One Happy Podcast

Joining us on this episode of One Happy Podcast are Debbie and Hank Ecker — longtime Aruba lovers who have been visiting the island for almost 8 years — to share their Aruba story. I had the pleasure of meeting Hank down on the island so we got connected and here we are.

Debbie and Hank are from Pittsburgh, my hometown, so that makes our connection special. But what's even more special is how we talk about the couple's love for Aruba, their favorite place (mine too!)

Debbie and Hank first visited Aruba when it was recommended to them by a travel agent. They wanted to try a new island after visiting so many other islands in the Caribbean and various places. When they got to try the wonders of One Happy Island, they've never stopped returning year after year.

Debbie and Hank are experts when it comes to trying out different hotels in Aruba. They've tried all sorts of places to stay, including both the high-rise and low-rise areas. So they're also here to give a different perspective compared to tourists who have only stayed in one or two places.

We discuss their favorite restaurants in the island, specifics of Playa Linda, and favorite activities or excursions to do on the island.

It's going to be a fun ride with Debbie and Hank, so hop on in!

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:
- Learn what Debbie and Hank think about the differences between high-rise and low-rise hotels
- Find out the difference between a palapa and a "chickee"
- Discover a "hidden gem" of a restaurant in Aruba and why Debbie and Hank loves it so much
- Hear how Debbie and Hank almost never pay for flights to Aruba using their credit card system
- Discover a unique brand of swimsuits for women that hasn't made its way to the States yet
- Find out what a Tahiti raft is

HOTELS, ESTABLISHMENTS, RESTAURANTS, AND BRANDS MENTIONED:

Direct download: EP104_-_Aruba_Happy_Hours_with_Debbie_and_Hank_Ecker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27pm EST

Fresh off an amazing Aruba vacation, Phil Ridolfi, an avid Aruba lover, and listener of One Happy Podcast is the latest guest on the show. Just 6 days back from Aruba we talk about Phil' s journey from a cruise ship visitor to ending up as a timeshare owner on the island.

On their first visit to the island (via cruise ship), Phil and his wife Kaye were already longtime Marriott customers, which prompted them to stop by the Aruba Marriott Surf Club, to see what they thought of the property. Along the way, they fell in love with the island.

This is the first time Phil has been able to spend November on the island, and we discuss some of the differences he noticed, such as the weather being different than usual. Slightly cooler, not much sun, and more humid but still perfect. Well, of course, you should expect nothing less from Aruba! Phil and I both agree there is nothing better than spending time in your favorite place to decompress and that's exactly what they did.

We also discuss the Marriott's Aruba Surf Club in which Phil's family stays at in the island. The rooms are nice and spacious. It works perfectly for them with a full kitchen, laundry, and generous space. The property is cool as well with great pools, a lazy river, and of course a beautiful Aruban beach.

As always, the interview is not complete without asking Phil's favorite restaurants and excursions, among which he talks about his number one restaurant in the island where the guests can dine with their feet in the water. Any idea what this is? Listen to find out.

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:


- Find out if Phil has ever seen the ever elusive green flash you're supposed to see in an Aruban sunset just as the sun jumps into the ocean.
- Hear why there needs to be a food tour in Aruba, similar to Kukoo Kunuku but with food.
- Hear stories of how Phil meets interesting people during excursions.
- Hear a funny story of their visit to Phillip's Animal Garden

 

 
Direct download: EP103_-_Phil_Ridolfi_from_Aruba_cruise_ship_visitor_to_timeshare_owner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:02pm EST

On the last episode, we heard from Tammy and Jay Zuschlag about what it's like to move to Aruba and start a business. On this episode, we'll get to hear insights from their kids, Maddie and Morgan.

Making the move from America to Aruba wasn't easy for Maddie and Morgan. They had to move away from the life they've known as well as be away from all their friends and relatives. But they're here to say that everything has been worth it.

The girls talk about what the adjustment period like when they first moved and how they go about keeping up with their studies while on the island. We also discuss their favorite Aruba activities such as exploring the rough side of Aruba.

Maddie and Morgan help out on the family business, Full Throttle Tours, when it comes to guiding and serving guests and managing social media. They also give us an idea of what to expect on the tour. Basically, they fill in any blanks that may have been missed by Tammy and Jay on episode 101 of One Happy Podcast.

Full Throttle Tours can be booked online via www.fullthrottletoursaruba.com or Facebook (Full Throttle Tours Aruba). The 2 and a half hours journey filled with thrills and fun. Snorkel gear, cold refreshments (the rum punch is a must try!), and snacks are fully provided. It's a fun and safe experience that everyone should totally try. This excursion is also available for private group rental.

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:
- Hear about some reservations the girls had about making the move.
- Find out what's the best thing to eat to get the salty taste out of your mouth after snorkeling.
- Hear cool stories about unique things seen at sea.
- Learn about the favorite restaurants of these nuevo locals

RESTAURANTS MENTIONED:
- Alfie's in Aruba
- Linda's Dutch Pancakes
- Pizza and More
- Baby Back Grill
- Chili's

Direct download: Episode_102_-_Full_Throttle_Tours_-_Maddie_and_Morgan_Zuschlag.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:37am EST

Are you familiar with Full Throttle Tours in Aruba? Whether you are or not, come tune in to this episode of One Happy Podcast to hear more from the couple behind it, Tammy and Jay Zuschlag.

Tammy and Jay have been residents of Aruba for a while now. They've planned to move to an island since long ago. While plans to move to other places like Belize and Barbados fell apart, everything just fell into place with Aruba and thus the whole family is now happily residing in the Happy Island where they started their business.

We find out about how long was the transition phase of fully integrating to the island. This information should definitely be considered as valuable to those planning or dreaming to one day do the same. We also talk about the reason why they decided to start the business, the reason they chose to start a boating and snorkeling business, how they went about getting a boat, and what it was like to take it for that first spin.

Some of the most interesting things we discussed are their thoughts on what are the easiest and most difficult parts of the process of starting up the Full Throttle Tours Aruba.

So what sets Full Throttle Tours Aruba apart from the rest? Well, on Full Throttle Tours you get to experience drift snorkeling at the Arashi Reef. For those not familiar, drift snorkeling involves floating along the current with the boat following you, which is a unique way to observe the underwater life. What really sets Full Throttle Tours apart is the thrill ride you get to experience all the way to Mangel Halto where you can then snorkel around a sunken ship and a gorgeous reef.

Full Throttle Tours can be booked online via www.fullthrottletoursaruba.com or Facebook (Full Throttle Tours Aruba). This is a unique 2 and a half hour journey filled with thrills and fun. Snorkel gear, snacks and cold refreshments (the rum punch is a must try!) are fully provided. It's a fun and safe experience that everyone should most definitely try.

