Float

We Love Aruba! - Facebook Group


Direct download: EP16_-_Heather_Hudson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am EST

Joining me today on episode 15 of “One Happy Podcast - the Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba” is longtime Aruba-phile  Marie Geerman.  Marie has been traveling to Aruba for nearly 30 years and even lived there for about a decade.  Being that Marie is married to an Aruban and has an Aruban born son saying she has a special connection to the island would be a gross understatement.  


Marie’s connection actually goes much further than the people who are important to her, the animals of Aruba also occupy a very large space in her heart. When visiting Aruba it’s hard to not notice the stray dogs roaming the streets eeking out an existence.  When Marie made the move to Aruba she did more than just notice these animals… alot more.


Through the course of this episode you will hear all about Marie’s connection and dedication to those animals. A dedication that started in the early 90’s and continues to this very day.  Now this isn’t your typical episode of One Happy Podcast.  While I hope every episode touches you in some way, none of them will touch you quite like this episode.  


Direct download: EP15_-_Marie_Geerman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am EST

Joining me on this episode of One Happy Podcast is best selling Author Daniel Putkowski.  Daniel is the author of several books including the iconic aruba based An Island Island Away and its followup Under a Blue Flag.  Additionally Daniel also has a fantastic travel blog called the Bentpage that is one of my favorite sources for information about the part of Aruba that is off the tourist trail.

Daniel first visited the island more than 20 years ago on business and has been going back nearly every year ever since. Due to the way he was introduced to Aruba, Daniel was welcomed into the Aruba social scene in a way not many can claim.  It was this insiders of Aruba and particularly the once booming refinery town of San Nicolaas that made his first book An Island Away so authentically awesome!

In this episode you will hear about:

  • The part of Aruba many tourists never see
  • What San Nicolaas was like in its hey day
  • What Character in An Island Away was the most fun to write
  • The possibilities of seeing an adaptation of an island away on screen
  • The best Aruba travel blog that you may have never read
Direct download: EP14_-_Daniel_Putkowski.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EST

Joining me on this episode of One Happy podcast is a repeat guest, the multi-talented Louis Johnson.  Louis was a guest on episode 6 of the show but this time has brought along a surprise, Aruba first-timer his lovely girlfriend Alyssa.  

Back in February Alyssa and Louis were fortunate enough to be able to escape the harsh New York winter for an incredible week at the Palm Beach Aruba Holiday Inn.  They picked a great time as the Northeast United States was pelted once again pretty much as soon as they touched down

On this episode you will hear Alyssa and Louis talk about the Aruba Holiday Inn and the recent changes (both good and bad) they’ve made, Aruba Carnival, snorkeling at Baby Beach and much more.  If you ask me the real treat you get to see it through the eyes of a newbie.

In this episode you will hear about:

  • What Carnival is like in Aruba
  • How an Aruban resident saved Louis and Alyssa with his kindness
  • One of the best bartenders on the island of Aruba
  • Just how hard the Dutch Marines party


Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Expedia
  • Tripadvisor
  • Go Pro Camera
Direct download: EP13_-_Alyssa_and_Louis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is International man of mystery Stephen from Toronto or act1966 if you are a member of the forums at  A lover of Aruba, Stephen was kind enough to stop by the podcast to talk about why he feels Aruba is special.  


On this episode you will hear Stephen and I talk about what its like to go from subzero temperatures to the constant meteorological perfection of Aruba.  You will also hear about some of the benefits to renting a villa, something I know many of you have questions about.  


One of the big focuses of this episode of One Happy Podcast is the Aruba restaurant scene.  Stephen and I discuss just how amazing it is that an island so small is able to provide such an outstanding culinary experience.  If you are a foodie this is definitely an episode you won’t want to miss.


In this episode you will hear about:


  • What it feels like to go from Canada to Aruba in the dead of winter

  • Some of the most amazing restaurants in the Caribbean

  • The advantages of renting a private villa

  • Where to get the cheapest Patron in Aruba

  • What its like to purchase a property in Aruba
Direct download: EP12_-_Stephen_Act1966.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Today on One Happy Podcast I am joined once again by Maggie G, who you may remember as being the first ever guest of the show.

Recently we returned from a trip to Aruba and here we give a review of some of the highlights of that trip.  

