One Happy Podcast (general)

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Kristina Tisellano an Aruba traveler who has been visiting the island nearly her entire life.  First visiting the island at the age of 4, Kristina, now 26 spends multiple weeks each year on the island.  I guess you could say she grew up on the island.


Typically Kristina and her family stay at the Playa Linda, the resort property where her parents purchased that first timeshare many years ago.  Not being familiar with the Playa Linda, Kristina painted an incredible picture for me, highlighting the family friendly atmosphere of the resort.  One thing I thought was particularly cool is there way the families the Kristina has met over the years gather year after year becoming a sort of vacation family. She also mentions several of the staff members who have also become part of her Aruba family over the years.  


As you could probably guess, a 26 year old who has been visiting the island for more than 20 years knows all of the ins and outs.  Kristina was kind enough to share with us many of her favorite restaurants.  One part of the interview that will be of interest to those who struggle searching for nightlife is where Kristina talks about some of her favorite night time hotspots.  


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • Why the Playa Linda is the ideal timeshare property for families
  • About the amazing staff at the Playa Linda.
  • What a 26 year old does on the island for fun
  • Which bartender makes the best  “Brown Lady” on Aruba
  • What the Electric Festival is all about
  • The best thing Kristina has ever eaten in Aruba


Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

Links and resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP33_-_Kristina_Tisellano.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:37pm EDT

Today on One Happy Podcast I am being joined by Marlene Nichols-Scherrenburg.  Marlene is a Chicago born but raised in California girl who has been living on the island of Aruba for the last 15 years.  Over the course of those 15 years Marlene has experienced the island in ways that most of us will only ever dream about.  I met Marlene on my latest trip to Aruba while visiting Cheryl Talcof (from episode 19) and asked her to be on the show.  Just like some of you at first Marlene didn’t know she was the right kind of person for the show but as you will find out she was actually a fantastic guest.

On this episode of the show Marlene gives a glimpse into Aruba from the point of view of someone who lives and works on the island.  As an Aruba vacationer we do things one way but, when you are living on Aruba things can be quite different.  Listen as Marlene explains what adjustments she needed to make in order to get used to life in paradise.  Also find out what restaurants earn Marlene’s seal of approval as awesome values.  You may want to pay special attention to the food part as in addition to Marlene being a foodie she is also married to one of the best chefs on the island, Jan Scherrenburg of Barney’s. 

While most of the episodes of One Happy Podcast are geared towards vacationers this is a must listen for those considering someday making the move.   As many of you can attest it’s quite normal to dream about moving to the island while on vacation.  Marlene did things a bit differently as she moved there without having ever been to Aruba.  On Episode 32 you will not only hear why this isn’t the best way to go about things but Marlene also shares valuable advice for the right way to decide whether or not Aruba is the right place for you to relocate to.


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • The differences between vacationing on Aruba and living there
  • Some of the best hidden restaurants on the island.
  • What does Marlene miss about living in the United States
  • What advice does Marlene have for those looking to relocate to Aruba
  • An awesome sailing excursion for groups


Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

Links and resources mentioned this episode

Direct download: EP32_-_Marlene_Nichols-Scherrenburg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm EDT

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Nancy Gallagher.  Nancy is a listener of the show who you may recognize if you are a member of any of the popular Aruba Facebook groups.  Known for her stunning photography and insightful posts I asked Nancy to be a guest on the podcast a couple of months ago, but she was reluctant.  Fearful that listeners wouldn’t be interested in her version of Aruba, Nancy asked in one of the Facebook groups what they thought.  The support that was shown was overwhelming and as a result at fantastic podcast episode was born.

Nancy has been visiting Aruba since 1990 and over the course of that time she has seen it all… literally.  I am sure you will agree that most visitors to Aruba actually only see a small portion of the already small island, but not Nancy.  Over the course of the 26 years she has been visiting the island of Aruba, Nancy has made it a point to get off the tourist trail and to actually get to know the island we all love so much.  Although the bulk of her vacations are spent at the Divi Dutch Village, Nancy’s trips usually start out with a couple of days booked at a lesser known property out of the tourist area. This practice that has exposed Nancy to the Aruba that locals live.

Listen as Nancy tells us about her version of Aruba which starts at the Coral Reef Beach villas in Savaneta and finishes in her timeshare at the Divi Dutch Village, just 32 steps from the beach.  Over the course of the interview Nancy tells us about those two properties as well as about some of her favorite restaurants on the island, many of which you don’t need to make reservations at even during high season.  We also learn about some of Aruba’s off the beaten path treasures such as Seroe Crystal and Aruba’s National Art Gallery which is a great way to learn more about the culture of this very special island.

As some of you may know in addition to being a wealth of information on all things Aruba, Nancy is also an incredible potter.  In the past Nancy has crafted pieces as a fundraiser for the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary but can also do custom pieces.  So if you have an idea for an Aruba themed piece of art, you really should get in contact with Nancy. 

You can see examples of her work at:


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • About a fantastic place to stay in Savaneta
  • One of the best spots on Aruba to find sea glass
  • Where you can get custom made Aruba inspired pottery
  • Who has some of the best ribs on the island
  • Where you should dine while watching the sunset


Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

  • Baby back grill
  • Flying Fishbone
  • House of Cake
  • Marina Pirata
  • Zeerovers


Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode

Direct download: EP31_-_Nancy_Gallagher.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13pm EDT

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is a repeat guest, Marie Geerman.  You may remember Marie from episode 15, “Rescuing Dogs with Marie Geerman”.  In that episode Marie took us on a journey to her Aruba.  Marie took us all the way from her first exposure to Aruba, through taking on the task of feeding Aruba’s homeless animals, all the way to her present day work of trying to completely eliminate the stray animal problem in Aruba by educating and informing Arubans on the benefits of responsible ownership.

I asked Marie to come back onto One Happy Podcast to not only check up on the status of her spay and neuter campaign but to also learn more about Aruba Flight Volunteers.  Aruba Flight Volunteers is a Facebook page that was started to better organize the animal transportation efforts from Aruba to the United States. 

For a while now I have been aware of the generosity many tourists show in helping getting adopted dogs and cats from their birthplace of Aruba to their “fur-ever” homes back in the states, but like many of you I was completely ignorant of the process.  This lack of information really struck home on this last trip to Aruba when I made my first trip to the Aruba Animal Shelter.   Visiting those puppies and kittens really makes you want to help and although we did make a donation we wanted to do more.  Maggie came up with the idea of possibly transporting a puppy home.  The only problem is we had absolutely no idea how to go about setting something like this up.  

When I arrived back home I promised that I would find out more about the transportation process and figured what better place to turn for that information than Aruba Flight Volunteers.  That I when I got in contact with Marie to set up another interview.  It is my hope that this newest interview with Marie answers not only my own questions about animal transportation but also the questions of so many others that have the inclination but not the information to help save a life.   

While I hope every episode of One Happy Podcast is informative, this one goes the extra mile to provide focused insight into the topic of Aruba Animal Transportation.  My hopes are that it can be used as a primer for those curious about transporting in the future.  Both Marie and I realize there are questions that weren’t answered in the podcast and can’t be answered in this format due to everyone have different circumstances but it’s a start.  Your next step next step should be to go to the Aruba Flight Volunteer’s page and like it on Facebook; there you will be able to find even more information about transporting.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn

  • Which airlines allow transportation of animals
  • How much notice you should give prior to your trip to Aruba
  • The Status of the Aruba Spay and Neuter campaign we talked about in episode 15
  • How early you need to arrive at the airport on the day you are departing
  • That it costs you nothing but time to transport an animal
  • About the failsafe’s Aruba Flight Volunteers has in place to make sure your transportation experience is perfectly executed

Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode

Direct download: EP30_-_Aruba_Flight_Volunteers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21pm EDT

On today’s episode of One Happy Podcast I am trying something a bit different.  This episode is actually my first ever solo episode.  So what does that mean?  Well today instead of having a guest on the show it’ll just be my talking as I am recapping my September 2015 vacation to Aruba.

The trip itself was pretty uneventful as I usually have a pretty solid game plan going into vacation.  However, even though I have now gone to Aruba several times I am still learning different and better ways to enjoy vacationing there.  That learning process is a central part of this podcast as much of this trip was spent evolving as an Aruba vacationer.

So even though this podcast episode is a recap of my trip, I am not going to give you a complete play by play.  When we vacation in Aruba we are all over the place so a complete rundown of everything would be impractical.  Besides I really doubt you guys want to hear me drone on about hopping from Palm Beach to Eagle Beach to Arashi Beach every day.  So, instead what I am going to do is countdown my top 5 takeaways from this latest trip to One Happy Island.


One this Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Hear About:


  • Re-kindling my love for Photography

Although I do have a love for picture taking, over the past few trips I’ve been neglectful when it in the department of memory preservation. This trip I made it a point to be a more active photographer and it has paid off in the form of more images for me to share.  So be certain to check out the One Happy Podcast Facebook Page to see some of the photos I snapped on this last trip to Aruba.

  • The continuation of my Aruba Food Truck infatuation

Hear me talk about some of my favorite places to eat in Aruba… the food trucks.  The rolling revolution has hit Aruba in a major way.  In my opinion some of the absolutely best places to pick up a quick and cheap meal are the Aruba food trucks.  Here I focus on 4 food trucks that impacted me on this Aruba vacation in a major way.  I know they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but personally I could do an entire trip and eat nowhere else.

  • The Kukoo Kunuku

Even though I am not as young as I used to be, every once in a while my brain tricks my body into believing that I am still a young man.  This particular Aruba vacation, my bravado resulted in me taking an excursion on the Kukoo Kunuku party bus.  While I will say that I did pay the price for foolishly believing I could still party like it was 1999 (literally), I wouldn’t change it for the world.  If you have never gone on the Kunuku but do like to party you should absolutely check it out, you won’t be disappointed.  Tell the Aruba Curt sent you.  It will get you absolutely nothing.  In fact, they probably won’t even know who the hell Aruba Curt is but tell them anyway.

  • Meeting new friends

As I’ve stated before I am a bit of an introvert.  On this trip I actually do let my guard down and interact with quite a few different people while in Aruba.  I’m not talking about the odd superficial bar or beach conversations.  I mean I actually go to structured events to meet and mingle.  So find out what happens when Aruba Curt stops being such a loner and let’s life happens.  Does he actually have fun?  Will he once again crawl back into his shell?  Is it possible Aruba Curt embraces his newfound status as a social butterfly?  There is only one way to find out.  Press play on Episode 29 of One Happy Podcast.

  • Visiting the Puppies and Kittens of Aruba

The more I podcast the more I get exposed to all the different aspects of Aruba.  One part that I was exposed to a few episodes ago was the plight of the stray animals in Aruba.  This trip I decided to stop in at the Aruba Animal Shelter to see things first hand.  The plan was for us to set out one morning to make a quick stop to pet some puppies and make a donation.  What ended up happening was an experience that will forever change the way I vacation in Aruba.

Direct download: EP29_-_Aruba_Curt_September_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:13pm EDT

Today on Episode 28 of One Happy Podcast we travel to Aruba with newlyweds Craig and Dee Bell.  A few months ago I met Dee on one of the Facebook groups as she was planning a honeymoon to One Happy Island. She really stood out as someone who wanted to do more than just travel to an island and sit under a palm tree, Dee wanted to really get to know the ins and outs of where she was going.  It was apparent by the questions Dee asked that she wasn’t your average vacation… she was one of us.

Through conversations I learned that she had stumbled across my podcast and asked if she would like to be a guest upon her return.  Luckily for me (and you guys) she said yes, which brings us to now.  Now Dee is here with her brand new husband Craig to take us on a journey to their Aruba.  

On this episode we get a chance to look at Aruba through the eyes of someone who had never visited before.  It all starts with how they met and fell in love… who doesn’t enjoy a good love story.  Then we talk about how they ended up going to Aruba, an island neither of them knew about, for their honeymoon.  

Whether you’ve been visiting so long that you can’t really remember your first visit or if you are someone who has yet to step foot on Aruba, you’ll get something from this episode of One Happy Podcast.  We hear Craig and Dee describe in their own words what was like when they first exited the airport.  From their they take us on a little tour of the Riu Antillas including a description of the beach, dining areas and the oceanfront view from the 11th floor.  

While it is true that the Riu Antillas is an all-inclusive, don’t think Craig and Dee spent all of their time on property.  They also tell us about a couple of restaurants they visited off property; the super romantic Passion’s on the Beach and ever popular Linda’s Dutch Pancakes.  If that isn’t enough we also get a very detailed description of two excursions these honeymooners enjoyed while on the island.  Of course we finish it all off with a visit to the “Eye of the Hurricane”.  All together this episode is about 40 minutes of imagery and information for your listening pleasure as told by those who experienced it, Craig and Dee Bell.  

On This Episode You Will Hear About:

  • The circumstances that led to them choosing Aruba for their honeymoon
  • Their first impressions of Aruba
  • Quite possibly the best view on the island
  • What the food is like at the Riu Antillas all-inclusive
  • Two excursions they recommend for Aruba vacationers
  • What does it take to get a palapa on the beach

 Aruba Accommodations and Attractions Mentioned This Episode:

  • The Aruba Riu Palace Antillas

Aruba Restaurants Mentioned This Episode:

  • Coco’s Mojito Stand
  • Linda’s Dutch Pancakes
  • Passion’s on the Beach
  • The themed Restaurants at the Riu Antillas

Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode:

Direct download: EP28_-_Craig_and_Dee_Bell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Today’s episode of One Happy Podcast is my pre-vacation episode.  What that means is the majority of the show will be me talking about my upcoming trip to Aruba.  I am scheduled to fly out tomorrow morning at 7ish and will be on island until September 14th.  So if you want to know what I will be up to on this upcoming trip this is the episode for you.  If you couldn’t care less what I’ll be up to but want to hear a little Aruba talk this is also the episode for you. 

On this episode we start with the night before vacation and what that typically means for us.  After that I take you through my morning as well as what we plan on doing upon our landing in Aruba.  If you have ever been curious about renting a vacation home I talk a bit about some of the items you’ll want to stock up on upon arrival.  This time around it seems like I have a pretty large list of restaurants I want to visit, so I’ll be talking about that and also how I plan on spending my days and nights in Aruba.  Towards the end Maggie joins me to talk a bit about what she’s looking forward to doing on this trip to Aruba.


On This Episode You Will Hear About:

  • Why we drive further to fly out of BWI instead of PHL
  • How to arrive in Aruba refreshed even after an early flight
  • What items I consider must haves to stock up our villa
  • My restaurant list for this upcoming Aruba vacation
  • How I plan on kicking off this upcoming NFL season
  • What organized activities if any I am planning on doing this trip


Aruba Restaurants Mentioned This Episode:

  • Buster’s
  • Casa Tua
  • Local Store
  • Matthews
  • Quinta Del Carmen
  • Tango Argentine Grill
  • The Sultan
  • Urataka Center
  • Zeerover’s


Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode:

  • forums
  • One Happy Podcast on Facebook
  • Parksleepfly
Direct download: EP27_-_Aruba_Curt_and_Maggie_Aruba_September_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm EDT

This week on One Happy Podcast I am being joined by Bill Mora and Christina Canzoneri the team behind Aruba Trip Tips.  If you aren’t familiar with Aruba Trip Tips, well you should be as it’s another great information resource focused on helping visitors get the most out of their visit to the island.  Jam packed with tips and information Aruba Trip Tips was created to lessen or maybe even eliminate the learning curve it takes for visitors to get their bearings so they can start enjoying Aruba as quickly as possible.


In this episode we learn all about how the island inspired the creation of Aruba Trip Tips starting from Bill’s first visit to the island with his father up until his current visits with his wife.  We also learn how he introduced his longtime friend and business associate Christina to the island which captivated her as well.  The Trip Tips team goes through it all when they fell in love with Aruba, things they enjoy on the island and also the always popular “Eye of the Hurricane” where we pick their brains to find out how they do Aruba.


Throughout the interview you will not only learn about the current features of Aruba Trip Tips but you will also hear about what the team has in store for the future.  If that isn’t enough Bill and Christina tell you all about the sister site Aruba Festivals where you can go to find out all about the ever growing number of festivals taking place on One Happy Island.  If you are planning to visit Aruba and want to be as prepared as possible for your upcoming trip Aruba Trip Tips should be bookmarked to your browser.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this latest episode of One Happy Podcast to find out why?

On This Episode You Will Hear About:


  • The most comprehensive vegan alternative restaurant listing

  • Where you should go find the latest Aruba Festival news

  • A great horseback riding excursion you may not know about

  • Why moving to Aruba isn’t for everyone

  • How Bill and Christina would spend their last day in Aruba

Aruba Accommodations and Attractions Mentioned This Episode:


Aruba Restaurants Mentioned This Episode:

Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode:


Direct download: EP26_-_Aruba_Trip_Tips.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

On today’s episode of One Happy Podcast I am being joined by long time Aruba visitor Charlene Richardson who has been traveling to the island of Aruba since 1997.  Since then Charlene has developed a relationship with the island that has made it feel like a second home.  In fact, eventually Charlene plans on retiring in Aruba, but until then she settles for visiting 3 times per year.


In this episode Charlene shares with us how she has come to fall in love with the island as well as how her tastes in accommodations have changed over the years.  Since Charlene stays on Aruba for multiple weeks she is in the unique position to enjoy her stay at the Aruba Marriott as a timeshare owner while also staying at various other resorts around the island.

Of course as someone who has been visiting the island for 18 years she has developed a love for certain Aruba restaurants.  That isn’t to say she always dines at the same places each trip as Charlene prides herself on visiting different establishments each visit.  Now as a result of having developed a friendship with fellow New Englander turned permanent Aruba resident Cheryl Talcof (Episode 19) her exposure to the entire island has to offer has increased exponentially.

Throughout this interview you will get to know Charlene and the island of Aruba through Charlene’s experiences on the island.  If you are looking to get an idea of what activities and restaurants Aruba has to offer you really should carve out a half hour of your time to give this episode a listen.

On This Episode You Will Hear About:

  • Charlene’s white knuckle drive to the Natural Pool
  • Charlene’s NEW favorite restaurant on the Aruba
  • Why she feels perfectly fine traveling to Aruba by herself
  • How meeting a local friend can completely change your life


Aruba Attractions Mentioned This Episode:


Aruba Restaurants Mentioned This Episode:



Links and Resources Mentioned This Episode:

Direct download: EP25__-_Charlene_Richardson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is Diana Brown.  Diana is an Aruba-phile that was first introduced to the island many years ago as a result of her Grandmother being a long time timeshare owner.  Although her relationship with the island started off rocky, over the years it has progressed to the point where Aruba has become like a second home to her.  These days she makes the trip from California to the Caribbean more often than she does to her native New York.


Some of you may know Diana from a few of the Aruba Facebook groups where she can be seen dispensing information on a variety of topics.  Anyone who makes 3 trips each year to Aruba is bound to have picked up a load of information along the way and she is always very generous in sharing.  This interview is just one more instance of her giving back to the Aruba vacationer’s community.

Over the course of this interview Diana and I talk about everything from best practices to use when renting a villa to who has the best Sangria on the island.  Of course the highlight of the episode is the eye of the hurricane where I hit Diana with a series of questions and we find out a ton of information.  Will she be able to weather the storm?

  • In this episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear about:
  • Why someone who lives so close to Hawaii chooses to do Aruba instead
  • When to choose a villa as opposed to a timeshare
  • Questions to ask when you are looking to book a rental from someone
  • Who has the good Sangria on Aruba
  • What happens when your 70 year old mother is more of a daredevil than you are


Restaurants mentioned in this episode of the show:

  • Chalo burger
  • Wacky Wahoo
  • El Gaucho
  • Quinta Del Carmen
  • Gianni’s
  • Zeerover
  • Red Fish

Links and Resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP24_-_Diana_Brown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT