One Happy Podcast (general)

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 curt@onehappypodcast.com 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

Joining me today for the 42nd episode of One Happy Podcast is an Aruba veteran of 18+ trips.  Having first visited Aruba for his “Funny moon” in 2001 Jay Stull immediately fell in love with the island of Aruba.  Whether it’s the beautiful beaches, ice cold Amstel Bright’s or gentle nature of the island, Jay appreciates Aruba in a way that every visitor should.  

While he frequents and loves the Marriott Ocean Club where he and his wife own a timeshare, Jay also has an appreciation for the rest of Aruba.  Throughout this conversation Jay clues me in on some Aruba bars and restaurants that are not to be missed.  We talk about quite a few restaurants that are rare mentions on the podcast such as Cafe 080 and the Casibari Cafe as well as Aruba staples like Papiamento restaurant.  

In total this interview lasts just over 40 minutes and is full of information that not only newbies but those who have been visiting the island for many years will appreciate.  Whether you want to pick up a bit of the local language, learn a quick way to do a florin to dollar conversion or hear a rundown of some of the best casual dining spots on the island; this is the episode for you.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • The ideal qualities for making friends on the island of Aruba
  • Who has the coldest Amstel Bright’s on the island
  • Why if you have a freezer you need to have red solo cups
  • A math hack to convert florins to dollars in your head
  • Where in Aruba you can find a real life knight

 

Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

 

Links and Resources Mentioned this Episode:

 

 

Direct download: EP42_-_Jay_Stull.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is a whole group of guests, the Dion family.  That’s right today I have 4 guests willing to share their Aruba story.  More accurately I guess I should say four-fifths of the Dion family as Rich, the dad could not make it.  However in his absence Jacki (mom), Brianna (daughter), Jason and Michael (sons) do an exceptional job telling us all about their Aruba.

 

The Dion’s have been visiting Aruba for about 10 years and currently are timeshare owners at LaCabana which is described by Brianna as being the best resort on the island. Typically traveling with a group that can range anywhere for a handful to a bus-full of people (their largest group totaled more than 50) the Dion’s love being able to spend quality family time on the island they all care for so much.  In this episode we discuss what it means to be able to take a family vacation.  Also I learn more about the LaCabana resort and its grounds.  

 

As amazing as it sounds, this episode isn’t only about what goes on at LaCabana.  On episode 41 we also talk about things the Dion’s like to do away from the Eagle Beach area.  Aruba has so much to offer and the Dion’s take full advantage of it.  Depending on mood, sometimes they go exploring the backside of the island, snorkeling at DePalm Island or enjoying one of the many fantastic restaurants that Aruba has to offer.  No matter what they are doing its clear the Dion’s love to have a great time.  If you are someone who is looking to take a family vacation to the island of Aruba, this is the episode for you

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

 

  • What LaCabana has to offer for a family vacation
  • Why your kid would absolutely love De Palm island
  • How making use of the kitchen at LaCabana makes Aruba more economical
  • About some of the best kid friendly restaurants Aruba has to offer
  • Why you should consider making your next family vacation an Aruba vacation
  • One of the best resources and communities for learning about Aruba

 

Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

 

  • Chalet Swiss
  • Iguana Joe’s
  • Islander Grill
  • La Trattoria el Faro Blanco
  • Pata Pata Bar
  • Pizza Bob’s
  • Texas De Brazil Aruba

 

  • The Backside of the Island
  • The California Lighthouse
  • De Palm Island
  • La Cabana

 

Direct download: EP41_-__The_Dion_Family.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:03pm EDT

On the 40th episode of One Happy podcast, Aruba Ray Ellin stops past tell talk about the newest installment of “Aruba Ray’s Comedy”.  He and his cohorts will have shows running from February 3rd through March 4th at the Aruba Marriott Stellaris Hotel and Casino.  Each night will feature Ray Ellin as your host and two other New York city comic’s doing a 90 minute show.  

 

In my opinion Aruba Ray’s Comedy is the best way to spend an evening on the island.  In September I was able to catch two shows and both were fantastic. If you are a fan of comedy clubs there is nothing else like this in Aruba.  If you are someone who has never been to a comedy club Aruba Ray’s Comedy is a great introduction into what you have been missing out on.  

 

Ray himself is an extremely accomplished NYC comedian and all of the guests he brings down to the island are equally incredible.  These guys and girls have been featured on late night shows such as the Tonight Show, David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien.  The have been in major motion pictures such as “Trainwreck” with Amy Schumer, “Invincible” with Mark Wahlberg and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” with Ben Stiller.  I have actually been a fan of one of the comics, Tony Woods for about decade when I saw him in P Diddy’s “Bad Boys of Comedy”.  So many of you will probably recognize many others Last Comic Standing, TRU Tv, HGTV and comedy specials of their own on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. Basically what I am saying is normally you would need to visit a big city comedy club to see this level of talent.

 

Here is a list of who will take part in the February 3rd through March 4th 2016 shows and specific dates:

 

  • Ray Ellin: February  3 - March 4
  • Tony Woods: February 3 - February 10
  • Chris Distefano: February 3 - February 6
  • Dov Davidoff: February 6 - February 9
  • Dan Naturman: February 11 - February 16
  • Chuck Nice: February 10 - February 16
  • Marina Franklin: February 19 - February 24
  • Joey Vega: February 19 - February 25
  • Mike Britt: February 19 - February 24
  • Ted Alexandro: February 25 - February 28
  • Brian Scott McFadden: February 27 - March 4
  • Lenny Marcus: February 29 - March 4

 

You can buy tickets at the Amsterdam Ballroom Showroom Door at 7:30pm subject to availability but they do sell out so if I were you I would choose a date and purchase tickets right now.  Visit Arubacomedy.com to get your tickets today!

 

You also get a couple of perks with your ticket purchase:

20% off Aruba La Vista Buffet

Free Stellaris Casino Slot Credit

 

There is also an optional 4 hour Premium open bar for only 22 additional dollars

Please note that you cannot purchase tickets online after 5:30pm on the day of the show

Restaurant’s Mentioned this episode:



Direct download: EP40_-__Aruba_Rays_Comedy_February_2016.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27am EDT

An Aruba expense report is the topic of discussion on episode 39 of One Happy Podcast.  The idea for this episode came from a few questions I recently saw on the Aruba Facebook groups.  Would be visitors to the island were asking for advice on how much they would be looking at spending while on the island.  Estimates were all over the place, with none being very specific.  I don’t blame the people answering the questions for this vagueness as it’s a natural limitation to Facebook groups.  It’s just really hard to give a complete answer on a one paragraph Facebook post.  Thankfully I have a podcast, which allows me to give a much more detailed answers.

 

On this episode of the show I use my September 2015 Aruba trip as an example of what a trip to Aruba can cost.  What I do with that data is list actual prices we paid for car rentals and dinners on the island.  Hopefully by providing that information to you guys it will help you figure out your own budgeting.  This post is geared more towards Aruba newbies but can also prove helpful for anyone wondering how their expenses stack up.

 

Sometimes it comes off like it’s taboo to discuss specific numbers, but in my opinion specifics are the only way to be helpful.  When someone asks for recommendations for an affordable place to eat if only a name is tossed out it means nothing.  Affordable to you may be completely different than it does for the person asking the question.  By providing not only the actual amount spent at a particular restaurant but what it was spent on it allows for a more complete picture for the person making the inquiry.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

 

  • Hear the total amount I spent on food, drinks and transportation during that 9 day trip
  • Learn the exact cost of my rental from Royal Aruba
  • Find out what I bring from home to cut down on my booze bill
  • Learn more about the Aruba food truck scene
  • Get exact dollar amounts spent in some of the more popular restaurants in Aruba

 

Restaurants Mentioned this episode:

 

 

Links and Resources Mentioned:

 

Direct download: EP39_-_How_much_Aruba_Curt_spends_in.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55am EDT

On this, the 38th episode of One Happy Podcast I am being joined by native Aruban Howard Nedd.  Howard and I connected via Twitter and where he expressed an interest in coming on the show to speak about growing up in Aruba.   Although Howard was born in paradise he like many other Arubans now resides in the Netherlands.  As many of you know Aruba natives relocating to the Netherlands in search of more opportunity is a common theme.  Well now Howard has reached a point where he is giving serious consideration to moving back to Aruba.  

 

Seeing as it is currently winter for most of you listening I am sure you are also wishing you could move to Aruba. While the constant 86 degree and breezy weather is a huge plus, Howard’s reason for contemplating a return to his home is different.   Any day now he is expecting the birth of his first child.

 

Anyone with open eyes and a bit of common sense realizes the way children grow up on Aruba is different than in major metropolitan areas.  Children kicking the soccer ball around on the beaches or enjoying nature is a sharp contrast to the Xbox and PlayStation culture common in the United States and other areas of the world.   Part of that has to do with our weather not being anything close to what Aruba has to offer.  Another part has to do with us forgetting to pay attention to how beautiful this world we live in truly is.  The rest has to do with a misguided belief that because people have so much darn money these days we need to spend it on “stuff”.  Howard hopes to avoid falling into that trap by relocating back to the island to raise his son in a culture that values experiences over things.

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  •         What it was like for Howard growing up on Aruba
  •         How the tourism industry influences how Aruban children grow up
  •         Why Aruban’s relocate to the Netherlands
  •         Where to find the good local food in Aruba
  •         What Howard misses most about Aruba

 

Links and resources mentioned this episode:

 

Direct download: EP38_-_Howard_Nedd.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38pm EDT