One Happy Podcast (general)

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

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

In future episodes of this series we will be discussing:

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

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

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

An outline of this episode:

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

Other links and resources mentioned this episode of the podcast:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aruba Early Bird Dinners mentioned on this episode:

Other links and resources mentioned this episode of the podcast:

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

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

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

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

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

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

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


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


The comedic lineup for Aruba Ray’s Comedy

RAY ELLIN - - JUNE 12th to JULY 21st


JOEY KOLA - - JUNE 12th to JUNE 14th

SEAN DONNELLY - - JUNE 12th to JUNE 14th

TONY WOODS - - JUNE 15th to JUNE 22nd

YANNIS PAPPAS - - JUNE 15th to JUNE 17th

ANDREW SCHULZ  - - JUNE 17th to JUNE 20th

JOEY VEGA - - JUNE 19th to JUNE 26th

GARY VIDER - - JUNE 23rd to JUNE 26th

LEONARD OUZTS - - JUNE 23rd to JUNE 26th



PETE LEE - - JULY 9th to JULY 12th

CHUCK NICE - - JULY 8th to JULY 12th

DAN NATURMAN - - JULY 10th to JULY 17th

BRIAN McFADDEN - - JULY 14th to JULY 21st


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

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


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


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


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

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


Properties and Restaurants mentioned on this episode of the show:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Properties and Restaurants mentioned on this episode of the show:

Links and Other Resources mentioned this episode


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

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

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

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

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

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

Properties and Restaurants mentioned on this episode of the show

Links and Other Resources mentioned this episode

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

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

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

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

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

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

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

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

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

Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:

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


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

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

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

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

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

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

People and places mentioned this episode of the show

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

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


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

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

What is PASD?

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


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

What you will learn on this episode of One Happy Podcast

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

The most important takeaway from Episode 44 of One Happy Podcast

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

Important Links from this Episode:

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

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

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

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

On this episode you will hear about:

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

Aruba attractions mentioned on this episode

Links and Resources mentioned this episode:

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