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
  • 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 EDT

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 to check out the lineups for a particular night and to purchase tickets.


Aruba Ray’s Comedy Lineup:


Visit 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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT

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 EDT