  • Aruba Food Trucks 
  • Arashi Beach Sunset
  • San Nicolas
  • Charlie's Bar
  • Aruba Ray Ellin
Direct download: EP11_-_Maggie_and_Curt_Spring_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11pm EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast I have the pleasure of interviewing Desiree Eldering the Managing Director of the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary.  Desiree was kind enough to stop by to tell me all about the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary and its inhabitants.


Now the average tourist visiting Aruba probably never leaves the beaches of Aruba.  Those lucky few tourists who do venture off the beaten path to this Aruban treasure will be able to see and interact with some of the 130+ donkeys cared for at the Sanctuary.

On this episode I spend just under 30 minutes talking to Desiree and one thing that is abundantly clear from the interview is how much she loves the Donkey.  So if you are traveling to Aruba and want to do something a bit out of the ordinary, the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is a great place to start.

Direct download: EP10_-_Desiree_Eldering.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST


On this episode of One Happy Podcast I have the honor of welcoming back Cindy and Rob O to the podcast.  We first spoke with Cindy and Rob in episode 3 “Investing in the Family”.   There we learned a great deal about their love for Aruba.  Today they have returned to tell us about their most recent trip to the island of Aruba.


Today you will hear about how Cindy, Rob, family and friends explored and enjoyed our favorite vacation destination.  This was the 20th trip for Rob and Cindy and amazingly enough with the help of Arias Schwarz they were still able to find a new experience on the island.  Think about that for a second.  At this point Rob and Cindy have probably spent close to a full year on an island that is only 19 miles by 6 miles and are still discovering some of Aruba’s treasures.  Simply amazing!


In this episode you will hear about:

  • The two different properties they stayed at during this latest trip
  • Some of the top dining establishments in Aruba including a new restaurant that is taking the Aruba culinary scene by storm
  • The best tour they have ever taken in Aruba


Restaurants Mentioned:

  • Anna Maria’s
  • Quinta del Carmen
  • Ricardo’s Restaurant and Bar
  • Ventanas del Mar

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:


Direct download: Ep9_-_Rob_and_Cindy_O.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, I am joined by a fantastic guest, Tracey D.  If you are a visitor of the forums, the Aruba section of tripadvisor or the “All Things Aruba” facebook group you may already be familiar with Tracey.  She is a relative newcomer to Aruba but has fallen head over heels in love and is here to share her experiences with us.


If I were to describe this interview in one word, it would be vivacious.  Tracey has an enthusiasm that shines through so much that by the end you will definitely be wanting to book a trip if you don’t already have one in the works.

Direct download: Ep8_Tracey_D.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:20pm EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, I am joined by noted comedian “Aruba” Ray Ellin.  Ray is here to tell us about the comedy show he is putting on at the Marriot Resort and Stellaris Casino. But that isn’t all, Ray is also a legitimate Aruba fanatic.  


Although Ray has only been visiting the island for a few short years, you’ll see that he has most definitely been making up for lost time.  So whether you are at the gym, grocery store or driving home from work give this episode a listen and prepare to be astounded.


Direct download: EP-7_Aruba_Ray_Ellin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:15am EST

On this latest episode of One Happy Podcast I am being joined by Louis Johnson.  Louis is an Aruba fanatic who is about to embark on his fourth visit to the island.  Louis reached out to me via the One Happy Podcast share your story link expressing an interest in being a guest.  Within a few days everything was set up and we were recording.


Throughout this episode of One Happy Podcast one thing will be very apparent to everyone listening and that is Louis’s passion for Aruba. Being that it is late January many of us are being forced to endure sub-freezing temperatures but believe me when I say this episode is a nice bit of relief from the cold, snow or in my case at the moment freezing rain.  


Over the course of this 40 minute interview we talk about everything from the most amazing view of the sunset at one end of the island to one of the most amazing beaches in the world at the other end.  When this episode is over I guarantee you will either be thanking your lucky star you have a future trip to Aruba planned or will be compelled to start booking your next trip.  Hope you enjoy!

Direct download: Ep6_-_Louis_Johnson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:02pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Gina one of the amazing tour guides at the Aruba Ostrich Farm.Gina is kind enough to share her knowledge about these giants of the bird world and tells us why guests should leave the beach to visit this off the beaten path Aruba tourist attraction.

Direct download: Ep5_-_Gina_The_Aruba_Ostrich_Farm.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST