One Happy Podcast (general)
Joining me this week on One Happy Podcast is comedian Aruba Ray Ellin.  Some of you may remember Ray from his first appearance on episode 7 “Aruba Ray Ellin Brings Comedy to One Happy Island”.  During that show we learned all about how Ray discovered and subsequently fell in love with Aruba.



On this episode Ray is back to discuss his comedy show which is taking place June 9th through July 9th in the Amsterdam Ballroom at the Marriott Stellaris Casino.  During this half hour episode we talk about the comedians coming down this time around as well Ray’s take on a couple of about excursions and restaurants.

Direct download: EP21_-_Aruba_Ray_Ellin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me on this 20th episode of One Happy Podcast the Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba is a guest many of you are already familiar with, Andrea James.  Andrea was a guest on episode number 2 of the show and there she shared the story of how she fell in love with Aruba.  Well, Andrea is just back from a trip she took in May and is here to share that little adventure with the rest of us.

Normally Andrea stays at one of the resorts on the island but this time she switched things up by staying someplace off the beaten path, Banana Apartments.  Over the course of this episode Andrea tells us all about Bananas, a couple of different restaurants and a few activities she and her husband Paul enjoyed during their two week stay.

Andrea has 35 years of experience visiting Aruba and being able to tap into a bit of the knowledge she has accumulated over the years is definitely a treat.  The first episode with Andrea got great feedback and I am positive you all will enjoy this one just as much, if not more.

On this episode you will hear about:

Another option for you to stay if you want to try something a bit different

One of the best places on the island to snorkel

A bit of advice if you are going to be going into the water at Arashi

Some tried and true restaurants that still deliver an excellent dining experience

Advice from a 35 year Aruba veteran about what newbies should not do


Links and Resources Mentioned this episode: forums - the Official website of the Aruba Tourism Authority

Banana Apartments


Bully -  Aruba's most popular taxi Drivers

Madame Jeanette's

Sole Mare Ristorante Italiano


Direct download: EP20_-_Andrea_James.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:43pm EST

Joining me for this 19th episode of One Happy Podcast is Cheryl Talcof.  Having first visited Aruba in 1972 Cheryl had visited the island for 40 years right up until the time she decided to make a permanent move.  Now she lives there year round and is here to tell us about about what it's like for a North American living on Aruba.

Throughout this episode Cheryl takes us on a journey that begins with her visiting a little known piece of rock in the Caribbean all the way through her permanent move to the island.  Over the course of this interview you gain an insight into Aruba that not many tourists will ever know.  

Sure we have all dreamt of making the move from our normal lives to a dream life in paradise but Cheryl actually did it.  If this is a dream that you have had you will definitely want to listen to this episode to see if moving is something you truly want to pursue further.  If you have already decided that relocating is something you WILL be doing in the future then you definitely will want to hear everything Cheryl has to say about life in Aruba.


On this episode you will hear about:

When will you know its time to move to Aruba

Tips for shipping your belongings to Aruba

Arubans and American Football

The Number 1 mindset change you must make to adjust to aurba

Cheryl explains why you should NOT take the all inclusive option

Cheryl's first hand account of just how safe Aruba is


The Aruba Spay and Neuter Fundraising Campaign

The Aruba Spay and Neuter Fundraising Campaign - During the episode Cheryl mentioned the campaign to help raise funds to jumpstart a spay/neuter program for Aruba.  By visiting the link here you can learn more about this amazing opportunity to help improve Aruba.  

As perfect as we may see the island there is always something that can be improved.  On Aruba there is a glaring need for a way to not only help the dogs and cats being born but for a way to get the ever growing problem under control.  Give what you can to this program and you can make a difference.  


Links and Resources Mentioned this episode:


KuKoo Kunuku

Ritz Carlton

Marriot Ocean Club

Direct download: EP19_-_Cheryl_Talcof.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm EST

Joining me on this 18th episode of One Happy Podcast are two phenomenal guests, Lori Donlan and her very talented 8 year old daughter Chloe.  Lori first visited Aruba in 2004 and since then has been back 7 times, 2 of them with Chloe.  

Even though Chloe is only 8 she has traveled pretty extensively but absolutely loves Aruba, so much that she actually wrote a song about Aruba.  Chloe and Lori are animal lovers and have visited many of the different animal centered attractions of Aruba and we'll hear all about that.  In addition we hear about the Aruba Marriot Surf Club and their kids club program that gets extremely high marks from 8 year old Chloe.  

If you travel or are planning to travel to Aruba with small children, this is an episode of One Happy Podcast that simply don't want to miss.

On this episode you will hear about:

The Aruba Marriot Surf Club's kids program

Why the Kukoo Kunuku isn't just for adults anymore

8 Year old Chloe's favorite Aruban delicacy

An option for those who want to keep their gear in Aruba

Why you should or should not wear colorful clothing to the Butterfly Farm

Many different kindnesses Aruban residents have shown the Donlans


Restaurants mentioned in this episode:

Aruba Hyatt - Pampered in Paradise

Diana's Pancakes Place


Dutch Pancake House

Flying Fishbone

Linda's Pancakes

Texas De Brazil


Links and Resources Mentioned this episode:

Aruba Donkey Sanctuary

Aruba Butterfly Farm

Phillips Animal Garden

Kukoo Kunuku  Animal Lovers Tour

Marriott Aruba Surf Club

Renaissance Aruba

Timeshare Storage Aruba


Direct download: EP18_-_Lori_and_Chloe_Donlan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EST

Today on One Happy Podcast it is my pleasure to present to you an episode I did with a wonderful guy, James Haroutunian.  James is a Massachusetts native who first visited Aruba 14 years ago as a newlywed for his honeymoon with his beautiful wife Amy.  Well now they are returning to the island for the first time since then with their two incredible children Isabelle and Jack.

This interview is very special as it actually takes place in two parts.  During the first half you will hear about how they spent that first trip.  James takes us back in time and we explore the island through his eyes.  Then we talk about the expectations he has for this upcoming trip. Then in the second half of the interview James returns to fill us in on where Aruba is as special as he remembers.  

Throughout the interview we also are joined by a couple of very special guests who offer their opinions on our favorite vacation destination.  

 In this episode you will hear about:


  • What Aruba was like for a couple of newlyweds 14 years ago
  • Why you should choose the Radisson for your next vacation
  • A pizza recommendation from a 12 year old expert on the subject
  • Awe breakfast recommendations
  • The reason why any family with kids should run,not walk to book their next trip to Aruba

Restaurants mentioned in this episode:

  • Papiamento
  • Flying Fishbone
  • Giligans
  • Pelican’s Nest
  • Bugaloe
  • Amore Mia
  • Eduardo’s Juice Beach Shack
  • The Bread Basket

Links and Resources from the episode:

  • One Happy Podcast – The Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba
Direct download: EP17_-_James_Haroutunian_new.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:50pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is another fantastic guest.  On this episode of the officially unofficial podcast of Aruba I am being joined by the incredibly talented Connecticut photographer Heather Hudson.  

Heather is a newcomer to Aruba who just returned from a trip where she and her husband Adam were in Aruba to celebrate a very special occasion, Adam's birthday.  While they were there to relax, have a great time and celebrate somewhere along the way they ended up becoming full blown members of our tribe of Arubaphiles.  

Although the Marriot was their home base they didn't stay glued to the resort grounds.  In the middle of their stay Heather and Adam rented a jeep so they could explore the other side of the island.  They even managed to make that treacherous drive to the Natural Pool.  In this 16th episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear all about their exploration, restaurants visited and of course why you should visit Aruba.


In this episode you will hear about:

The moment Heather fell in love with Aruba

Heather's experiences renting a vehicle

What the drive to the natural pool is like

Heather's recommendation for a restaurant that you should not miss


Restaurants mentioned in this episode:

Flying Fishbone

Linda's Dutch Pancakes


Passions on the Beach


Links and Resources from this episode:

Heather Hudson Photography

Marriot Aruba Surf Club

Papasan Collapsible Water Float

We Love Aruba! - Facebook Group


Direct download: EP16_-_Heather_Hudson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am EST

Joining me today on episode 15 of “One Happy Podcast - the Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba” is longtime Aruba-phile  Marie Geerman.  Marie has been traveling to Aruba for nearly 30 years and even lived there for about a decade.  Being that Marie is married to an Aruban and has an Aruban born son saying she has a special connection to the island would be a gross understatement.  


Marie’s connection actually goes much further than the people who are important to her, the animals of Aruba also occupy a very large space in her heart. When visiting Aruba it’s hard to not notice the stray dogs roaming the streets eeking out an existence.  When Marie made the move to Aruba she did more than just notice these animals… alot more.


Through the course of this episode you will hear all about Marie’s connection and dedication to those animals. A dedication that started in the early 90’s and continues to this very day.  Now this isn’t your typical episode of One Happy Podcast.  While I hope every episode touches you in some way, none of them will touch you quite like this episode.  


Direct download: EP15_-_Marie_Geerman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am EST

Joining me on this episode of One Happy Podcast is best selling Author Daniel Putkowski.  Daniel is the author of several books including the iconic aruba based An Island Island Away and its followup Under a Blue Flag.  Additionally Daniel also has a fantastic travel blog called the Bentpage that is one of my favorite sources for information about the part of Aruba that is off the tourist trail.

Daniel first visited the island more than 20 years ago on business and has been going back nearly every year ever since. Due to the way he was introduced to Aruba, Daniel was welcomed into the Aruba social scene in a way not many can claim.  It was this insiders of Aruba and particularly the once booming refinery town of San Nicolaas that made his first book An Island Away so authentically awesome!

In this episode you will hear about:

  • The part of Aruba many tourists never see
  • What San Nicolaas was like in its hey day
  • What Character in An Island Away was the most fun to write
  • The possibilities of seeing an adaptation of an island away on screen
  • The best Aruba travel blog that you may have never read
Direct download: EP14_-_Daniel_Putkowski.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:44am EST

Joining me on this episode of One Happy podcast is a repeat guest, the multi-talented Louis Johnson.  Louis was a guest on episode 6 of the show but this time has brought along a surprise, Aruba first-timer his lovely girlfriend Alyssa.  

Back in February Alyssa and Louis were fortunate enough to be able to escape the harsh New York winter for an incredible week at the Palm Beach Aruba Holiday Inn.  They picked a great time as the Northeast United States was pelted once again pretty much as soon as they touched down

On this episode you will hear Alyssa and Louis talk about the Aruba Holiday Inn and the recent changes (both good and bad) they’ve made, Aruba Carnival, snorkeling at Baby Beach and much more.  If you ask me the real treat you get to see it through the eyes of a newbie.

In this episode you will hear about:

  • What Carnival is like in Aruba
  • How an Aruban resident saved Louis and Alyssa with his kindness
  • One of the best bartenders on the island of Aruba
  • Just how hard the Dutch Marines party


Links and Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

  • Expedia
  • Tripadvisor
  • Go Pro Camera
Direct download: EP13_-_Alyssa_and_Louis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is International man of mystery Stephen from Toronto or act1966 if you are a member of the forums at  A lover of Aruba, Stephen was kind enough to stop by the podcast to talk about why he feels Aruba is special.  


On this episode you will hear Stephen and I talk about what its like to go from subzero temperatures to the constant meteorological perfection of Aruba.  You will also hear about some of the benefits to renting a villa, something I know many of you have questions about.  


One of the big focuses of this episode of One Happy Podcast is the Aruba restaurant scene.  Stephen and I discuss just how amazing it is that an island so small is able to provide such an outstanding culinary experience.  If you are a foodie this is definitely an episode you won’t want to miss.


In this episode you will hear about:


  • What it feels like to go from Canada to Aruba in the dead of winter

  • Some of the most amazing restaurants in the Caribbean

  • The advantages of renting a private villa

  • Where to get the cheapest Patron in Aruba

  • What its like to purchase a property in Aruba
Direct download: EP12_-_Stephen_Act1966.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST