One Happy Podcast

Joining me on episode 72 of One Happy Podcast is a guest who has been visiting Aruba for 8 years, Kellie Shackleton.  She first discovered Aruba thanks to a timeshare presentation in Florida.  This led to Kellie discovering her ideal timeshare property, La Cabana.  She can usually be found traveling with a group of friends to the island a couple of times each year. Thankfully I was able to catch up with Kellie in between visits to Aruba.  She was just on the island about a month ago and will be returning very shortly.  

This episode of One Happy Podcast is all about how a group of girls spends their time on One Happy Island.  Kellie is nice enough to show us La Cabana through her eyes and also educate us on how Blue-Green timeshares work.  Over the course of this interview, we also talk about various experiences, restaurants, and activities Kellie and her friends have enjoyed on Aruba.  

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear how a timeshare presentation led to Kellie discovering her paradise
  • Learn why the ease of traveling to Aruba is one of it’s biggest draws
  • Hear what it's like traveling from Minnesota to Aruba
  • Find out why the rooms at La Cabana are so conducive to a great night’s sleep
  • Learn how Blue Green points based timeshares work
  • Hear an unknown (to me) perk to using Expedia.com
  • Discover the Phase 10 Card game

Restaurants and Properties mentioned this episod

 

  • Mr jazz (defunct jazz club)

Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:

 

Direct download: EP72_-_Exploring_LaCabana_with_Kellie_Shackleton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

For some of you episode 71.5 of One Happy Podcast will be familiar as it is a remix of the Thanksgiving episode.  Since that particular episode of the show was so time sensitive I decided to cut out the part that was no longer relevant and repost.  The reason for this is because Aruba Ray’s Comedy show is still happening over at the Aruba Marriott Stellaris and it is absolutely amazing.  

 

I’ve been to this comedy show probably 6-8 times and each time is funnier than the last.  What I didn’t want to happen is even one person missing out on getting this information.  Prior to going to my first comedy show I honestly didn’t think I wanted to take time out of Aruba to sit inside a comedy club.  After I took that chance the first time, I will never miss a show.  To this day we still laugh about some of the jokes we heard at that very first show.  

 

A few times each year, Ray brings down some of his fellow comedians from New York City and they recreate a comedy club down on the island.  The intimate venue seats maybe 100 patrons or so and each night there are 3 or 4 comedians featured.  Listen to the episode to hear about the show directly from Aruba Ray Ellin and then head on over to Arubacomedy.com to check out the lineups for a particular night and to purchase tickets.

 
 

Aruba Ray’s Comedy Lineup:

 
 

Visit Arubacomedy.com for all the information

 

Links and Resources Mentioned this episode of the show:

 

 

 
Direct download: EP71_and_a_half_-_Closing_out_the_year_with_Aruba_Rays_Comedy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm EST

On episode 71 of One Happy Podcast, I am trying something a bit different.  This podcast episode basically has 2 separate parts, Aruba Ray’s Comedy and Thanksgiving on Aruba.  In the past, I’ve mentioned how I want to mix up show formats.  In addition to the hour-long interview style shows, I also want to do topic and information based shows.  Episode 71 is kind of a glimpse into what a second weekly episode of the show could look like.  

 

In the first half of the show, I am being joined by Aruba Ray Ellin who is here to tell us about the latest installment of Aruba Ray’s Comedy at the Marriott Stellaris Hotel and Casino.  Aruba Ray’s Comedy runs from November 19th Through December 20th and features a lineup comprised of mostly Aruba newbies.  To me this makes Aruba Ray’s Comedy extra exciting as the energy these comedians bring will be something different than anything the island has ever experienced.

 

The second half of the show has to do with celebrating Thanksgiving on the island.  While I was surfing around I noticed some of the restaurants on the island set and posted menus.  The more I came across the more I realized that some of you on the island may be able to make use of this information.  This led to me recording the second half of the podcast episode which is me highlighting ten Aruba Thanksgiving menus.  So on this part of the show I share the menus with you and give my recommendations on which I would choose.  

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

 
  • Be the first to hear this format of One Happy Podcast
  • Hear all about the November/December edition of Aruba Ray’s Comedy
  • Find out which comedians are coming down to the island to do shows
  • Discover what 10 different restaurants are serving up for Thanksgiving in Aruba
  • Learn the best way to help One Happy Podcast grow
 
 
 

Restaurants mentioned this episode of the show:

 
 

Links and Resources Mentioned this episode of the show:

 

 

 
Direct download: EP71_-_The_Thanksgiving_Episode_w_Ray_Ellin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Episode 70 of One Happy Podcast features a guest who has was on the show way back in episode 4 of the show, Vallon Davis.  On my last trip down to Aruba in mid-September, Vallon and I both occupied the island at the same time.  We didn’t have the opportunity to meet, just because vacation and scheduling oftentimes don’t mesh well.  However, upon both of us returning home we made it a point to catch up.  

On this episode, Vallon shares the details of his trip to Aruba.  We talk about the challenges of getting to and from one Caribbean island to another.  What it’s like landing on Aruba at night, the Marriott and the Aruba based books written by Daniel Putkowski.  This interview is nothing like his first one which followed my tried and true formula.  Since Vallon has been a prior guess this is pretty much two friends sitting down and chatting.  

One of the main purposes for Vallon making this trip to Aruba was to reunite with old friends from the island.  One thing that you will learn from his story is just how much of a focus his friends were.  While Aruba is different things for different people, for Vallon it’s not about the fancy restaurants or excursions.  His trips are about visiting a place he absolutely loves and hanging out with the people who make those visits complete.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Realize just how easy your 2000 mile trip is compared to Vallon’s 600-mile journey
  • Hear about quite a few Aruba based books
  • Hear about the Carubbian Festival in San Nicolas
  • Get an idea of what it’s like to stay at the Marriott
  • Hear about a couple of book ideas Vallon has

Links and R\resources mentioned this episode:

 

Direct download: EP70_-_An_Aruba_Comedy_of_Errors_ft.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

One Happy Podcast would like to welcome to the show Frank Tisellano Sr., a 20-year member of the Playa Linda Family.  Twenty plus years ago, Frank and his wife Patricia took a trip to a place called Aruba.  Shortly thereafter they completely fell in love with the island and decided to purchase a timeshare there. That timeshare was at the Playa Linda which has been home to Frank Sr., Patricia and their children Frank Jr. and Kristina.  

 

Frank and I sit down for about an hour to discuss his love for Aruba and what the island has meant for him and his family.  Having introduced their children to the island when they were only about 4 or 5 years old, Aruba has been part of their family dynamic nearly as long as anyone can remember.  I guess you could say the children grew up on the island.  

 

This episode seems to follow the theme of family.  There is Frank’s actual real family but also another one.  Being an owner at the Playa Linda for so long, the other families who share the same weeks have also become a sort of family.  This is a running theme I have heard from many of the guests I have had that own a timeshare.  However, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it represented as extensively as what you get at the Playa Linda.  If you have doubts, just wait until you hear episode 69 of One Happy Podcast - the officially unofficial podcast of the island of Aruba.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Get an idea of what it was like landing on the island before the big terminal was built
  • Hear why Frank and Patricia chose the Playa Linda to be their family’s home away from home
  • Get a description of Aruba’s three very different golf courses
  • Find out what it’s like to be a member of the Playa Linda family
  • Hear about some of Frank’s favorite restaurants on the island
  • Realize that Aruba is the ideal place to go for family time away from it all.
 
 

Properties Mentioned this Episode:

 

 

 

 

Aruba Golf Courses:

 

 

 

 
 
 

Restaurants Mentioned on this episode of the show:

 

 

 
 

Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:

 

 

 
Direct download: EP69_-_Frank_Tisellano_Sr._Playa_Linda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me on this episode of One Happy Podcast are Sean and Khanisa Darby, two guests who love Aruba.  Although Sean and Khanisa have only been visiting the island for a couple of years, they are definitely hooked, which is completely understandable considering their grandparents have been visiting for more than 20 years.  Now as newlyweds who actually got married on the island, Sean and Khanisa are joining the family tradition of being regular visitors to the island.  If being married on the island of Aruba isn’t connection enough, Sean and Khanisa have an ace up their sleeve, pudding.  As owners of a pudding company Sean and Khanisa have found a way to integrate Aruba into the business via an island-inspired flavor that’s so good that literally everyone who tries it, buys it.

 

Over the course of this 50-minute episode of One Happy Podcast, we talk about a lot.  Of course, we start with how Sean and Khanisa first discovered Aruba, but you already knew we were going there.  Where things get unique is when they describe to me what it’s like planning a destination wedding on an island where you don’t know anyone.  We also talk about their pudding company and what One Happy Island tastes like.  Lastly, we finish things off with the “eye of the hurricane” which always yields unique insight into what the guest's version of Aruba looks and feels like.



On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear all about Sean and Khanisa’s first trip to Aruba
  • Learn how a destination wedding to Aruba can actually save you money
  • Discover a flavor of pudding that was inspired by Aruba
  • Get Sean’s take, on the casinos of Aruba
  • Learn about an awesome chef that is available for private catering
  • Hear about Sean and Khanisa’s favorite taxi driver Junie

 

Properties Mentioned this Episode:

 

Restaurants Mentioned on this episode of the show:

 

Links to Khanisa’s Pudding

 

Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:





Direct download: EP68_-_Sean_and_Khanisa_Darby_talk_One_Happy_Island.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This episode of One Happy Podcast featuring 30 year Aruba visitor Ann Fontaine is one of my favorites. It's a bit unique not only because it was recorded on location but also because there are four active participants in the conversation.  It wasn’t planned out that way but sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  While there were audible challenges that came with 4 people being limited to 2 microphones, the end result is something pretty special.  

So the interview took place at the Passion’s Beach Bar at Amsterdam Manor, during one of the bulletin board meetups.  The four of us commandeered a table and had a bit of a round table discussion about Aruba.  The end result is a recording that gives the impression of a conversation being eavesdropped on from an adjacent table.  I really like doing the in person interviews and would love to do many more in the future.  

Over the course of this hour long episode, we find out how Ann first discovered the island 30 years ago and what circumstances led to her purchasing a home.  Ann tells us all about her experience buying their home and also about the Aruba residency requirements.  We finish off the episode by talking about some of Ann’s favorite places on the island to eat.  While most of us can tell you about all the popular tourist places, it’s always nice to find out about lesser known establishments from someone who actually lives on the island.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear ann’s advice for those thinking of relocating to Aruba
  • Learn how long it took from the time she started the home buying process until finished
  • About what it’s like applying for residency in Aruba
  • Hear why becoming a full fledged resident may not be the ideal move to make
  • Discover some restaurants you probably didn’t know existed

Properties Mentioned this Episode:

 

Restaurants Mentioned on this episode of the show:

 

Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:

 

 

 

Direct download: EP67_-_Eavesdropping_on_my_conversat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

So on today’s episode of One Happy Podcast, you get Maggie and I talking about our most trip to Aruba.  Mostly we recap what all we did during our latest visit, but since this was supposed to be a more budget focused trip you also get us talking about costs.  

This trip down to Aruba was definitely atypical to our norm.  Not only did we set and more or less keep to a budget, but we did so without sacrificing any fun.  While we didn’t partake in a few of our vacation staples, this gave us a chance to see what was truly important.  As it turns out the number most important thing in any trip is not what you do, but who you are with.  

On this trip standing side by side with my best friend we actually avoided Palm Beach almost entirely.  For this visit to Aruba Eagle Beach and Arashi Beach were our stomping grounds.  Also, as much as it killed us, we stayed away from most of our favorite restaurants.  This trip down there was no Quinta Del Carmen or Tango Argentine Grill.  Instead we went to more local type places such as Ramada Columbiana and Mi Dudu.  

While our culinary and entertainment choices may have changed, our trademark fun continued on.  Episode 66 of One Happy Podcast is a recap of that fun, with elements of education.  We talk about our food choices, our entertainment options and our budget.  In this episode everything is laid bare for you, so I hope you enjoy it.  

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear all about our September trip to Aruba
  • Find out just how much we spent on the island
  • The San Nicolas Carubbian Festival
  • A couple of local restaurants
  • Find out why we didn’t do the lighthouse

Restaurants Mentioned on this episode of the show:

Properties Mentioned this Episode

Direct download: EP66_-_Maggie_and_Curt_September_201.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

One Happy Podcast Episode 65 is a podcast that I absolutely could not wait to get posted.  This one is an interview with Jerome Nahr of the Arubian Taste Rum shop.  If you have never been to The Arubian Taste let me explain what it is.  Located in the Orange Plaza, Arubian Tastes is a rum shop owned by Jerome and Marcia Nahr.  Here Jerome makes and sells his own flavors of rum.  The selection is absolutely astounding and many are unlike anything I have ever tasted anywhere else.  To top it all off, you can sample any or all of the rums in the shop.  

My last trip down to Aruba I walk into the Arubian Taste and absolutely fell in love.  Not only is the shop an absolute paradise for a rum lover but Jerome and Marcia are two of the most amazing people you are likely to meet.  Their fun-loving demeanor and welcoming attitudes are the absolute epitome of what Aruba means to me.  I wanted to record them ever since I visited that first time but this wasn’t one that could be done over skype.  In order to get the full spirit and capture the love of rum, Jerome has it had to be done in person.  So, for this interview, I was able to sit down with Jerome to pick his  brain a bit on how all of this got started.  

I know many of you listening don’t really venture too far from the beach during the day, but after this interview that is all going to change.  Over the next half hour prepare to fall in love with not only the concept of a rum shop where you can sample more than 50 different products, but also the man behind the rum.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Learn how Jerome got started making rum?
  • Hear about Jerome's first rum?
  • Find out just how many different rums Arubian Taste has?
  • Learn about some of the Aruba hot sauces
  • Hear  why Arubian Tastes pre-mixed drinks are the way to go?
  • Find out the difference between Arubian Tastes Fireball and American Fireball?

Rums and Pre-mixed drinks mentioned this episode:

  • Arubian Mudslide
  • Cocoa Vodka Cream
  • 151
  • Mi Dushi Suchi
  • Pata Pata Pre-mix cocktail
  • Pistachio Rum
  • Premium Gold Rum
  • Super Banana Arubian Fly

Links and Resources Mentioned:

I love to read but on vacation I feel a bit lazy… hence the audiobooks:

Direct download: EP65_-_The_Arubian_Taste_by_Jerome_Nahr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast Maggie and I discuss our upcoming September 11th vacation to Aruba.  I know you are probably saying something like, “didn’t you just come back from Aruba?”. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong since we were just there at the end of September.  Now we are coming back not even two months later.  This is a completely unplanned trip and is our 3rd of the year.  Things just sort of lined up, where we would be able to do the trip relatively cheap, so we decided to go for it.  

In addition to this being a vacation for us, I am also turning it into a case study on how to do Aruba as affordably as possible.  However, the key is, to not sacrifice any fun.  So what I will need to do is, be careful not to be extravagant while resisting the urge to skimp.  I think this is something that will be of interest to a great number of podcast listeners.  Who wouldn’t want to sneak in an extra trip to Aruba if it can be done for not much more than a long weekend (insert your local drive to getaway place) close to home.

This episode of One Happy Podcast features Maggie and I discussing how this trip came about and our plans for our latest visit to Aruba.  There isn’t a ton of actual information about Aruba but it is a fun listen detailing what’s gone down so far.  You also get to hear about the plans that I have for the type of broadcasting a plan on doing from the island.  Lastly, you also get clued in on how little preparation we’ve done for this trip thus far.  I’m not saying it’s going to take a miracle for me to execute flawlessly.  However, as I sit here it is Wednesday night and I have until Saturday to get everything worked out.  Yikes!

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • Why we are going on another Aruba vacation so close to our last one
  • What Southwest Air does to take care of their customers
  • How we plan on doing Aruba on the cheap
  • Why subscribing to the podcast is something you are going to want to do
  • About the events, we are most looking forward to doing this vacation

Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned in this Episode:

 

Links Mentioned on this Episode of the Show:

Direct download: EP64_-_Maggie_and_Curt_Sept_2016_Tri.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

One Happy Podcast Episode 63 features a couple of repeat guests Debbie Mitchell and Patrick Mallison.  They were guests on the podcast about 9 months ago on episode  34 - Creating Fortuna Villas with Debbie and Patrick.  You may remember from that episode that Patrick and Debbie visited for the first time and purchased a home on the same trip.  Then the next trip was a 9 week project to completely transform that home into an incredible rental property.   Well now that all of the work has been completed and the rental is flourishing, Debbie and Patrick were able to actually enjoy a visit to Aruba.

 

This episode of One Happy Podcast is all about what Patrick and Debbie did once they touched down with a goal of just getting to know the island.  Over the course of this 45 minute episode we talk about some of the activities and restaurants they enjoyed.  We also discuss the Savaneta area where their home is located and why it could be the ideal place to stay on your next trip to the island.  I actually learned a lot about the area surrounding Fortuna Villas Aruba and do plan on considering their home for a future vacation.

 

So many visitors to the island are funneled towards the Palm and Eagle Beach areas, understandably so, but there is so much more to Aruba.  Savaneta is one of those areas that doesn’t really come to mind when thinking of a rental.  However, that should not be the case. While the Savaneta area is a completely different vibe than the main tourist area, it is equally wonderful.  Not only is it a fantastic area to experience total relaxation but the location on the island makes it an ideal base of operations for exploration of Aruba.  So if you are looking for a different Aruba experience try Savaneta and Fortuna Villas Aruba.



On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

 

  • What Savaneta Beach is like (it’s only a 90 second commute from Fortuna Villas)
  • Hear about an area of the island you may not have considered staying before
  • Find out what the local Savaneta grocery stores and bakeries are like
  • Listen to a description of the snorkeling at Mangel Halto
  • Hear Patrick’s adventures on the North Shore of the island
  • How Patrick’s 80 year old father enjoyed his first visit to Aruba
  • FInd out how Debbie and Patrick found their home on Aruba
  • Be introduced to the next building phase of Fortuna Villas

 

Excursions and Restaurants Mentioned this episode:

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned:

 

 

I love to read but on vacation I feel a bit lazy… hence the audiobooks:

http://www.audibletrial.com/aruba

Direct download: EP63_-_Debbie_and_Patrick_Fortuna_Vi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

One Happy Podcast Episode 62 with Liz Ginocchio of Golden Reef Hospitality is one you don’t want to miss.  On this incredible and very inspirational podcast episode you hear directly from Liz why it’s important to remember that you only get one life, live it to the fullest.  It all starts in South Jersey and eventually ends in Aruba but, man are there some twists along the way.  Liz tells us all about her journey from New Jersey to Bonaire back to New Jersey and eventually Aruba.  This is an episode you may want to listen to twice, its so action packed.

 

Liz first visited Aruba in the early 90s on a layover to Bonaire and little did she know at the time, eventually she would call the island home.  Throughout this 45 minute episode Liz explains to us several different processes that so many of you are curious about.  We learn about relocating to Aruba, as well as what it’s like to purchase and also build a home on the island.  Liz also tells us about her experiences with the health care on Aruba and offers insight into the education system, for those who are thinking about relocating with children.  All in all I have to say this is one of the most informative episodes of the show we have ever done.

 

Its funny.  One of the questions I struggle with is deciding if Aruba is the perfect vacation spot or a place I could someday call home.  Depending on the day of the week, I go back and forth on this issue.  Well, let me tell you, after spending nearly an hour speaking with someone who has made the switch, I think I know the answer.  Hopefully, after listening to episode 62 of One Happy Podcast - “Liz Ginocchio and Golden Reef Hospitality” you too will be able to answer the question of could you really move to Aruba.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Meet someone who absolutely loves to promote the local aspect of Aruba
  • Hear how a life threatening illness would forever change the course of Liz’s life
  • Find out about getting a mortgage in Aruba
  • Learn  about Golden Reef Hospitality and what makes them a different property management company
  • Hear about a new local spin on Aruba meet and greets
  • Get real advice about relocation and building or purchasing a home on the island

Excursions and Restaurants Mentioned this episode:

Links and Resources Mentioned:

I love to read but on vacation I feel a bit lazy… hence the audiobooks:

Direct download: EP62_-Liz_Ginocchio_and_Golden_Reef.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Today is a very special episode of One Happy Podcast, as it features a couple of Aruba locals I have been trying book for about a year now.  However, due to their ridiculously busy schedule, things just never worked out.  Recently their situation has changed and due to the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time we were finally able to get the show booked.  So here we have my interview with Scott and Leslie Steeno from Scott’s Brats.

Scott, Leslie and I sit around for about 40 minutes talking about their journey from Wisconsin to Aruba.  It all starts about 15 years ago and progresses not only until today, but also discusses the future.  During the episode we discuss how they met, what fueled their decision to relocate to Aruba and how a Palm Beach institution came into being. If that isn’t mind blowing enough Scott and Leslie also break news on what their next venture will be.

For as long as Scott’s Brats has been in existance I have followed their progression.  For me it started on the Aruba.com forums where they solicited feedback, through my first visit when operation began and now culminates in this interview. If you have eaten at Scott’s Brats this is a must listen podcast episode and if you have never visited this is a great introduction.  While it’s true Scott and Leslie are now only there one day each week, their concept, their standards and their essence are present each and every day.  

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • The idea that inspired Scott's Brats
  • Why American’s need a mandatory business partner
  • What is a Doc's Brat and how was it created
  • How to get a custom Aruba license plate
  • What's up next for Scott's Brats

 

Places and Restaurants Mentioned this episode:

 

Links and Resources Mentioned:

 

I love to read but on vacation I feel a bit lazy… hence the audiobooks:

Direct download: EP61_-_Scotts_Brats_with_Scott_and_Leslie_Steeno.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast I am joined by Sherry “Jello” Pence, who is this amazing Aruba visitor who has been coming to the island for 20+ years.  Sherry started coming to the island with her mom.  Recently Sherry passed away and Aruba, in true Aruban, fashion played a part in Sherry being able to honor her in a way she deserved.  On this episode of the show we hear all about this process.  We also learn about how Sherry’s long term relationship with Aruba Beach Club has become instrumental in her love for the island.

 

Today Sherry and I speak about all the things she has experience over the years that makes Aruba her special place.  We start at her mom introducing her to the island and end in present day.  If you have ever had the pleasure of getting to know her, you’d know just how fun loving Sherry can be.  The crew at Aruba beach club is one she considers family and she considers them the same.

 

I have personally never stayed at the Aruba Beach Club but this last vacation I took some of Sherry’s recommendations and visited some of her haunts.  When I returned home I made certain to thank Sherry for the places she turned me onto, with Matthews, being a highlight.  I look forward to being able to talk to Sherry in the future to get more recommendations because those I already experienced were spot on.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

 

How Aruba took their hospitality to another level honoring Sherry’s mother

Hear information about Aruba’s honorary ambassador program

What it’s like waking up at the crack of dawn on Eagle Beach

Learn why they call Sherry Pence “Jello”

 

Places and Restaurants Mentioned this episode:

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned:

 

 

I love to read but on vacation I feel a bit lazy… hence the audiobooks:

Direct download: EP60_-_Aruba_Ambassador_Sherry_jello_Pence_and_the_Aruba_Beach_Club.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On episode 59 of One Happy Podcast Maggie and I discuss our top 5 takeaways from our July 2016 visit to Aruba.  That’s not five altogether, I am talking about 5 things from our July trip that absolutely made things special.  While compiling these lists, it’s hard to narrow things down, which explains why this great from 3 to 5.  However, by the time I was ready to hit the record button I feel that we were ready to move forward.

 

Now one thing that won’t appear on this list but did make our trip phenomenal is Jay’s Car Rental Aruba.  Jays has been serving the community for about 5 years and the reviews have been phenomenal  They are located in the Sabina Lieber but will soon be expanding their fleet and moving to an even larger location.  This change will allow them to service even more Aruba visitors.  Visit them at jaysrentalcararuba.com  for more information.

 

When compiling a list like this the problem is trying to narrow it down.  It started as 3 each but that just simply wasn’t enough.  As always, Aruba showed me much love and as tribute I present this podcast.  We talk about all sorts of topics; food, comedy, athletics and of course the beach.  The trip was not nearly as long but the memories as always, will last forever.  

 

Maggie’s Top 5 List:

  • The Arubian Taste
  • Aruba Ray’s Comedy
  • Spending the last morning at Arashi Beach
  • Going straight to Eagle Beach arrival day
  • Podcasting on location

 

Aruba Curt’s Top 5 List:

  • ARF Paws for a cause benefit
  • The Food in general
  • The Aruba Hi Winds
  • Karaoke at Matthews
  • Climbing Mt Hooiberg

 

Restaurants mentioned this episode of the show:

 

 

Important resources for you:

Direct download: EP59_-_Top_5_Takeaways_from_out_July.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47am EST

Liliana Gracia joins me on episode 58 of One Happy Podcast.  Many of you already know Liliana from her work at the Renaissance where she specialized in making visitors happy.  During her 23 years at the Renn, Liliana met thousands of Aruba visitors in the numerous roles she filled.  Having worked everywhere from the reservations department to the front desk to her eventual position of timeshare coordinator at the Ocean Suites, it’s safe to say Liliana is well versed at making people happy.

 

Over the course of our 40 minute conversation Liliana takes us on a journey from her beginnings at the Sonesta all the way to the present with Lock N Roll.  She also shares what its like to be partially responsible for so many visitors vacation experiences and what that meant to her.  Along this journey Liliana has met so many Aruba vacationers that she thinks of as family.  

 

So often we talk about how the people of Aruba are the real reason we continue to return year after year.  Well, this is an interview with one of those people, an interview that shows how it works both ways.  Not only are the people of Aruba incredible but those of us who have decided to call it our second home are pretty special as well.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

 

  • Hear from someone who has worked in the Aruba tourism industry for 20+ years
  • Find out about a new service where vacationers can store their goods between trips
  • Learn what a patacone is and where to get one
  • Find out about Liliana’s favorite restaurant in Aruba
  • Learn about the special connection those who work in the tourism industry feel towards visitors
  • Hear about some other services Lock N Roll may be offering in the future

 

Lock N Roll Timeshare Storage

 

So if you are listening to this podcast you are likely a repeat visitor or soon to be repeat visitor to the island of Aruba.  If this is the case did you know you can leave some of your items on the island safe and secure for your next trip?  That’s where Lock N Roll Timeshare Storage comes in.  For a relatively small fee they will pick up your items, store your items and then deliver them to you upon your return.  

 

Visit their Facebook page to learn more about this service.  For an example of some of the things you can store, there are examples below:

 

Lock N Roll Do's and Don'ts

 

DO  : Clothing, Bedding, Pots & Pans, Small Appliances, Electronics, Crock Pot, Blender, Canned Goods, Laundry Detergent, Board Games, Personal Hygiene items: Razors,

Q-TIPS, Soaps, Shampoo, Sunblock, Towels,

Bathing Suits, Snorkel Gear, household decorations and Holiday items, and more

 

DON'T : No perishable food items - Canned Goods are OK. No Alcohol, Propane Tanks, Air Tanks, Firearms and or Weapons, Explosives or Combustibles No Drugs this includes prescriptions. We don’t recommend storing your personal computers, mobile devices, NO wet items.

 

Other vitals:

  • Bins are purchased from Lock N Roll
  • Standard bin sizes are 30 gallons
  • Larger items can also be stored
  • Yearly fee is 75 dollars (at time of recording 7/2016)
  • Yearly fee includes 1 drop off and pick up
  • Additional pickups can also be arranged for a small fee

 

Restaurants Mentioned this episode:

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned:

 


Episode 57c of One Happy Podcast, the officially unofficial podcast of the island of Aruba recaps days 6,7 and 8 of our most recent trip.  This episode is a combination of audio recorded on the island and also back here in the States.  It begins with on Eagle beach recapping my first ever journey up "The Hooiberg" and concludes with us back in Delaware discussing the crying room.

 

As they say, time flies when you are having fun and this vacation to Aruba definitely proved that saying true.  You've already heard about all the fun we had the first 5 days.  Well, these last 3 days include the aforementioned trip up Mt. Hooiberg, the discovery of my new favorite rum shop on the island, another visit to Aruba Ray's Comedy, awesome restaurants and plenty of beach time.

 

While it's always a bit sad when a trip to your favorite place on earth comes to a conclusion it's a good sadness.  What I mean by that is, leaving sucks, but I have no regrets about how our time was spent.  Maggie and I tried new restaurants and activities but still found time to do the things that are staples of our visits to the island.  Things that we have come to love over our years of visiting  that truly make us happy.  I can also happily say that we have now added some new things.  

 

Places mentioned on this episode of the show:

Arubian Tastes Rum Shop

Aruba Ray's Comedy

Azzurros

Tango Argentine Grill

Texas De Brazil Aruba

 

Resources Mentioned:

One Happy Podcast - the officially unofficial podcast of the island of Aruba

The One Happy Podcast Facebook Page

 

Direct download: EP57c_-_Aruba_July_2016_Days_6_7_8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:47am EST

Episode 57b of One Happy Podcast is the second of our on island podcasts. This one is all about, days 3, 4 and 5 of our July 2016 trip. When we last left you we had just pulled into Baby Beach where we were set to enjoy a spectacular day. So we go through that day and all its events. Dinner that night was at Ricardo's and we had a late night snack at the El Mexicano Taco Truck.

Day 4 was all about playing chicken with the weather. We woke up to rain which changed our plans of going to the animal shelter. Instead, we got breakfast at Salt and Pepper and spent the day at Arashi. Happy Hour was at the restaurant at Tierra Del Sol for the ARF Paws for a cause fundraising event. The ARF ladies did a wonderful job putting together a phenomenal event. Dinner was at my favorite restaurant Quinta Del Carmen which has never disappointed me in either 4 or 5 visits. In fact, this last one may have been the best ever.

On Day 5 in Aruba weather would once again play a role. This time, we didn't let it affect our plans on visiting the puppies and kittens and we made it to Aruba Animal Shelter. After the Animal Shelter we picked up lunch from a place neither of us had ever visited. Then we made our way to Arashi once again since the previous day was a short one. The rain had other plans for us so we executed plan B. Dinner was at Terrazza Italiana and the night time entertainment had us visiting Bugaloe for karaoke and the El Mexicano Taco Truck.

Sponsored By:
Jays Car Rental Aruba – The place to go when you want an affordable, reliable and safe vehicle on the island of Aruba. They are committed to providing the customers with the highest standards of quality and reliability and all with a personal touch.

 

Direct download: EP_57b_-_Aruba_Curt_Days_3_4_and_5_Aruba_7-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11am EST

Episode 57a of One Happy Podcast is actually going to be broken up into 3 parts. This first part is a recap of our first two days in Aruba. It begins with us waking up in Baltimore on Tuesday morning getting ready for our flight. Then it progresses through days 1 and 2 of our latest Aruba adventure.

This is not your typical episode of the show as it is being recorded in Aruba using equipment that is relatively new to me. However, I will say what it lacks in polish it more than makes up for in capturing the raw emotion and spontaneity of the trip. We recorded the recap in our car on the way down to Baby Beach. Here are just some of the things we saw while recording; the Aruba Aloe Man walking out of a supermarket, a herd of goats blocking a side street, kite surfers down by the prison and other random Aruba sightings. Not your typical podcast episode for a trip that is turning out to be something other than typical as well.

Although day one was arrival day it was actually surprisingly busy as we hit the beach right away, something new for us. It also did not involve us going to the grocery store to do a large stock up for our rental. Now I won't get too in-depth in what all went down as that's the point of the episode, but I will say we didn't stop moving from the time we arrived until pretty much me sitting here typing these show notes.

 

Direct download: Episode_57-a_Arrival_Days_1_and_2_in_Aruba_7-2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58pm EST

Episode 56 is the last in our series on planning our vacation to Aruba.  In this episode, Maggie and I go over what we plan on doing while in Aruba.  So if you are into restaurant talk this is the one for you.  That being said all the others are also informative and in my opinion pretty entertaining.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to listen to those yet, please make sure you do.

We start out by talking about our affinity for the Park Sleep Fly, which is our way of avoiding having to wake up at 3 in the morning to drive to Baltimore.  Instead, we drive down the evening before and park at the hotel for the duration of our trip.  This also gives us an excuse to stop for crab cakes at G&M which is close to the airport.  If you are someone who is attempting to avoid waking up at some ungodly time to drive to the airport you should definitely look into it.

Next, we go into our intended list of restaurants.  Now I say our intended list of restaurants because as you all know, on vacation planning and doing are two different things.  We have been agonizing over our list for quite a while now and it is almost complete.  However, it isn’t completely finished and also nothing is carved in stone.  Actually, we need your help in deciding on one of our last slots.  It’s too close to call on a few restaurants, so we are depending on you guys.:

We also talk about the different forms of entertainment we plan on engaging in around the island.  Aruba Ray’s Comedy, the ARF Paws for a Cause fundraiser, visiting the Aruba animal shelter and karaoke are all on our itinerary.  In total, this episode is 40 minutes of fun and informative Aruba talk about our upcoming vacation.  Whether you are someone who has never been to the island or have been to Aruba dozens of times there is something in there for you.  I hope you enjoy!

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

Find out where to go when you want basic beef cooked really well

Hear why you need a reservation if you want great Italian food with a killer view

Learn who has the best Sangria on the island

Get my opinion on the best beach bar on the planet

Be able to help us choose between



Restaurants Mentioned this episode:

   

 

  • The El Mexicano Taco Truck
  • Tia Rosa Snack Food Truck

 

Links and Resources Mentioned:

 

 


On this episode of One Happy Podcast Maggie and I continue our “Planning an Aruba Vacation” series, with the latest episode being about packing for your trip.  Although Maggie and I always travel together we have two very different packing styles.  Her’s is to meticulously plan out each and every step and then bring something for every possible contingency.  My packing style is to bring what you feel you’ll use and if it’s not enough… you make it enough.

 

While we all know the basics of packing, there are items that each of us likes to have on vacation with us. Depending on your likes and dislikes these specialty items can greatly increase what you bring along.  For us, it almost doesn’t matter since we use Southwest airlines.  Southwest allows us to check two pieces of luggage completely free.  However if you are flying on a different airline, chances are you will want to be a bit more careful.  Our specialty items list is comprised of things such as cameras, Kindles, a Bluetooth speaker and other entertainment type items.  What are yours?

 

Another wrinkle that we have to consider on our Aruba vacations is provisioning for the home we rent.  Most rentals do not stock the items you’ll need during your stay.  So for our stay, at the beginning, we always make it a point to stop at Lings for supplies.  Things like toilet paper, paper towels, and some cleaning supplies are all necessary.  We also like to pick up food items for breakfasts and some lunches.

 

On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

 

  • Our different styles of packing for vacation
  • What we bring along that isn’t exactly standard
  • What supplies come with the home we rent
  • Things we purchase for the home upon arrival
  • What we like to bring from home as well as items we pick up upon our arrival in Aruba



Eight things you may want to seriously consider when packing for Aruba:

 

  • Aruba is a very casual island so you don’t need as many “nice” clothes as you would elsewhere.
  • Despite evening temperatures routinely being in the mid 80’s some restaurants are on the chilly side.  You may want to bring a light sweater
  • Bring sunscreen as it can be very expensive while on the island, especially if you are planning to purchase in the hotel gift shop
  • Remember to bring your bug spray.  Zika is on the island so do what you can to protect yourself
  • Does the place you are staying have laundry facilities
  • Although the sand in Aruba is talcum soft, you may still want to bring water shoes along since not all beaches are created equal.  Also, some forms of sea life may be harmful if stepped on.
  • If you plan on doing laundry while on vacation it may be easier to bring your own
  • If your checked luggage gets lost for the first day will you have what is necessary to ensure the day is not a dud

 

Products talked about on this episode:

 

Direct download: EP55_-_Packing_for_a_trip_to_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EST

When we visit Aruba, renting a vehicle is not an option.  For our upcoming vacation in July, we are just now going through the process of choosing an agency for our rental.  Normally, we rent a jeep from Royal Aruba but this trip we are switching things up a bit.  This time, instead of renting a Jeep we are looking to downsize to a compact car.  The last visit our Jeep needed to be repaired and our replacement was a Kia Picanto.  Driving that little matchbox car around the island was a very different experience but not unpleasant at all.  Also a couple of months ago, on a trip, we had a Chevy Spark as a rental and drove that 5 hours from Atlanta to Pensacola, Florida.  It was actually a lot of fun.  So this trip to Aruba instead of a big old gas guzzling Jeep we are going for the go-kart.

 

This episode is me exploring our options for rental car agency.  I went to visitaruba.com to look at their list of rental car agencies.  From that list, I eliminated the large chains like Hertz and Avis.  I didn’t have a reason for eliminating those agencies I just want to go with someone local.  The requirements I had was an agency that rented to vacationers not staying at a resort because some do have that rule.  I am also looking for a good combination of customer service and price.  Sending the email gives me a chance to test the service and I am using the prices listed on their websites for an apple to apple comparison.  Please note that the price listed on the website may not be the actual cost of the rental but was the only fair way for me to compare different sites.  Also, just because I do love tooling around Aruba in a big Jeep I also looked at the prices on Jeeps… you never know.

 

On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

  • A comparison between 10 different Aruba car rental agencies
  • How a website glitch impacts customer service
  • A rule some car rental agencies have that may keep you from being able to use them
  • How much it will cost for us to rent a vehicle for 8 days
  • A few reasons why you may want to consider renting a vehicle if you never have
  • Us struggling with the decision of renting a small car over a Jeep



Our Aruba Car Rental Comparison:

  • Amigo Car Rental
    • Nonresort rental okay
    • Email Response less than 3 hours
    • Cost of a Kia Picanto or similar vehicle 233
    • Cost of a Jeep 857
  • Jay's car rental
    • Nonresort rental okay
    • Email Response less than 3 hours
    • Cost of a Kia Picanto or similar vehicle 205
    • Cost of a Jeep 514
  • More 4 less Car Rental
    • Cost of a Kia Picanto or similar vehicle 228
    • Cost of a Jeep 600
  • Optima Car Rental Aruba
    • Nonresort rental okay with a safe driveway
    • Email Response less than 3 hours
    • Cost of a Kia Picanto or similar vehicle 224
    • Didn’t see a jeep on their website
  • Aruba Royal Car Rental
    • Nonresort rental okay
    • 204 Picante
    • 502 Jeep
  • Super car rental Aruba
    • Nonresort rental okay
    • Cost of a Kia Picanto or similar vehicle 257
    • Cost of a Jeep 565
  • Top Drive Aruba
    • Nonresort rental okay
    • Took nearly 24 hours (longest)
    • Cost of a Kia Picanto or similar vehicle 258
    • Cost of a Jeep 797
    • Special note not sure if the website has a glitch but it says renting a can-am UTV would cost me 7,260 dollars for the week.  
  • Value Aruba
    • Nonresort rental okay
    • Took nearly 24 hours
    • Cost of a Kia Picanto or similar vehicle 251
    • Cost of a Jeep 680

 

Eliminated

  • smart rent a car
    • The email got bounced back
  • Easy car rental
    • The email got bounced back

 

On the next episode of One Happy Podcast


Make sure you tune into the next episode of One Happy Podcast as we discuss packing.  Learn what we take along on our trips and what we purchase after we arrive.  If you have never had a private rental and are looking into one, you’ll want to know what necessities you’ll have to purchase upon arrival.

Direct download: EP54_-_Renting_a_car_and_exploring_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EST

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to rent a home or condo on Aruba?  Well if you have this is the show for you.  On episode 53 of One Happy Podcast Maggie and I are going to be talking about we find and rent vacation homes in Aruba.  While this isn’t an episode that everyone will use, I believe it’s one that everyone will find interesting.  It’s chock full of information about the process of renting a vacation home in Aruba.

 

During this 40 minute episode, we go through our entire Aruba vacation rental evolution from being newbies to the seasoned vets we have become.  What I think makes this particular episode so useful is we go over not only some of the tools we use but the things we look for in a rental.  It’s actually a summarized account of what we actually did.  So if you are someone who may one day want to rent a private residence in Aruba this is a great place to start.  In the future, we will do more detailed episodes focusing on the different aspects of renting but this is a great overview.



On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

 

  • Our first ever rental on the island of Aruba
  • Why the relationship with the person you are renting from can be one of the most important you make on the island
  • Customer service expectations
  • Why you should “interview” the owner
  • Our experiences renting at both Eagle and Palm Beach



An outline of this episode:

 

  • Our first rental at Oceania
    • The process of finding the rental
    • Investigating the owners
    • What the Oceania Condo was like
    • Why we don’t rent there anymore
  • Our Current rental in Palm Beach
    • Why we choose the Palm Beach area
    • Reasons for choosing this rental
    • Interviewing owners
    • Becoming friends with the owners
  • Possible future rental locations
    • Two possible locations
    • Advantages of Saveneta
    • Our wishlist for a future rental

 

In future episodes of this series we will be discussing:

  • Renting a vehicle in Aruba (complete with comparisons) and exploring some sites
  • Planning out our restaurant list as well as what to do for entertainment
  • Packing for Aruba and planning out what to pick up on arrival
  • Who knows what else

 

Places mentioned this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP53_-_Finding_Your_Aruba_Home_Away.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am EST

This episode of One Happy Podcast the Officially Unofficial Podcast of the island of Aruba  is going to be a bit different from the norm.  Today Maggie and I are beginning part 1 of a multi-episode series about Planning a vacation to Aruba.  More specifically  on this introductory episode we discuss what goes into planning when to visit the island, how we book our tickets and deciding on where to stay.

It's kind of funny because when we plan the discussion goes so streamlined that you don’t realize what all goes into these decisions.  I guess once you graduate to Aruba regular status you have a pretty good routine down.  Even so I think it's interesting to hear how others arrive at their decisions.  Today we are deciding on the timing of the trip, which is probably the single most important piece of the puzzle.  We are also discussing how we decide on an airline, which is a large part of the expense.  Lastly, we discuss how we choose where to stay on a visit to Aruba.  These are all very important factors that need to be carefully considered when booking a vacation.

In future episodes of this series we will be discussing:

  • The comparison between Resort, All-inclusive and Private Rentals
  • Which area is best for your High rise, Low rise or Other
  • How we found and booked our first (and subsequent) private rental
  • What to pack for Aruba and what to pick up when you arrive
  • and whatever else we can cram in there… so stay tuned.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

  • How to work and family schedules can impact when you visit Aruba
  • How even with Aruba lying below the hurricane belt a major storm can still affect your vacation
  • Why you should always have an ideal airfare price in mind
  • An overlooked reason why you might need to purchase a timeshare
  • Why early-bird dining may be something you want to look into
  • Our reasons for going with a private rental but why we may choose a resort sometime in the near future.
  • High Season or Low Season which one is for me?

An outline of this episode:

  • Deciding on timing
    • Work schedules
    • Family schedules
    • When is your Timeshare
    • High and low season for Aruba
  • How are we getting there
    • Deciding which airline
    • What time do you want to fly out
    • Which airport are you flying out of
    • Booking early vs booking late
    • Layovers and Hurricanes
  • Where are we staying
    • Timeshares
    • All-inclusive
    • Resorts

Other links and resources mentioned this episode of the podcast:

Direct download: EP52_-_Aruba_Vacation_Planning_Pt1-_Deciding_When.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Hello and welcome to this 51st episode of One Happy Podcast where I and my co-host Maggie take a look at Aruba early-bird dinner specials.  Very recently we booked another trip to the island and because we love to plan, have decided to attempt to shift our days forward.  What I mean by that is we want to get up about 2 hours earlier than normal, therefore doing everything else 2 hours earlier.  If all goes as planned our beach time, lunch time and dinner time will be something other than what we are used to doing.

On this episode of the podcast, we attempt to look at 10 different restaurants and their early-bird menus.  For those of you not familiar with early-bird specials, here is a breakdown.  Oftentimes restaurants will offer a portion of their menu as nightly specials for those who come in for dinner before a certain time. For example, a restaurant may want to increase traffic between the hours of 5pm and 7 pm, this is where an early-bird really comes in handy.  The restaurant will put together a limited menu of appetizer, entree, and dessert and sell them as a package deal, at a discount.  This  practice was called early-bird due to the same the early bird gets the worm… or in this case, the early bird gets the discount pricing.

Each of us look at 5 different Aruba restaurants that feature early birds and we describe and eventually attempt to choose which ones catch our attention.  This is an awesome 50-minute episode that will most likely open your eyes to a segment of dining in Aruba that you may have overlooked in the past.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

  • 10 awesome early evening dinner deals in Aruba
  • A Palm Beach upscale restaurant making a move
  • What Maggie and I plan on doing for at least a couple of dinners this trip
  • A few dining terms you may have seen but possibly overlooked
  • Why early-bird dining may be something you want to look into
  • No less than 5 great places to eat grouper in Aruba

Aruba Early Bird Dinners mentioned on this episode:

Other links and resources mentioned this episode of the podcast:

Direct download: EP51_-_Amazing_Aruba_Early_Bird_Dinn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On today's episode of One Happy Podcast, we are tackling an issue that is near and dear to many of our hearts.  What do you do in Aruba after the sun goes down?  

Aruba is absolutely incredible during the daytime and even in the early evening.  Also, the culinary offerings available on the island are some of the best in the Caribbean.  However, it's been said that after dinner Aruba lags behind some of the other islands in the Caribbean.  

Now if you have been visiting for a while you are probably on your way to developing a network amongst locals.  But if you are relatively new to the island or if you are someone that likes to stay close to the resort your view of Aruba nightlife may be very different.  This episode of the show takes a look at some of the nightlife options available to tourists on the island of Aruba.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • Where the best karaoke is on the island.
  • What fun in a bottle means.
  • The only place to find world class comedy on the island.
  • How to get a taste of Carnival year round.

 

Resorts, Restaurants, and resources mentioned on this episode of the show:

 

The comedic lineup for Aruba Ray’s Comedy

RAY ELLIN - - JUNE 12th to JULY 21st

AIDA RODRIGUEZ - - JUNE 12th to JUNE 14th

JOEY KOLA - - JUNE 12th to JUNE 14th

SEAN DONNELLY - - JUNE 12th to JUNE 14th

TONY WOODS - - JUNE 15th to JUNE 22nd

YANNIS PAPPAS - - JUNE 15th to JUNE 17th

ANDREW SCHULZ  - - JUNE 17th to JUNE 20th

JOEY VEGA - - JUNE 19th to JUNE 26th

GARY VIDER - - JUNE 23rd to JUNE 26th

LEONARD OUZTS - - JUNE 23rd to JUNE 26th

ROBERT KELLY - - JULY 1st to JULY 8th

KEITH ALBERSTADT - - JULY 1st to JULY 8th

PETE LEE - - JULY 9th to JULY 12th

CHUCK NICE - - JULY 8th to JULY 12th

DAN NATURMAN - - JULY 10th to JULY 17th

BRIAN McFADDEN - - JULY 14th to JULY 21st

MIKE VECCHIONE - - JULY 18th to JULY 21st

Direct download: EP50_-_Things_to_do_in_Aruba_after.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am EST

Joining me on this 49th episode of One Happy Podcast is friend of the show, Cheryl Talcof.  Now as many of you probably remember, Cheryl was a guest on a previous episode, just about one year ago.  Actually I recorded her first appearance on May 19th of last year.  Well she is back once again to talk about some things happening on the island.  

 

We start off talking about a new gourmet grocery store that is coming to the island. I’m sure this will be a welcome addition to not only residents but those of us who don’t mind cooking while on vacation.  Cheryl also breaks the news about a very popular pizza parlor that is making a major location change.  Rounding out our food talk is her endorsement on a restaurant that I missed the last time I was down in Aruba. Its called La Terrazza Italiana and I was bummed that it was closed our last night in paradise.

 

Cheryl and I also spend a bit of time talking about the Aruba Animal Relief Foundation, including a new(ish) event they have going on.  You may have seen postings or advertisements about something called Yappy hour.  Well, Aruba Yappy Hour is actually Cheryl’s baby and whatever you read about it, doesn’t do it justice the way hearing it straight from one of the organizer’s will.  

 

On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

  • A new gourmet market opening up in Paradera
  • Which popular Pizza place is picking up and moving and why
  • An incredible Italian restaurant that you may not have tried
  • How you can support the Aruba Animal Relief Foundation
  • What a Yappy hour is and why this event is so popular in Aruba

 

Properties and Restaurants mentioned on this episode of the show:


Direct download: EP49_-_Cheryl_Talcof_and_Yappy_Hour.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00am EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is a relative newbie to Aruba, David Cohen.  However despite having only been to the island a handful of times David is so far ahead of most visitors in one aspect.  They not only decided that Aruba was the place they would like to eventually retire to, David and Brenda actually purchased a home there.  

After having first visited the island on their engagement cruise, David and Brenda would return to the island to be married (which is a story in itself).  The next time, Aruba whispered in their ear to buy a timeshare, and they did, at the Playa Linda. Shortly thereafter Aruba made another suggestion, why don’t you buy a home here, and they did.  I guess it’s one of those things where when it feels right there is no use deliberating, you just make it happen, which is exactly what they did.

On this episode of the show we start out hearing about the process of getting married on the island.  Also David fills me in on how someone manages to go from first time visitor to purchasing a home in Aruba in three short years.  David tells the story of how they knew which of the nine houses they viewed was the right one.   He also gives a little advice that may be helpful to anyone who is thinking about purchasing real estate on the island.  We also talk about the activities David and Brenda enjoy while on island and it wouldn’t be a show without discussing which restaurants make the list.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

  • A long time goal of David’s that led to them owning a home in Aruba
  • How Brenda left absolutely no doubt in the minds of David and the agents when she found the house she wanted
  • The right way to choose a wedding planner
  • A fantastic reason to choose the Divi and not the Riu for your wedding venue
  • Great examples of when you become friends with an Arubian you are friends for life
  • A secret spot that you may want to seek out on your next visit to Aruba

Properties and Restaurants mentioned on this episode of the show:

Links and Other Resources mentioned this episode

 

Direct download: EP48_-_Volcano_David_and_Brenda_Cohen_Buy_Their_Aruba_Dream_Home.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:30am EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast,  Aruba’s Officially Unofficial Podcast is 18 year Aruba veteran Janice Worters.  Janice and her husband Bill first discovered Aruba in 1998 on the recommendation of a friend.  On that initial visit, of course the fell in love and decided to return the following year.  That next trip in 1999 was the first time they laid eyes on the Costa Linda and knew immediately it was the right property for them.  Janice and Bill purchased a timeshare at the Costa Linda and have been calling it home ever since.

On this episode I speak with Janet about what her version of Aruba looks like.  We go from that initial visit all the way through her most recent vacation which took place just last month.  Along the way Janice and I discuss the wonderful people of Aruba, exploring the island, some of her favorite restaurants and also the possibility of an extended two or three month vacation to the island.

The interview itself takes just short of an hour and is chock full of both information and enthusiasm.  This episode of the podcast will be especially fun for those who have stayed at the Costa Linda before.  However even if you have never set foot onto that particular property you will want to give this episode a listen.  Janice’s love for all things Aruba shines through so bright that when this is over you will want to book a trip to Aruba immediately.  Who knows?  You may even want to book a stay at the Costa Linda for your next trip.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:

  • How Janice first fell in love with Aruba
  • How the people played as large a role as the island’s beauty in making them fall in love with Aruba
  • A crucial yet often overlooked benefit of being part of a  timeshare community
  • What Janice thinks about the safety of Aruba
  • Why Janice thinks the Costa Linda is the perfect timeshare property for them

Properties and Restaurants mentioned on this episode of the show

Links and Other Resources mentioned this episode

Direct download: EP47_-_Janice_Worters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Today on One Happy Podcast I have a very special treat for you all.  I am being joined by a guest who is originally from South America but has been living in Aruba for the past 13 years.  Over the course of that time she has gone on a journey that has included getting married, raising a family and setting up a business of her own.  Many of you are probably familiar with this business as it’s brought joy to so many of our lives.  Of course I am talking about Gaby of Aruba’s Hand’s by Gaby.

If any of you have had the pleasure of meeting Gaby you would know that despite not being from Aruba she is the living embodiment of everything we love about the island.  This spirit that Gaby possesses comes through in the artwork she sells as jewelry on the island.  Gaby’s warmth, joy and happiness is directly translated to everything she makes.  In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that every piece of jewelry contains just a bit of Gaby inside.  

This interview which lasts about 50 minutes talks all about Gaby’s relationship with the island of Aruba.  Additionally we learn all about Aruba’s Hands and why the art she produces is so much more than just a souvenir.  You will learn about Gaby’s introduction to the island, how she met her husband and also about her family.  We talk about Aruba’s Hands and what that name means and why it is important.  In every civilization throughout history art has played such an important role in the identity of a culture… Aruba is no different.  On this 46th episode of One Happy Podcast Gaby does a fantastic job of explaining why if you love Aruba you owe it to yourself to take a piece of that art and culture home with you after vacation is over.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • How love at first sight altered the course of Gaby’s life
  • How Gaby started working with glass
  • The role of the Aruban artist in how Tourism and Culture intersect
  • The origin of the name "Aruba's Hands"
  • How to tell if a piece of art is 100% Aruban
  • What you are taking home in addition to a piece of jewelry when you purchase something from Aruba’s Hands by Gaby

Contacting Gaby - So maybe you want to see some of Gaby’s work the next time you are on island.  Currently there are a number of ways to make this happen.  Gaby does shows 5 days a week at a number of the hotels in both the high rise and low rise section.  Below is her schedule as of 4/5/2016.  As mentioned in the episode you can also get in contact with her for better guidance.

  • Sunday Bucuti 5-7pm
  • Monday The Divi Phoenix 5-6pm
  • Tuesday Marriott hosts a “Taste of Aruba” craft market 6:30-8:30pm where you can see and eat things native to Aruba
  • Wednesday Tamarijn craft show 5-9pm
  • Thursday Divi Phoenix 9am-noon at the beachside pool

As mentioned you can also contact her via her Facebook Page Aruba’s Hands by Gaby

Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:

Also if you would like to be included in the Friend’s of One Happy Podcast Facebook Group send me an email at curt@onehappypodcast.com and I can get you in there.

 

Direct download: EP46_-_Arubas_Hands_by_Gaby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is a guest that many of you are already familiar with… Maggie G.  Maggie has appeared on the show a couple of other times and as she is my partner in crime is back to talk about our latest trip to Aruba.  This latest trip took place from February 27th through March 7th and this is our recap.  The format of this particular episode is our top 3 moments from this trip to paradise.

The way things flow is we each take turns revealing our top 3 moments from the trip.  The truth is we probably could record this episode 100 times and come up with 100 different lists.  However we have decided to stick with this particular episode because… there was alcohol involved.  If you notice a difference in the tone of the show it probably has to do with the fact that this was recorded St. Patrick’s weekend and copious amounts of alcohol were consumed.  

This interview lasts just under 40 minutes and the quality of the content actually remained a mystery until just the other day.  I mean while I was recording I thought it was fantastic.  The question was would it be as good sober?  When I finally mustered up the courage to listen I realized it wasn’t nearly the train wreck I thought it would be.  In fact actually pretty good with certain parts being hilarious.  So with a little encouragement from my friends over at the “Friends of One Happy Podcast” Facebook group I decided to release it (with a bit of editing) for your listening pleasure.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • How Maggie feels about people sitting too close at the beach
  • What time of day is my favorite for visiting Arashi beach
  • The Ethics of obstructing someone's view
  • Why it's okay to fall in love at the Aruba Animal Shelter even if you aren't adopting
  • Why there is a beach for everyone in Aruba
  • About the perfection of watching the sun rise over Alto Vista

People and places mentioned this episode of the show

Direct download: EP45_-_Recapping_Aruba_February_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Which of the following best describes your post Aruba vacation routine?

 

  1. a) After you arrive home from the airport you go to bed
  2. b) While ignoring your pile of bills you drown your sorrows in beer
  3. c) You immerse yourself in the Travel Channel hoping for a show featuring Aruba
  4. d) You realize you hate your home because it’s not in the high or low rise area of the island
  5. e) Two or more of the above
  6. f) None of the above

If you answered anything but “F” you are prone to Post Aruba Sadness Disorder

What is PASD?

Post Aruba Sadness Disorder is a short to medium term affliction that develops when travelers return to their real lives after having been immersed in the awesomeness that is Aruba.  

 

I recently returned from another visit to the island of Aruba.  Just like your typical Aruba vacation this one was fantastic.  On a future episode of the show I will be doing a recap of what went down on the island.  Truthfully it’s been hard for me to get back to recording as I have been in a bit of a funk.  Actually that may be an understatement.  Post Aruba Sadness Disorder had completely taken a hold of me and it’s been quite the struggle to come out the other side. 

What you will learn on this episode of One Happy Podcast

  • What Arubaphiles mean by “The Crying Room”
  • Why unpacking is key to beating PASD
  • The importance of grocery shopping and cooking
  • How household chores may be just the pick me up that you need
  • A full proof way to get rid of Post Aruba Sadness Disorder

The most important takeaway from Episode 44 of One Happy Podcast

Ending a trip to Aruba is without a doubt rewarding because you were lucky enough to have been there in the first place.  The problem is flipping the switch from island life back to the real world can be draining.  The key to getting things back on track is to remember, although Aruba is really freaking awesome your real life is pretty darn good.  You have friends, family, pets and hobbies and they exist back home not on island.  So while the island is great the things that really make life special actually exist in your real life.

Important Links from this Episode:

Direct download: EP44_-_Post_Aruba_Sadness_Disorder.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This episode of One Happy Podcast features is all about getting away from the beaches and getting to know the other part of Aruba.  The majority of tourists who visit Aruba (myself included) chose the island for the beaches.  However, my guest on this 43rd episode of One Happy Podcast came to the island for a completely different reason, its history.   

Today’s guest Gabriella, already an extensive world traveler first visited the island in 2005 and immediately fell in love.  But unlike most of us, it wasn’t the world famous white sand beaches or the highly acclaimed culinary scene that won her over Gabriella fell in love with the history of Aruba.  It isn’t that Gabriella doesn’t appreciate the beauty of this happy little island she just chooses to look deeper. 

Being an avid photographer Gabriella enjoys getting off the beaten path in search of unique photo opportunities as well as visiting downtown Oranjestad to take it all of its charm and history.  During the course of this nearly hour long episode of One Happy Podcast Gabriella clues us in on many of the sights that go unnoticed by the vast majority of Aruba vacationers.   

On this episode you will hear about:

  • Thoughts and tips from a solo female traveler on Aruba’s safety
  • Awesome places to learn more about Aruba’s history and culture
  • Key reasons why it’s great to have friends on island
  • Gabriella’s feelings on the Aruba stray animal situation
  • The number 1 reason why Gabriella thinks you should visit Aruba

Aruba attractions mentioned on this episode

Links and Resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP43_-_Gabriella_appreciates_all_Aruba_has_to_offer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Joining me today for the 42nd episode of One Happy Podcast is an Aruba veteran of 18+ trips.  Having first visited Aruba for his “Funny moon” in 2001 Jay Stull immediately fell in love with the island of Aruba.  Whether it’s the beautiful beaches, ice cold Amstel Bright’s or gentle nature of the island, Jay appreciates Aruba in a way that every visitor should.  

While he frequents and loves the Marriott Ocean Club where he and his wife own a timeshare, Jay also has an appreciation for the rest of Aruba.  Throughout this conversation Jay clues me in on some Aruba bars and restaurants that are not to be missed.  We talk about quite a few restaurants that are rare mentions on the podcast such as Cafe 080 and the Casibari Cafe as well as Aruba staples like Papiamento restaurant.  

In total this interview lasts just over 40 minutes and is full of information that not only newbies but those who have been visiting the island for many years will appreciate.  Whether you want to pick up a bit of the local language, learn a quick way to do a florin to dollar conversion or hear a rundown of some of the best casual dining spots on the island; this is the episode for you.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • The ideal qualities for making friends on the island of Aruba
  • Who has the coldest Amstel Bright’s on the island
  • Why if you have a freezer you need to have red solo cups
  • A math hack to convert florins to dollars in your head
  • Where in Aruba you can find a real life knight

 

Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

 

Links and Resources Mentioned this Episode:

 

 

Direct download: EP42_-_Jay_Stull.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is a whole group of guests, the Dion family.  That’s right today I have 4 guests willing to share their Aruba story.  More accurately I guess I should say four-fifths of the Dion family as Rich, the dad could not make it.  However in his absence Jacki (mom), Brianna (daughter), Jason and Michael (sons) do an exceptional job telling us all about their Aruba.

 

The Dion’s have been visiting Aruba for about 10 years and currently are timeshare owners at LaCabana which is described by Brianna as being the best resort on the island. Typically traveling with a group that can range anywhere for a handful to a bus-full of people (their largest group totaled more than 50) the Dion’s love being able to spend quality family time on the island they all care for so much.  In this episode we discuss what it means to be able to take a family vacation.  Also I learn more about the LaCabana resort and its grounds.  

 

As amazing as it sounds, this episode isn’t only about what goes on at LaCabana.  On episode 41 we also talk about things the Dion’s like to do away from the Eagle Beach area.  Aruba has so much to offer and the Dion’s take full advantage of it.  Depending on mood, sometimes they go exploring the backside of the island, snorkeling at DePalm Island or enjoying one of the many fantastic restaurants that Aruba has to offer.  No matter what they are doing its clear the Dion’s love to have a great time.  If you are someone who is looking to take a family vacation to the island of Aruba, this is the episode for you

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

 

  • What LaCabana has to offer for a family vacation
  • Why your kid would absolutely love De Palm island
  • How making use of the kitchen at LaCabana makes Aruba more economical
  • About some of the best kid friendly restaurants Aruba has to offer
  • Why you should consider making your next family vacation an Aruba vacation
  • One of the best resources and communities for learning about Aruba

 

Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

 

  • Chalet Swiss
  • Iguana Joe’s
  • Islander Grill
  • La Trattoria el Faro Blanco
  • Pata Pata Bar
  • Pizza Bob’s
  • Texas De Brazil Aruba

 

  • The Backside of the Island
  • The California Lighthouse
  • De Palm Island
  • La Cabana

 

Direct download: EP41_-__The_Dion_Family.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm EST

On the 40th episode of One Happy podcast, Aruba Ray Ellin stops past tell talk about the newest installment of “Aruba Ray’s Comedy”.  He and his cohorts will have shows running from February 3rd through March 4th at the Aruba Marriott Stellaris Hotel and Casino.  Each night will feature Ray Ellin as your host and two other New York city comic’s doing a 90 minute show.  

 

In my opinion Aruba Ray’s Comedy is the best way to spend an evening on the island.  In September I was able to catch two shows and both were fantastic. If you are a fan of comedy clubs there is nothing else like this in Aruba.  If you are someone who has never been to a comedy club Aruba Ray’s Comedy is a great introduction into what you have been missing out on.  

 

Ray himself is an extremely accomplished NYC comedian and all of the guests he brings down to the island are equally incredible.  These guys and girls have been featured on late night shows such as the Tonight Show, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien.  The have been in major motion pictures such as “Trainwreck” with Amy Schumer, “Invincible” with Mark Wahlberg and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Ben Stiller.  I have actually been a fan of one of the comics, Tony Woods for about decade when I saw him in P Diddy’s “Bad Boys of Comedy”.  So many of you will probably recognize many others Last Comic Standing, TRU Tv, HGTV and comedy specials of their own on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. Basically what I am saying is normally you would need to visit a big city comedy club to see this level of talent.

 

Here is a list of who will take part in the February 3rd through March 4th 2016 shows and specific dates:

 

  • Ray Ellin: February  3 - March 4
  • Tony Woods: February 3 - February 10
  • Chris Distefano: February 3 - February 6
  • Dov Davidoff: February 6 - February 9
  • Dan Naturman: February 11 - February 16
  • Chuck Nice: February 10 - February 16
  • Marina Franklin: February 19 - February 24
  • Joey Vega: February 19 - February 25
  • Mike Britt: February 19 - February 24
  • Ted Alexandro: February 25 - February 28
  • Brian Scott McFadden: February 27 - March 4
  • Lenny Marcus: February 29 - March 4

 

You can buy tickets at the Amsterdam Ballroom Showroom Door at 7:30pm subject to availability but they do sell out so if I were you I would choose a date and purchase tickets right now.  Visit Arubacomedy.com to get your tickets today!

 

You also get a couple of perks with your ticket purchase:

20% off Aruba La Vista Buffet

Free Stellaris Casino Slot Credit

 

There is also an optional 4 hour Premium open bar for only 22 additional dollars

Please note that you cannot purchase tickets online after 5:30pm on the day of the show

Restaurant’s Mentioned this episode:



Direct download: EP40_-__Aruba_Rays_Comedy_February_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EST

An Aruba expense report is the topic of discussion on episode 39 of One Happy Podcast.  The idea for this episode came from a few questions I recently saw on the Aruba Facebook groups.  Would be visitors to the island were asking for advice on how much they would be looking at spending while on the island.  Estimates were all over the place, with none being very specific.  I don’t blame the people answering the questions for this vagueness as it’s a natural limitation to Facebook groups.  It’s just really hard to give a complete answer on a one paragraph Facebook post.  Thankfully I have a podcast, which allows me to give a much more detailed answers.

 

On this episode of the show I use my September 2015 Aruba trip as an example of what a trip to Aruba can cost.  What I do with that data is list actual prices we paid for car rentals and dinners on the island.  Hopefully by providing that information to you guys it will help you figure out your own budgeting.  This post is geared more towards Aruba newbies but can also prove helpful for anyone wondering how their expenses stack up.

 

Sometimes it comes off like it’s taboo to discuss specific numbers, but in my opinion specifics are the only way to be helpful.  When someone asks for recommendations for an affordable place to eat if only a name is tossed out it means nothing.  Affordable to you may be completely different than it does for the person asking the question.  By providing not only the actual amount spent at a particular restaurant but what it was spent on it allows for a more complete picture for the person making the inquiry.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

 

  • Hear the total amount I spent on food, drinks and transportation during that 9 day trip
  • Learn the exact cost of my rental from Royal Aruba
  • Find out what I bring from home to cut down on my booze bill
  • Learn more about the Aruba food truck scene
  • Get exact dollar amounts spent in some of the more popular restaurants in Aruba

 

Restaurants Mentioned this episode:

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned:

 

Direct download: EP39_-_How_much_Aruba_Curt_spends_in.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast we tackle the subject of how Aruba can save your life and make you a better person. I know you are probably thinking "Aruba Curt you are full of it". Trust me on this one as I have listed 10 ways that taking a trip to Aruba can make a very real and profound difference in your life.

You see, Aruba is more than shopping drinking and eating. It is actually a way of life that when you are exposed to it has the ability to wash away everyday stress. If you have visited there once or twice I am sure you know what I mean. If you have yet to make your first visit to the island soon you will understand. Aruba really does get into your soul.

Ten Ways Aruba Can Change You for the Better:

  • An Aruba Vacation Keeps Your Heart Healthy
  • Vacationing in Aruba reduces the time you spend worrying
  • Spending time together in Aruba makes you hate your partner less
  • Aruba helps guard you against depression
  • Lounging on a Beach in Aruba helps free your mind
  • Spending time in Aruba can help you lose that beer belly
  • Traveling to Aruba will improve your sex life
  • Aruba Vacations make you happier even when you are not on Vacation
  • Taking time off in Aruba will make you a better worker
  • Visiting Aruba will make you less of a jerk
Direct download: EP37_-_How_Aruba_Can_Save_Your_Life.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:10am EST

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