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:
- Hear a story about a family packing up and relocating to Aruba
- Gain valuable tips and information if you have plans to move and start a business there.
- Know how it's like to start a business in Aruba.
- Be absolutely convinced to go on a Full Throttle Tour!

RESTAURANTS AND PLACES MENTIONED:
- Alfie's in Aruba
- Full Throttle Tours Aruba 
- Renaissance Island

Direct download: Episode_101_-_Full_Throttle_Tours_-_Tammy_and_Jay_Zuschlag.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50pm EST

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

 

- Hear why I decided to start One Happy Podcast

- Hear why I still get nervous before every show

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

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

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

 

SERVICES AND RESTAURANTS MENTIONED:

Quinta del Carmen

Yemanja Woodfire Grill

Skydive Aruba

Aruba Ray Comedy

Kukoo Kunuku Bus

CheapAir

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

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

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

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

 

ESTABLISHMENTS AND RESTAURANTS MENTIONED

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

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

- Hear about Maggie's experience with fresh aloe

- Hear about an awesome wedding experience we stumbled onto

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

 

RESTAURANTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS MENTIONED:

Twist of Flavors

Quinta del Carmen

Chicken and Lobster

Oceania

Screaming Eagle

The Arubian Taste Liqueur and Rum Shop

Hungry Piranha

Urataka's

Eduardo's

Bananas Apartments

L.G. Smith

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

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

- Hear about the jet ski incident.

- Hear why purple food is not for me.

 

ESTABLISHMENTS AND RESTAURANTS MENTIONED:

Eduardo's Beach Shack

Don Pastechi

Screaming Eagle

Eagle Beach Food Truck

Matthew's Beachside Restaurant

Bright Bakery

Animal Shelter

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

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

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

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

 

ESTABLISHMENTS AND RESTAURANTS MENTIONED:

Do it Center

Super Food Plaza

Eduardo's Beach Shack

Scott's Brats

Chihuahua's Fiesta and Grill

Hooters Aruba

Cafe Rembrandt

Así Es Mi Peru

Pelican Pier Aruba

Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill

Barney's Bar & Restaurant

Bavaria

South Beach Aruba

Hard Rock Aruba

Mcdonald's

Legends Pub

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

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

- Know Royal's bait and switch tactic for customers

 

 

SERVICES, COMPANIES, AND RESTAURANTS MENTIONED:

 

Courtyard Marriot Newark

Springhill Suites

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel

Applebees

Aruba Royal Car Rental

Aruba Optima Car Rental  

Tropic Car Rental Aruba

Amigo Car Rental

Pika's Corner

Don Pastechi

Wendy's

Así es mi Perú

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

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

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

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

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

- Know more about the Carubian Festival

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

 

RESTAURANTS AND COMPANIES MENTIONED:

Full Throttle Tours

Z island life blog

Fermin's  BBQ

Aruba Royal Car Rental

Aruba Optima Car Rental

Jay's Car Rental

CarVenience Aruba

Amigo Car Rental

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

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

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

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

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

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

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

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

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

- Here what some restaurants do wrong

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

Restaurants taking place in Eat Local Aruba Restaurant Week:

Participating restaurants include:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

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

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

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

WEBSITES AND EXCURSIONS MENTIONED:

CheapAir

Aruba Outdoor Adventures

Full Throttle Tours

- One Happy Podcast EP95 Shownotes

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

ON THIS EPISODE ON ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

- Learn what travel designers do.

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

- Hear about the qualities that drew Beth to Aruba.

- Listen to Beth give her opinion on numerous Aruba resorts

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

 

ESTABLISHMENTS AND SERVICES MENTIONED:

Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spa

Ocean Z Boutique Hotel

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

The Aruba Ritz-Carlton

Holiday Inn Resort Aruba - Beach Resort & Casino

Divi & Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive

Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba

Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa  

De Palm Tours Aruba

 

 

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

 

You can also find Beth on:

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BeautifulGetaway/

Twitter - @bethsgetaways

Instagram - @bethsbeautifulgetaways

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethljohnston

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/beibler/

 

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

Get your pen and paper ready because Regina Crusan and I are about to list down restaurants in Aruba that you should definitely check out! On this episode of One Happy Podcast, Regina talks about her upcoming trip to the island in a couple of weeks and we discuss the restaurants that she plans to visit as well as her all-time favorite places to get your foodie fix in Aruba.

Regina, which is a fellow Pittsburgher like myself, was a past guest in episode 76 in which she talked about her first time visiting Aruba and how she completely fell for the island. You can listen to that here: http://onehappypodcast.com/ep76/

Among her top five restaurants to eat in Aruba is Yemanja with their top tier food. She recommends everyone to get the goat cheese pastries which are to die for, as far as she's concerned.

Another one is El Gaucho. You can count on this restaurant for the best steaks in town. Regina can't praise their wedge salad enough too.

For seafood, Regina's to-go places are The Driftfood, The Old Fisherman, and Barefoot Restaurant. She enjoys the latter the most because you get to have the novel experience of dining while your feet are dipped in the water. In her words, it's a "true Aruban experience" that no one should miss out on.

She also mentioned LG Smith's Steak and Chop House, an old favorite of hers, which she always comes back to for a good meal and of course, excellent steaks.

I myself have a top five list. Included are Yemanja like Regina’s, Legends Pub in which the food is delicious and not too pricey, the Canadian-owned Alfie's with their excellent pulled pork and poutine, Barefoot where the atmosphere is great and the view from where you're dining is simply gorgeous, and last but definitely not the least, Quinta del Carmen with its beautiful courtyard and fine dining.

So now that you have more places on your list, time to check them out the next time you go down in Aruba!

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

- Learn Regina's full-proof method of discovering new places to eat in Aruba from the locals.

- Hear Regina talk about the benefits of an Aruba all-inclusive including how it's cost-effective, good for big groups, and a great opportunity to meet new folks

- Know which all-inclusives have exclusive restaurants and why the breakfast buffet is Regina's favorite.

- Hear about a waiter named Wilmer in Quinta del Carmen who Maggie and I are fond of.

- Wonder how come restaurants and stores close so early in downtown Aruba.

- Find out where most of the staff working in Aruba are from and hear us discuss their admirable traits.

 

Properties and venues mentioned this episode:

 

The Occidental Grand Aruba

The Renaissance Aruba Resort

Holiday Inn Resort Aruba - Beach Resort & Casino

 

Restaurants mentioned this episode:

 

Yemanja Woodfire Grill

El Gaucho Restaurant Aruba

The Old Fisherman Restaurant Aruba

Flying Fishbone Restaurant

LG Smith's Steak & Chop House

Quinta del Carmen

Legends Pub

Alfie's in Aruba

Barefoot Restaurant

Direct download: EP93_-_Talking_Aruba_Restaurants_with_Regina_Crusan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25pm EST

Fresh back from their trip to the island are Marcia and Ray Frost, who are joining me for this episode of One Happy Podcast to talk about how they celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary in Aruba.

