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!

- 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


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

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.


- 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 EDT

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 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.

- 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

- 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 EDT