 

I first had the pleasure of interviewing this lovely couple back in episode 23, in which they told the story of how they fell in love with Aruba. You can listen to that here: http://onehappypodcast.com/ep23

 

Marcia and Ray, who are Aruba veterans, find comfort and enjoyment in exploring the island to interact and make friends with the locals. They just love to take in the vibe, the music, and the friendly atmosphere in a small island where everyone knows everyone.

 

They talk about their great experience in an all-inclusive deal with Divi Aruba, which is according to them, the best deal in town and a no brainer if you just wish to sit back, relax, and have everything ready for you. For a reasonable price, they got to enjoy accommodations, endless food, and drinks, as well as entertainment. It's perfect for anybody who wants to take a trip in a pinch.

 

For their next trip, Marcia and Ray are planning to take a bunch of newbies with them to the island who will be experiencing the wonders of Aruba for the first time. They can't wait to be the excited tour guides. In their words, "We love to take people for their first trip and for them to see Aruba with fresh eyes."

 

Lastly, but also very important to note, they recount their heartwarming tale in bringing puppies home on a plane to be adopted. As huge animal lovers, Marcia and Ray can't feel a lot of compassion for the stray animals on the island and they set out to do what they can to help.

 

ON THIS EPISODE ON ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

  • Know all about Divi Aruba's Cyber Monday deals including the advantages and why you should consider it for your next trip.
  • Listen to us discuss the importance of tipping in Aruba and in other places for the staff who go out of their way to be helpful even in their own time.
  • Hear funny stories of the couple's search for a bandana to combat Ray's sweat which ended up with him getting an old school 80's sweatband instead and how he got the Patriot Cheerleaders to wish his father in law, George, a happy birthday.
  • Know the difficulties in finding bargains especially in flights and some useful tips.
  • Learn why it's important to be careful of the waves in Divi beach.
  • Hear about the strange condition Marcia falls into when swimming in the waters of Aruba, in which she gets seasick easily and how this seemingly also affects other people aside from her.

RESTAURANTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, AND SERVICES MENTIONED:

Divi Aruba All-Inclusive

Wacky Wahoo's

Pika's Corner Aruban Cuisine

Hard Rock Cafe

Passions on the Beach

Kukoo Kunuku Bus

Renaissance Aruba Private Island

Twist of Flavors

Iguana Joe's Caribbean Bar & Grill

ABC Tours

Casa del Mar Beach Resort and Timeshare

Playa Linda Beach Resort

Direct download: EP92_-_Returning_to_where_it_all_started_with_Marcia_and_Ray.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34pm EST

It has been a week since Maggie and I left the paradise of Aruba and we're here again to bring you the conclusion of our Summer 2017 Getaway trilogy. Don't forget to check out episode 89 and 90 for the first and second parts of this series.

 

I have to say, this has been one of the most laid-back vacations we've ever had. There was no adventuring involved this time. We just kicked back, relaxed, and basked in the calmness of the One Happy Island. Let me give you a summarized recount of our experience from our recent 8-day trip.

 

After a long work week, we couldn't wait to strap in and head out to the airport for our flight to begin our getaway. For the first time in the history of our vacations in Aruba, we didn't hit the beach on the first day which was regrettable, however, our night was a complete blast thanks to the celebration of Canada Day over at Alfie's.

 

This trip marked our very first 4th of July celebration in the island and now we want to do it every single year there. An absolutely breathtaking view of the fireworks from Palm Beach surrounded by friends in a great beach party? We couldn't have asked for more.

 

We laughed our tummies out at Aruba Ray's Comedy which we watched twice during our stay, featuring "Aruba" Ray Ellin, Pete Lee, Tony Woods, Mike Britt, Adrian Iapalucci, and Nimesh Patel. To find more about Aruba Ray Comedy, go to www.arubacomedy.com or listen to One Happy Podcast episodes 88, 77, 71.5, 71, 40, 21, and 7.

 

We also spent an amazing evening at Legends Pub for the biggest meet-up we've attended with people from the official Aruba forums as well as a pleasant dinner at Yemanja's with one of our dear friends, Anne.

 

There's always that bittersweet feeling when leaving Aruba which feels like we're leaving home somehow. And this trip was no exception. We're already counting down the days for our next trip!

 

So long, our paradise. Until we meet again.

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

- Gather our input from the restaurants we've dined at and some of the best dishes we've ever tasted.

- Hear my trick for scoring half price airplane drinks

- Listen to our discussion about the best places to get Italian hotdogs in North Jersey.

- Learn more about the unusual pickleback drink, Sherry "Jello" Pence, and Lia the talented little performer which were all mentioned in the previous episode.

- Hear about our regrets with missing out on a tempting offer from the Airline in exchange of a delayed flight.

 

RESTAURANTS, ESTABLISHMENTS, SERVICES, AND BUSINESSES MENTIONED:

 

Dickie Dee's World Famous Italian Hot Dogs and Pizza

Jimmy G's Famous Hot Dogs

Double Tree Hotel

Amigo Car Rental

Alfie's

New Wai Tai

Urataka Pizza

Pizza Bob's

Aruba Ray's Comedy

Eduardo's

Scott's Brats

Sole Mare

El Mexicano

Aruba’s Hands

Matthew's Beachside Restaurant

Ricardo's Restaurant and Bar

Barefoot Restaurant

Quinta del Carmen

Bugaloe Beach Bar & Grill

Legends Pub Bar

Fermin's Bar BQ

Yemanja’s Woodfire Grill

Direct download: EP91_-_Part_3_of__My_2017_Aruba_Getaway_with_Maggie_G.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27am EST

So this episode of One Happy Podcast was recorded down on the island.  What I wanted to do was capture the excitement of checking in with you guys on location.  So here we have yours truly and Maggie G. discussing some of the highlights of our Summer 2017 Aruba Getaway. While Aruba is widely regarded as a place that has perfect weather this past week, was an improvement even upon that.and thanks in part to that weather, this trip has been absolute perfection.

 

Our first night was spent in the company of friends at Alfie's in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday. It was a night jam-packed with fun and spent in a sea of red and white, which are the colors of Canada. Canada Day at Alfie’s was filled with good vibes, good food, and good drinks that never seemed to end.

 

As talked about in the previous episode, we celebrated the 4th of July at Palm Beach with the awesome folks from the Playa family in a huge beach party. The view of the fireworks display was nothing short of breathtaking. It really doesn't get any better than an up close, unobstructed view of the fireworks. I did a Facebook live of this event — if any of you were up to witness it — which basically was my way of bringing you guys into the Independence Day celebration that Aruba put on for us Americans.

 

We also attended one of the Aruba Ray's Comedy shows, which did not disappoint, of course. Maggie and I were in complete stitches the whole time. Those guys are absolutely hilarious and we recommend everyone to check them out! Aruba Ray has been on the show numerous times so even if you have not yet attended one of his shows, if you have been listening for a while you are probably familiar with him. However, if you are relatively new and you would like to know more about "Aruba" Ray’s Comedy you can get to know him by listening to One Happy Podcast episodes 88, 77, 71.5, 71, 40, 21, and 7.

 

Wrapping up our highlights is a recount of the wonderful time we had with friends from the Aruba.com forums.  We met up at Legend's Pub for a quick little meet and greet and also we had a superb night out with our good friend Anne at Yemanja, a new favorite restaurant of ours.

 

Make sure to stay tuned for the wrap-up of our Summer Aruba trip in the next episode! We'll list out a comprehensive list of all the restaurants we visited as well as our thoughts about them, a summary of our mini adventures, a recollection of the amazing memories we made, and much more.

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF ONE HAPPY PODCAST, YOU WILL:

 

- Listen to a story about what goes on in the casino after Aruba Ray’s Comedy.

- Learn why Canada Day at Alfie’s in Aruba was not to be missed

- Hear about how I became slightly starstruck upon meeting the actress Emily Tarver from Orange is the New Black.

- Know my reaction to an unusual drink I had at Legend’s Pub

- Find out about our jello shot filled nights thanks to a woman who's famous for making hundreds of them. (To know more about Sherry "Jello" Pence, check out episode 60 of One Happy Podcast.)

- Hear my account of why Playa Linda may be the closest knit timeshare property on the island.

 

ESTABLISHMENTS, RESTAURANTS, PERSONALITIES, AND SHOWS MENTIONED:

 

Alfie's

Eduardo's Beach Shack

Legend's Pub

Matthew's Beachside Restaurant

Passion on the Beach Restaurant

Scott’s Brats

Yemanja Woodfire Grill

 

Aruba Ray's Comedy

Marriott Hotel and Stellaris Casino

Playa Linda Beach Resort

 

Emily Tarver

Orange is the New Black

Tony Woods

Direct download: EP90_-_Part_2_of__Summer_2017_Aruba_Getaway_with_Maggie_G.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EST

In just a couple of days, Maggie — who you may be familiar with in a lot of previous episodes — and I are heading out to Aruba for our second trip this year and we are ready to go beach hopping and have some fun in the sun!

 

This will be the first part of what I'd like to call our Summer 2017 Getaway trilogy. We'll be doing an episode before the trip which is this one, another episode during our trip, and then the finale, after the trip, as a post-vacation wrap-up.

 

The last time we went to Aruba was on March earlier this year, and now we are going back to the One Happy Island this summer just in time for the Fourth of July, in celebration of America's 241st Independence Day. This is our first time joining in the festivities while on the island and we're excited to see the fireworks display from Palm Beach. We'll make sure to have a toast for all of you listeners too.

 

We also talk about the things that we're looking forward to the most in this trip which include soaking up the sun in Aruba's beautiful beaches as usual, dressing up in red and white to celebrate Canada Day with friends on the 1st of July, gearing ourselves up for a night of laughter in Aruba Ray's Comedy show (EP87 went more in detail with this), having our curiosity piqued with Guy "Master of the Mind" Bavli's mind-bending performance, and of course, getting out tummies filled with delicious food. We list out a bunch of restaurants that we're planning to check out — from pubs to traditional restaurants to the most recommended places by our listeners to the best pizzerias in the island to Italian ristorantes. So many places, so few nights!

 

Maggie and I can't wait to see what the island has in store for us this time! We have no doubt that it will be a blast.

 

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

- Know our favorite beaches to spend time in and admire the aesthetics of.

- Get a list of restaurants that we want to check out, which YOU might want to check out too.

- Find out more about the Canada Day celebration at Alfie's and how I plan on being Canadian for a day.

- Hear about our experience in car rental, recommended companies, and some useful tips.

- Hear about a new speed boat excursion coming to the island of Aruba

 

Restaurants mentioned:

Alfie's

Legends Pub

Quinta del Carmen

Barefoot Restaurant

Flying Fishbone Restaurant

Local Store

Urataka

Pizza Bob's Restaurant & Pub

Casa Tua Pizzeria

Amore Mio Pizzeria

Yemanja Woodfire Grill

Gostoso

Gasparito Restaurant

Twist of Flavors Restaurant

Azzurro Ristorante Italiano

Sole Mare Ristorante

 

Services, establishments, music acts, performers, and personalities mentioned:

Royal

Amigo

The Black Sheeps

Aruba Ray's Comedy

Guy Bavli

The Alhambra Casino

Stan Lee

Direct download: EP89_-_Part_1_of_Summer_2017_Getaway_With_Maggie_G.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06pm EST

 

Give it up for one of the most hilarious and genuine guys I know, Aruba Ray Ellin, as we welcome him back for another episode of One Happy Podcast! Ray and I catch up with some things we've missed out on and talk about his upcoming shows of Aruba Ray's Comedy at the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.

 

Here's the thing - Ray has nothing but excitement and praise for the line-up so anyone who's planning to attend are in for a real good time. Along with Aruba veteran comedians, Ray will be joined by some new faces who will be making their first trip to the island. One thing's for sure, they are all on a mission to make Aruba ring with laughter.

 

Ray discusses all the perks one can get when attending the shows. Good food and drinks? Yeah. Great atmosphere? Sure. A grand time filled with endless laughs? Guaranteed. For each ticket, there will also be free slot cash or match play in the Stellaris Casino.

 

From June 24th to July 29th, a whole new set of shows will be happening at the Marriott. Here are the outstanding comedians who will be joining Ray Ellin in Aruba Ray's Comedy.

 

  • Tony Woods
  • Costaki Economopoulos
  • Gregg Rogell
  • Pete Lee
  • Mike Britt
  • Veronica Mosey
  • Adrienne Iiapalucci
  • Nimesh Patel
  • Dan Naturman
  • Brian McFadden
  • Chris Distefano
  • Chuck Nice
  • Tony V.
  • Gary Vider
  • Joe Vega
  • Lynne Koplitz

 

Go check out their website to find out more about this top New York City comedy club transported to paradise. www.arubacomedy.com

 

On another note, as I will be in Aruba on the 4th of July, Ray pitches in some tips I could use to make the most out of the experience and this goes for all of you who are also heading to Aruba on the same period.

 

Apart from that, Ray shares his experiences of going on trips to the other side of the island which looks far from the touristy side. Travelers who are looking for a more adventurous time would definitely enjoy the raw, natural beauty of the less-visited parts of Aruba. For the foodies out there, which I know most of us are, Ray lists a couple of food trucks or restaurants you can add to your list of places to eat in the island.

 

 

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

- Get to know more about the comedians that are included in the line-up for Aruba Ray's Comedy; where they have made an appearance and some of their credentials

- Hear Ray talk about Jimmy Fallon and how I share the same taste as Fallon when it comes to cheesesteaks

- Know why Aruba Ray's Comedy got a rating of #1 on TripAdvisor

- Listen to Ray explain the initiation process they've got for the new guys in Aruba Ray's Comedy (not to be taken seriously)

- Hear about what's it like in Aruba on the 4th of July and some tips that Ray can share for first-timers

- Find out what it's like on the other side of the island and what are the natural wonders you can see in there

- Know some of the best food trucks and restaurants in Aruba that Ray recommends

- Hear about Ray's wonderful experience with customer service in a car rental place in Aruba

 

Restaurants, establishments, properties, and services mentioned:

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Alto Vista Chapel

Chalo Burger

Eataly Food Truck Aruba

El Mexicano Aruba Taco Truck

Fermin's Bar BQ

Legends Pub

Eduardo's Beach Shack

Scott's Brats

Hertz Car Rental Aruba

Direct download: EP88_-_NYC_Comedy_Club_in_Aruba_with_Ray_Ellin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is an Aruba visitor who has been coming to the island for 45 years.  After being introduced to the island by her parents at the age of 4, naturally, Ginny O. developed an unbreakable bond.  That bond which was forged as Ginny was growing up was one she would hope to one day share with her family.  Now that the dream is a reality Ginny travels to the island with her family and they now all share that same deep connection with the island.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, Ginny takes us for a trip down her personal memory lane that encompasses countless Aruba trips spanning four and a half decades.  This is an awesome episode for you long time visitors with memories of the Aruba from yesteryear. However, short-timers will also appreciate Ginny’s love for Aruba and everyone will be able to appreciate the family aspect of this podcast.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear about some of Ginny’s favorite places in Aruba to snorkel
  • Learn about Vincent the limbo dancer from 70s and 80s
  • Find out what it’s like to step on a sea urchin
  • Hear about some restaurants and properties you probably never knew existed
  • Learn the significance of the old Westin clock from one of the kids who grew up on the island

 

Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:

  • Skydive Aruba

 

  • Salt and Pepper
  • Club Visage
  • Gusto
  • Moomba
  • Tattoo Party Boat
  • The Paddock
  • Sole Mar
  • Passions on the Beach
  • Tulips

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP87_-_Visiting_Aruba_for_45_years_with_Ginny_Ohl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:32pm EST

Episode 86 of One Happy Podcast is one in which we tackle the subject of renting a vacation home in Aruba.  As you already know I’m a bit of a veteran when it comes to vacation rentals, but to make certain I got the absolute best info for you guys I went out to get professional help.  So, I reached out to Liz Ginocchio of myarubadreamvilla.com to provide her expertise in Aruba vacation rentals.

 

Although private vacation rentals have been around forever, with the explosion of AirBnB over the last few years, they are finally coming to the forefront.  People are seeing the value and personalization that comes along when you decide to explore what’s out there and they are getting curious.  Anytime I am asked where I stay (and answer “in a private home”) it kicks off a conversation about what it’s like renting a home in Aruba.  Those questions and conversations were the inspiration for this episode of the show.

 

My Aruba Dream Villa is one of the top property management and vacation rental agencies on the island.  During this interview, we talk to Liz about not only her rental agency but about renting in general.  This episode isn’t about trying to sway anyone’s opinion as to which is the better vacation option. Episode 86 is all about providing information so you as the consumer are informed about all of your options.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Discover why private rentals have amenities that can sometimes trump resorts
  • Learn what to look for in a rental
  • Find out the process for going from window shopping to booking
  • Hear why owning your very own Aruba vacation rental could be a great business decision
  • Find out how to get great deals on rentals
  • Learn about an exclusive concierge service renters can use

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP86_-_The_Ins_and_Outs_of_Aruba_Vacation_Rentals_with_Liz_Ginocchio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20pm EST

Joining me for  Episode 85 of One Happy Podcast is long time Aruba visitor Donna Dubrink.  How long has Donna been visiting Aruba?  She has been visiting for 24 years and still loves the island just as much as she did the first time.

 

Recently Donna was in Aruba staying at her beloved Playa Linda Timeshare and was nice enough to stop by to talk about it.  Now, just because Donna stays at a resort on a prime location on Palm Beach don’t think she only stays around the resort.  Donna is an explorer at heart.  This love for exploration has led her to discover countless nooks and crannies around the island.

 

So, on this episode of the show Donna takes us back 24 years to when she first stepped off the plane onto the tarmac of the airport.  Over that time she has experienced many different accommodations but the Playa Linda is home, and also the place where her most recent trip is centered.   We talk about that trip and how someone who has been visiting Aruba for more than 2 decades still finds a way to enjoy the island and discover new aspects of it.


On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Learn when to get a good photo of the most photographed trees in the Caribbean
  • Find out about the best spot on the island to watch the sunset with a bottle of wine
  • Hear what makes the Tranquillo different from other snorkel excursions
  • Learn what is drift snorkeling
  • Hear about Donna's favorite place to snorkel from the beach
  • Find out which restaurant would Donna recommend to a best friend who has never been to Aruba
  • Discover what water sports activity sounds like a freight train
  • Find out Donna's “goto” for 2 for 1 pina colada's

 

Properties and Services mentioned this episode:


Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:


 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP85_-_Exploring_Aruba_with_Donna_Dubrink.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42pm EST

Joining me on Episode 84 of One Happy Podcast is Michelle Kalina.  Michelle is a yoga instructor, health and wellness coach and a fellow Aruba lover.  Last month Michelle had the unique opportunity of teaching a sunset yoga class at the Aruba Renaissance, a class that some of you may have had the opportunity of participating in.  

 

I intended to reach out to Michelle prior to the class taking place, but there just was not enough time.  However, after hearing just how awesome it was, I decided to reach out after the fact to see if Michelle would be willing to come on the show… she was.

 

So, this interview is Michelle Kalina sharing her Aruba story.  The main focus of this episode was the trip she and her family just returned from.  We talk about the Marriott where they stayed,  some of the activities they experienced and many of the restaurants they enjoyed on their vacation.  

 

What I really love about this episode is not only does it feature an awesome Aruba story, but also has an underlying theme.  This was a very active and fitness-focused vacation with the highlight being Michelle’s sunset yoga class.  I don’t know about you guys, but for me, when on vacation it’s sometimes hard to maintain any semblance of restraint.  Hearing the Aruba story of someone who lives such a healthy lifestyle not only provides inspiration but also gives me ideas on what I can incorporate into my next vacation.  Hopefully my interview with Michelle Kalina of Michelle K Yoga on episode 84 of One Happy Podcast resonates with you in a similar fashion.

 

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear why you should never worry about the weather report in Aruba
  • Get Michelle’s take on the Renaissance Island experience
  • Discover how Yemanja makes it easy for those with dietary restrictions to determine what fits their needs.
  • Find out about the palapa procurement procedures at the Marriott Ocean Club
  • Get tips from Michelle K about how to eat healthy on a vacation in Aruba
  • Find out the deeper more spiritual meaning to the rock formations tourists refer to as “wishing rocks”

 

Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

 

Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:



 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

 

Direct download: EP84_-_Michelle_K_Yoga_in_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35pm EST

On Episode 83 of One Happy Podcast, the officially unofficial podcast of the island of Aruba, I am being joined by Melissa Rose.  Having just returned from her second trip to the island, Melissa is already a full-fledged Aruba-holic.  Now Melissa was just in Aruba a couple of weeks ago and was nice enough to stop by One Happy Podcast to share her Aruba story.  

In this interview, Melissa tells me all about her family vacation spent with her husband and two teenaged boys.  Being a first-time vacation home renter, I was curious to hear about her experience with “Vacation Rental by Owners” (VRBO).  I was also curious to see how the rental life compared to her previous stay at an Eagle beach resort.  Melissa walks me through her family vacation including her trips to the various beaches of the island, as well as an excursion that she absolutely loves.  

The reason why this episode is a favorite is because not only does Melissa do a great job of providing useful information but she does it in a way that places you there.  By the end, I almost felt like I tagged along with them on their family trip.  Even though Melissa is relatively new to the island, this interview proves that everyone has something to teach.  I learned quite a bit from my talk with Melissa and I hope you will as well.  At the very least I guarantee you will be entertained and warmed by the love she shows for One Happy Island, on episode 83 of the Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear what it’s like to rent a townhouse in Gold Coast
  • Listen to Melissa describe a buffet that you must visit if traveling with picky eaters… something for everyone.
  • Find out about an awesome local guided snorkel excursion
  • Learn ow someone who rents a vacation home deals with the Aruba beach palapa situation
  • From Melissa why you should be a guest on One Happy Podcast

Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

  • Gold Coast
  • La Cabana

Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

 

Direct download: EP83_-_Melissa_Rose_and_the_Aruba_Gold_Coast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm EST

On Episode 82 of One Happy Podcast, I am fortunate enough to be joined by two guests, Gae and Charlie Bailey.   The Bailey’s have been traveling to Aruba for 14 years and are absolutely in love with the island.  You could call their introduction to the island and act of divine intervention but you’ll have to listen to know what I mean.  Over time they have increased their time spent on Aruba with each visit.  This last trip the Bailey’s were able to stay for a total of six weeks, which is an absolute dream for most of us.

 

In this interview, Gae and Charlie take us on a trip to their Aruba, which is filled with friends, fun, and adventure.  Six weeks on Aruba is a long time and needs to be treated differently from your standard vacation. Gae and Charlie clue us in on how it’s possible to vacation for that long without breaking the budget.  Over the course of their trip, they stayed at 5 different properties and tell us about each of them.  Additionally, Gae and Charlie tell us about their incredible Carnival experience, some excellent and budget friendly Aruba restaurants and how they like to spend their days on the island.  

 

This episode is awesome because it gives you a different perspective on how to do Aruba.  For many of us, an Aruba vacation ends up being days on the beach, dinner in an expensive restaurant and then the casino at night.  That’s style of vacation isn’t sustainable for most of us over a long period of time.  This podcast episode is about an alternative method of Aruba vacation that emphasizes the island’s natural charm, incredible people and a sense of adventure, all of which are free.  If you are someone who has wondered what it would be like to stay on the island for an extended period of time you are definitely going to want to listen to episode 82 of One Happy Podcast - 6 weeks in Aruba with Gae and Charlie Bailey.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear how their discovery of Aruba can best be described as divine intervention
  • Get in-depth details about the 5 properties they stayed at around the island
  • Learn some awesome money saving tips that help make spending six weeks on Aruba affordable
  • Get tips on how to pack for a 6-week stay on the island
  • Find out what a Boat and Breakfast is and why you want to stay there
  • Have your soul warmed by the couple’s effusive love for Aruba

 

Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

 

Direct download: EP82_-_6_weeks_in_Aruba_with_Gae_and.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52pm EST

Joining me for Episode 81 of One Happy Podcast is Kristina Tisellano.   Kristina is a repeat guest on the show (Episode 33) where we learned that she has been visiting Aruba since she was 4 years old. Kristina is an owner at the Playa Linda but her timeshare weeks are in the summer.  This time around Kristina was on the island for Carnival.  However, unlike most of us, Kristina wasn’t on Aruba to watch Carnival, she was there to participate.  

In this interview Kristina shares the story of her latest adventure which took place this February.  The main focus of this trip to Aruba was to participate in Carnival but the two of us discuss so much more.  Kristina shares with us, this awesome apartment she rented for the week.  Also, Kristina and I talk about a couple of topics I receive inquiries about on a weekly basis; healthy eating and nightlife.  Having basically grown up on the island Kristina is thoroughly in tune with the after dark festivities that go on around the island and as a self-described pescatarian she can speak to that a lot better than my meat loving ass.

This episode of One Happy Podcast was a lot of fun to record and also pretty inspirational if you are someone that has some trepidation about doing something on the island.  Kristina had a dream of wanting to be in Carnival, and she set out to make it happen.  During that same timeframe I was also on the island and went skydiving, making a dream of mine happen.  I’m sure you dream about something, we all do, go out and make yours happen.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear  about the nightlife on the island from someone who has been visiting since she was 4 years old
  • Get a description of what the morning after Carnival feels like
  • Learn why Aruba loves house music so much
  • Find out how to eat healthy while on vacation in Aruba
  • Learn a pretty cool Air BNB trick to expand your available options
  • Hear the difference between a Pitaya Bowl and Acai Bowl
  • Find out what it’s like to be in a Carnival parade

 

Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

 

Restaurants and Nightlife mentioned this episode:


Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

 

Outtro music is called INSIDE THE THING by 'N FUZION FT. BUDDY the full video can be seen here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsA1ZlKkrM8

 

Also a very special thank you to Empire Carnival Group (Clary and Darren)

Direct download: EP81_-_Kristina_Tisellano_does_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38pm EST

Today on Episode 80 of One Happy Podcast, I am being joined by a couple of Aruba-lovers who just returned from their 13th trip to the island.  Bev and Bill Flood first visited the island via cruise ship but very quickly they stopped window shopping.  The couple’s second visit to Aruba would be a full blown vacation, rather than a cruise stop.  By the end of that second trip, Bill and Bev would purchase a timeshare at the Marriott.  

This interview is the Flood’s taking us on a journey to their Aruba.  Not only do we hear about how they discovered the island, but we also get to hear about their most recent visit. Having just returned from the island literally earlier that week, Bev and Bill were full of enthusiasm and also information.  Additionally, we talk about an excursion they did on a past trip that still rings out as one of the biggest highlights of all their vacations to Aruba.

This episode of One Happy Podcast is a back to the basics episode, featuring a conversation with two fun-loving Aruba vacationers.  We talk about how they first discovered Aruba, where they stay, what they like to do and of course they visit the eye of the hurricane.  Then entire episode lasts about 50 minutes and it is chock full of good times and Aruba vibes.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear about the procedure for getting a Palapa at the Marriott
  • Find out about the difference between pool people and beach people
  • Hear Bev and Bill’s perspective on when you should you rent a car or not
  • Find all about their experience with the Aruba Trike's excursion
  • Hear about a delicious dining in tradition the couple does on the island

Properties and Activities mentioned this episode:

 

Restaurants and places mentioned this episode:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP80_-_Bill_and_Bevs_13th_Trip_to_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On episode 79 of One Happy Podcast, I am lucky enough to be joined by Canadians Peter and Amal Kasouf, the proprietors of Alfie’s in Aruba.  Peter and Amal discovered Aruba thanks to his father who had been a visitor for many years.  After visiting Aruba for a few years, the couple decided that maybe it was time for a change.  So, after booking an appointment to see a bar that was for sale, there live’s would be forever changed.

 

If you, like many visitors, don’t visit the downtown area very often, you may not be familiar with Alfie’s.  Alfie’s is a new-ish bar in the downtown area that in my opinion is going to be a destination.  Alfie’s isn’t the easiest place to find, but once you do turns out to be a real treasure.  Known for their juicy burgers and delicious poutine, to me the personalities of the owners is the real star of the show.  This is the realization of a dream by two crazy canucks who relocated and brought a bit of Canada to One Happy Island.  

 

Not only is this episode of One Happy Podcast full of personality, there is also plenty of wisdom.  It’s not often you get to sit down and talk to someone who actually made the move from conventional four season life to 365 days of Summer. If you've ever thought about purchasing a business and relocating to Aruba, you will want to listen to this latest episode of One Happy Podcast.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear the story of Peter and Amal purchasing a bar in Aruba
  • Learn the origin of the name Alfie’s
  • Find out why paying bills in Aruba is an all day process
  • Get advice about what it takes to make your Aruba relocation dream come true
  • Hear what two hard-working restaurateurs do on their one day off

Restaurants and places mentioned this episode:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP79_-_Alfies_in_Aruba_with_Peter_and_Amal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On this “Super-sized” episode of Aruba’s number one podcast, “One Happy Podcast”, I am being joined by my partner in crime Maggie.  We will be going over our most recent trip to Aruba which took place from February 25th through March 6th.  If you haven’t heard any of these recap episodes before, we basically go over everything we did on our visit.  We start from departing our home all the way through boarding the plane to return home.

 

During this hour-plus long episode of the show we go over several activities we participated in down on the island.  Some of these activities include Aruba Ray’s Comedy at the Marriott Stellaris Hotel and Casino, the brand new Kukoo Kunuku Wine and Tapas tour, watching the Grand Carnival Parade, beach hopping, bar hopping and skydiving.  We also talk about the restaurants we visited during the vacation.  Among the restaurants we discussed are some of our old favorites like Quinta Del Carmen and Azzurro as well as places we visited for the first time like Legend’s and Aflie’s.  All together I think we talk about more than 20 different eateries.  I’m not sure how you eat at more than 20 different places in 10 days, especially since we repeated a couple and packed lunches at times.  

 

While ten days is a nice length of time to be in Aruba, for some reason it still was not enough.  The need you feel for wanting to get back into your Aruba routine directly clashes with wanting to try new things.  For an island that is so darn small, no matter how many times or how often you visit there is always something new to discover.  Maybe that’s just one more reason why we all keep coming back.  

 

Maggie and I had a lot of fun on the trip and continued that fun during this podcast episode. We opened a bottle of wine, turned on the microphones and this is what happened.  Thank you so much for supporting the show. Also, please excuse my congestion going from Aruba to Baltimore clogged me up for a couple of days so I do sound a bit more nasally than normal.  

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear about our experience at the Grand Carnival Parade
  • Find out about the brand new Kukoo Kunuku “Wine on down the road” wine and tapas tour.
  • Listen to me describe what it’s like to jump out of an airplane
  • Get our opinions about no less than 20 places around the island to eat
  • Find out why getting a rental with a full tank of gas is not all it’s cracked up to be.

 

Properties and venues mentioned this episode:

 

Restaurants mentioned this episode:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

 

Direct download: EP78_-_Aruba_Curt_and_Maggie_Feb_2017_Recap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:17am EST

Episode 77 of One Happy Podcast welcomes back Aruba Ray Ellin to the show.  Ray as you probably already know is the comedian responsible for bringing Aruba Ray’s Comedy to the Marriott Stellaris. Aruba Ray’s Comedy is basically a New York City comic club transplanted down to the island of Aruba.  In fact, it is actually listed as the number 1 show on Aruba.

 

Ray comes down maybe 3 times each year and currently is currently selling out shows at the Marriott.  Here are some of the comedians that will be joining Ray.

  • Robert Kelly
  • Tony Woods
  • Gina Brillon
  • Brian Scott McFadden
  • Joe Vega

 

Arubacomedy.com

Onehappypodcast.com

Facebook.com/onehappypodcast

Legends Pub

Eduardo’s Beach Shack

Scott’s Brats

Direct download: EP77_-__Aruba_Ray_Ellin_-_Aruba_Rays_Comedy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On this episode of Aruba’s number one podcast, “One Happy Podcast”, I am being joined by fellow aruba-phile Regina Crusan.  Regina first discovered Aruba about 14 years ago.  For her 40th birthday she decided to visit the island she would eventually come to love.  However, unlike many of you listening Regina didn’t initially feel the pull of Aruba.  After that first visit it would be an entire decade before she would once again set foot on Aruba.  Now, 4 years ago Regina came to her senses and once again visited the island and ever since then she’s been hooked.

 

Regina has a unique visitor perspective on the island as she has stayed in two distinctly different areas of the island.  Initially Regina enjoyed the ever popular Palm Beach experience at the Occidental Grand Aruba all-inclusive.  However, she also enjoys the downtown Oranjestad area when she stays at the Renaissance Aruba resort.  During the interview we spend quite a bit of time talking about the downtown area and of course Renaissance island, which is a fantastic experience.

 

In addition to conversing about the properties where Regina has stayed we also talk about touring the island and restaurants.  During the course of this nearly hour long episode of the show, Regina and I discuss plenty of topics.  I had a lot of fun recording this one as it was more of a conversation between two friends catching up (even though we’ve never met before), then an interview.  From discussions we’ve had since this was recorded I’m pretty sure Regina had fun, and I hope you guys have a lot of fun listening to One Happy Podcast Episode 76.



On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear Regina’s thoughts on Aruba development
  • Get An overview of the Renaissance
  • Find out Regina’s reasons for wanting an all inclusive
  • Hear a hilarious story about a jeep tour
  • Discover what it takes to be a gold medal floater

 

Properties and venues mentioned this episode:

 

Restaurants mentioned this episode:

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

 

Direct download: EP76_-_Getting_Happy_in_Aruba_with_Regina_Crusan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, I am being joined by my partner in crime and favorite co-host Maggie.  Being that we are preparing for another trip to Aruba, we figured this would be a good time to do our pre-Aruba vacation special.  So this is the show where we talk about what we plan on doing this next trip to Aruba.

 

Being that our trip is being put together so last minute, plans are a bit sparse for now.  However, instead of this being looked as a hindrance, it's actually an opportunity.  A lot of times we can get too bogged down in planning and end up with something that looks like one of those cruise ship itineraries.  You know, be here at 4pm and then at 7pm we are going to do this.  Its cool to be organized and all but it can turn a vacation into something that ends up not being very relaxing.  So this is a great opportunity for us to just jot down a few “must dos” and let everything else just fall into place.

 

So on this episode of One Happy Podcast Maggie and I start out discussing our pre-flight night before plans.  After that we talk about those couple of absolutely must-do activities and attractions.  While the list of potential activities may be small the potential for excitement is pretty much through the roof.  Of course, we also talk about restaurants.  What would an episode of One Happy Podcast be without food related discussion?

 

As always I had a lot of fun hanging out with the Magg and you guys.  Hopefully you guys enjoy the banter as much as I did.  Also remember to stay tuned for what is sure to be an incredible adventure in all of our favorite playground… Aruba!


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Find out why we think a pre-flight hotel beats an hour long early morning drive
  • Hear about our plans for the Carnival Grand Parade
  • Learn why we think Aruba Ray’s Comedy at the Marriott is a “must do”
  • Be the first to hear about Aruba Curt potentially jumping out of a perfectly good airplane
  • Find out about my plans to find out who has the best burgers and pizza on the island

 

Restaurants mentioned this episode:


Activities mentioned this episode:

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

 

Direct download: EP75_-_Curt_and_Maggs_Feb_2017_Pre_Aruba_Special.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, I am lucky enough to be joined by friend of the show and Aruba veteran Tracey Beaver.  Tracey first appeared on the show way back in episode 8.  During that episode, we learned all about her discovery of Aruba and how she’s grown from newbie to seasoned vacationer.  Now nearly two years later we check back in to see how her love for the island has evolved.  Fresh off a trip to Aruba Tracey has now stayed at a half dozen different properties.  Additionally, Tracey has accumulated a whole list of amazing restaurants to recommend.

 

Over the course of this info-packed hour-long episode of the show, we touch on so many topics you may want to listen twice.  It’s not often you have the opportunity to sit down with someone with such a diverse understanding of so many resorts.  I ask Tracey which resort is best suited for couples, families, budget travelers, etc.  She also takes the time to school me on the procedure for renting a timeshare.  Also, Tracey fills me in on some of her newly discovered restaurants, as well as a few excursions she has experienced in the past.

 

All in all, this was a fantastic conversation about a subject near and dear to all of us.  Tracey’s love for the island really shines through during this interview.  Also, the knowledge she’s gathered from her experiences on Aruba taught me so much.  Hopefully, you guys enjoy this interview as much as I did.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear opinions on no less than 6 different Aruba resort properties
  • Learn how Tracey went about renting a timeshare from an owner
  • Get an Aruba veteran’s opinion on many popular restaurants
  • Hear an unbiased opinion of Palm vs Eagle Beach

 

Properties mentioned this episode:

 

Restaurants mentioned this episode:

 

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

 

 

Direct download: EP74_-_Talking_Aruba_Resorts_with_Tracey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me today on Episode 73 of One Happy Podcast is Marie Geerman of Aruba Flight Volunteers and the New Life for Paws.  Marie has been a guest on One Happy Podcast a couple of times before on episode 15 and episode 30.  Just to catch you up Marie has been traveling to Aruba for 30 years and even lived there for just about a decade.  Her husband is Aruban and she even has an Aruban born son.  In other words, Marie has a connection to the island as strong as any.  When you combine that connection to Aruba with her love for animals what you get is some extremely driven to impact the quality of life of the animals of Aruba.  

 

This drive Marie feels to help the animals started back when she lived on Aruba and now continues on here in the United States.  Marie is part of the animal rescue organization “New Life for Paws” which helps care for and nurture stray dogs on the island.  Also, she founded “Aruba Flight Volunteers”, which helps set up and organize transport of adopted animals from Aruba to the United States.  Recently both of these organizations hit significant milestones.  While it has been legally registered in Aruba since 2015 New Life for Paws has recently received 501c3 status as a not for profit organization in the United States and Aruba Flight Volunteers just surpassed four thousand members in its Facebook group.  Both of these organizations are at the forefront of changing the lives of so many animals on the island.

 

In this interview, Marie and I catch up on what has been happening on the island in the area of animal rescue.  She tells me about the team of wonderfully caring individuals that make up New Life for Paws, and the strides they’ve made over the last year.  She also tells me about the struggles they have endured as a fledging organization and what it will take for them to reach that next level.  I hope you all enjoy this episode of One Happy Podcast as it is centered around a subject that is near and dear to my heart.  For those of you who may not be animal lovers (if there are any of you out there), I am sure you can appreciate the passion and work ethic of someone trying to make a difference.



On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Learn about two fantastic organization doing amazing work on Aruba
  • Discover how the strays are captured to be spayed or neutered
  • Hear about the difficulties of getting adult dogs transported
  • Find out about the impact of spay and neuter campaigns on Aruba’s stray animal population
  • Hear about the team of volunteers
  • working to make a difference on the island

Links and resources mentioned on this episode:

 

Direct download: EP73_-_Checking_in_with_Marie_Geerman_of_Aruba_Flight_Volunteers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

1