One Happy Podcast (general)

In just a couple of days, Maggie — who you may be familiar with in a lot of previous episodes — and I are heading out to Aruba for our second trip this year and we are ready to go beach hopping and have some fun in the sun!


This will be the first part of what I'd like to call our Summer 2017 Getaway trilogy. We'll be doing an episode before the trip which is this one, another episode during our trip, and then the finale, after the trip, as a post-vacation wrap-up.


The last time we went to Aruba was on March earlier this year, and now we are going back to the One Happy Island this summer just in time for the Fourth of July, in celebration of America's 241st Independence Day. This is our first time joining in the festivities while on the island and we're excited to see the fireworks display from Palm Beach. We'll make sure to have a toast for all of you listeners too.


We also talk about the things that we're looking forward to the most in this trip which include soaking up the sun in Aruba's beautiful beaches as usual, dressing up in red and white to celebrate Canada Day with friends on the 1st of July, gearing ourselves up for a night of laughter in Aruba Ray's Comedy show (EP87 went more in detail with this), having our curiosity piqued with Guy "Master of the Mind" Bavli's mind-bending performance, and of course, getting out tummies filled with delicious food. We list out a bunch of restaurants that we're planning to check out — from pubs to traditional restaurants to the most recommended places by our listeners to the best pizzerias in the island to Italian ristorantes. So many places, so few nights!


Maggie and I can't wait to see what the island has in store for us this time! We have no doubt that it will be a blast.


On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

- Know our favorite beaches to spend time in and admire the aesthetics of.

- Get a list of restaurants that we want to check out, which YOU might want to check out too.

- Find out more about the Canada Day celebration at Alfie's and how I plan on being Canadian for a day.

- Hear about our experience in car rental, recommended companies, and some useful tips.

- Hear about a new speed boat excursion coming to the island of Aruba


Restaurants mentioned:


Legends Pub

Quinta del Carmen

Barefoot Restaurant

Flying Fishbone Restaurant

Local Store


Pizza Bob's Restaurant & Pub

Casa Tua Pizzeria

Amore Mio Pizzeria

Yemanja Woodfire Grill


Gasparito Restaurant

Twist of Flavors Restaurant

Azzurro Ristorante Italiano

Sole Mare Ristorante


Services, establishments, music acts, performers, and personalities mentioned:



The Black Sheeps

Aruba Ray's Comedy

Guy Bavli

The Alhambra Casino

Stan Lee

Direct download: EP89_-_Part_1_of_Summer_2017_Getaway_With_Maggie_G.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT


Give it up for one of the most hilarious and genuine guys I know, Aruba Ray Ellin, as we welcome him back for another episode of One Happy Podcast! Ray and I catch up with some things we've missed out on and talk about his upcoming shows of Aruba Ray's Comedy at the Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.


Here's the thing - Ray has nothing but excitement and praise for the line-up so anyone who's planning to attend are in for a real good time. Along with Aruba veteran comedians, Ray will be joined by some new faces who will be making their first trip to the island. One thing's for sure, they are all on a mission to make Aruba ring with laughter.


Ray discusses all the perks one can get when attending the shows. Good food and drinks? Yeah. Great atmosphere? Sure. A grand time filled with endless laughs? Guaranteed. For each ticket, there will also be free slot cash or match play in the Stellaris Casino.


From June 24th to July 29th, a whole new set of shows will be happening at the Marriott. Here are the outstanding comedians who will be joining Ray Ellin in Aruba Ray's Comedy.


  • Tony Woods
  • Costaki Economopoulos
  • Gregg Rogell
  • Pete Lee
  • Mike Britt
  • Veronica Mosey
  • Adrienne Iiapalucci
  • Nimesh Patel
  • Dan Naturman
  • Brian McFadden
  • Chris Distefano
  • Chuck Nice
  • Tony V.
  • Gary Vider
  • Joe Vega
  • Lynne Koplitz


Go check out their website to find out more about this top New York City comedy club transported to paradise.


On another note, as I will be in Aruba on the 4th of July, Ray pitches in some tips I could use to make the most out of the experience and this goes for all of you who are also heading to Aruba on the same period.


Apart from that, Ray shares his experiences of going on trips to the other side of the island which looks far from the touristy side. Travelers who are looking for a more adventurous time would definitely enjoy the raw, natural beauty of the less-visited parts of Aruba. For the foodies out there, which I know most of us are, Ray lists a couple of food trucks or restaurants you can add to your list of places to eat in the island.



On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

- Get to know more about the comedians that are included in the line-up for Aruba Ray's Comedy; where they have made an appearance and some of their credentials

- Hear Ray talk about Jimmy Fallon and how I share the same taste as Fallon when it comes to cheesesteaks

- Know why Aruba Ray's Comedy got a rating of #1 on TripAdvisor

- Listen to Ray explain the initiation process they've got for the new guys in Aruba Ray's Comedy (not to be taken seriously)

- Hear about what's it like in Aruba on the 4th of July and some tips that Ray can share for first-timers

- Find out what it's like on the other side of the island and what are the natural wonders you can see in there

- Know some of the best food trucks and restaurants in Aruba that Ray recommends

- Hear about Ray's wonderful experience with customer service in a car rental place in Aruba


Restaurants, establishments, properties, and services mentioned:

Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Alto Vista Chapel

Chalo Burger

Eataly Food Truck Aruba

El Mexicano Aruba Taco Truck

Fermin's Bar BQ

Legends Pub

Eduardo's Beach Shack

Scott's Brats

Hertz Car Rental Aruba

Direct download: EP88_-_NYC_Comedy_Club_in_Aruba_with_Ray_Ellin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:52pm EDT

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is an Aruba visitor who has been coming to the island for 45 years.  After being introduced to the island by her parents at the age of 4, naturally, Ginny O. developed an unbreakable bond.  That bond which was forged as Ginny was growing up was one she would hope to one day share with her family.  Now that the dream is a reality Ginny travels to the island with her family and they now all share that same deep connection with the island.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, Ginny takes us for a trip down her personal memory lane that encompasses countless Aruba trips spanning four and a half decades.  This is an awesome episode for you long time visitors with memories of the Aruba from yesteryear. However, short-timers will also appreciate Ginny’s love for Aruba and everyone will be able to appreciate the family aspect of this podcast.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear about some of Ginny’s favorite places in Aruba to snorkel
  • Learn about Vincent the limbo dancer from 70s and 80s
  • Find out what it’s like to step on a sea urchin
  • Hear about some restaurants and properties you probably never knew existed
  • Learn the significance of the old Westin clock from one of the kids who grew up on the island


Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:

  • Skydive Aruba


  • Salt and Pepper
  • Club Visage
  • Gusto
  • Moomba
  • Tattoo Party Boat
  • The Paddock
  • Sole Mar
  • Passions on the Beach
  • Tulips


Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP87_-_Visiting_Aruba_for_45_years_with_Ginny_Ohl.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

Episode 86 of One Happy Podcast is one in which we tackle the subject of renting a vacation home in Aruba.  As you already know I’m a bit of a veteran when it comes to vacation rentals, but to make certain I got the absolute best info for you guys I went out to get professional help.  So, I reached out to Liz Ginocchio of to provide her expertise in Aruba vacation rentals.


Although private vacation rentals have been around forever, with the explosion of AirBnB over the last few years, they are finally coming to the forefront.  People are seeing the value and personalization that comes along when you decide to explore what’s out there and they are getting curious.  Anytime I am asked where I stay (and answer “in a private home”) it kicks off a conversation about what it’s like renting a home in Aruba.  Those questions and conversations were the inspiration for this episode of the show.


My Aruba Dream Villa is one of the top property management and vacation rental agencies on the island.  During this interview, we talk to Liz about not only her rental agency but about renting in general.  This episode isn’t about trying to sway anyone’s opinion as to which is the better vacation option. Episode 86 is all about providing information so you as the consumer are informed about all of your options.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Discover why private rentals have amenities that can sometimes trump resorts
  • Learn what to look for in a rental
  • Find out the process for going from window shopping to booking
  • Hear why owning your very own Aruba vacation rental could be a great business decision
  • Find out how to get great deals on rentals
  • Learn about an exclusive concierge service renters can use


Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP86_-_The_Ins_and_Outs_of_Aruba_Vacation_Rentals_with_Liz_Ginocchio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20pm EDT

Joining me for  Episode 85 of One Happy Podcast is long time Aruba visitor Donna Dubrink.  How long has Donna been visiting Aruba?  She has been visiting for 24 years and still loves the island just as much as she did the first time.


Recently Donna was in Aruba staying at her beloved Playa Linda Timeshare and was nice enough to stop by to talk about it.  Now, just because Donna stays at a resort on a prime location on Palm Beach don’t think she only stays around the resort.  Donna is an explorer at heart.  This love for exploration has led her to discover countless nooks and crannies around the island.


So, on this episode of the show Donna takes us back 24 years to when she first stepped off the plane onto the tarmac of the airport.  Over that time she has experienced many different accommodations but the Playa Linda is home, and also the place where her most recent trip is centered.   We talk about that trip and how someone who has been visiting Aruba for more than 2 decades still finds a way to enjoy the island and discover new aspects of it.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Learn when to get a good photo of the most photographed trees in the Caribbean
  • Find out about the best spot on the island to watch the sunset with a bottle of wine
  • Hear what makes the Tranquillo different from other snorkel excursions
  • Learn what is drift snorkeling
  • Hear about Donna's favorite place to snorkel from the beach
  • Find out which restaurant would Donna recommend to a best friend who has never been to Aruba
  • Discover what water sports activity sounds like a freight train
  • Find out Donna's “goto” for 2 for 1 pina colada's


Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:


Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP85_-_Exploring_Aruba_with_Donna_Dubrink.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:42pm EDT

Joining me on Episode 84 of One Happy Podcast is Michelle Kalina.  Michelle is a yoga instructor, health and wellness coach and a fellow Aruba lover.  Last month Michelle had the unique opportunity of teaching a sunset yoga class at the Aruba Renaissance, a class that some of you may have had the opportunity of participating in.  


I intended to reach out to Michelle prior to the class taking place, but there just was not enough time.  However, after hearing just how awesome it was, I decided to reach out after the fact to see if Michelle would be willing to come on the show… she was.


So, this interview is Michelle Kalina sharing her Aruba story.  The main focus of this episode was the trip she and her family just returned from.  We talk about the Marriott where they stayed,  some of the activities they experienced and many of the restaurants they enjoyed on their vacation.  


What I really love about this episode is not only does it feature an awesome Aruba story, but also has an underlying theme.  This was a very active and fitness-focused vacation with the highlight being Michelle’s sunset yoga class.  I don’t know about you guys, but for me, when on vacation it’s sometimes hard to maintain any semblance of restraint.  Hearing the Aruba story of someone who lives such a healthy lifestyle not only provides inspiration but also gives me ideas on what I can incorporate into my next vacation.  Hopefully my interview with Michelle Kalina of Michelle K Yoga on episode 84 of One Happy Podcast resonates with you in a similar fashion.


On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear why you should never worry about the weather report in Aruba
  • Get Michelle’s take on the Renaissance Island experience
  • Discover how Yemanja makes it easy for those with dietary restrictions to determine what fits their needs.
  • Find out about the palapa procurement procedures at the Marriott Ocean Club
  • Get tips from Michelle K about how to eat healthy on a vacation in Aruba
  • Find out the deeper more spiritual meaning to the rock formations tourists refer to as “wishing rocks”


Properties and Services mentioned this episode:


Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:


Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:


Direct download: EP84_-_Michelle_K_Yoga_in_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:35pm EDT

On Episode 83 of One Happy Podcast, the officially unofficial podcast of the island of Aruba, I am being joined by Melissa Rose.  Having just returned from her second trip to the island, Melissa is already a full-fledged Aruba-holic.  Now Melissa was just in Aruba a couple of weeks ago and was nice enough to stop by One Happy Podcast to share her Aruba story.  

In this interview, Melissa tells me all about her family vacation spent with her husband and two teenaged boys.  Being a first-time vacation home renter, I was curious to hear about her experience with “Vacation Rental by Owners” (VRBO).  I was also curious to see how the rental life compared to her previous stay at an Eagle beach resort.  Melissa walks me through her family vacation including her trips to the various beaches of the island, as well as an excursion that she absolutely loves.  

The reason why this episode is a favorite is because not only does Melissa do a great job of providing useful information but she does it in a way that places you there.  By the end, I almost felt like I tagged along with them on their family trip.  Even though Melissa is relatively new to the island, this interview proves that everyone has something to teach.  I learned quite a bit from my talk with Melissa and I hope you will as well.  At the very least I guarantee you will be entertained and warmed by the love she shows for One Happy Island, on episode 83 of the Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear what it’s like to rent a townhouse in Gold Coast
  • Listen to Melissa describe a buffet that you must visit if traveling with picky eaters… something for everyone.
  • Find out about an awesome local guided snorkel excursion
  • Learn ow someone who rents a vacation home deals with the Aruba beach palapa situation
  • From Melissa why you should be a guest on One Happy Podcast

Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

  • Gold Coast
  • La Cabana

Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:


Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:


Direct download: EP83_-_Melissa_Rose_and_the_Aruba_Gold_Coast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm EDT

On Episode 82 of One Happy Podcast, I am fortunate enough to be joined by two guests, Gae and Charlie Bailey.   The Bailey’s have been traveling to Aruba for 14 years and are absolutely in love with the island.  You could call their introduction to the island and act of divine intervention but you’ll have to listen to know what I mean.  Over time they have increased their time spent on Aruba with each visit.  This last trip the Bailey’s were able to stay for a total of six weeks, which is an absolute dream for most of us.


In this interview, Gae and Charlie take us on a trip to their Aruba, which is filled with friends, fun, and adventure.  Six weeks on Aruba is a long time and needs to be treated differently from your standard vacation. Gae and Charlie clue us in on how it’s possible to vacation for that long without breaking the budget.  Over the course of their trip, they stayed at 5 different properties and tell us about each of them.  Additionally, Gae and Charlie tell us about their incredible Carnival experience, some excellent and budget friendly Aruba restaurants and how they like to spend their days on the island.  


This episode is awesome because it gives you a different perspective on how to do Aruba.  For many of us, an Aruba vacation ends up being days on the beach, dinner in an expensive restaurant and then the casino at night.  That’s style of vacation isn’t sustainable for most of us over a long period of time.  This podcast episode is about an alternative method of Aruba vacation that emphasizes the island’s natural charm, incredible people and a sense of adventure, all of which are free.  If you are someone who has wondered what it would be like to stay on the island for an extended period of time you are definitely going to want to listen to episode 82 of One Happy Podcast - 6 weeks in Aruba with Gae and Charlie Bailey.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear how their discovery of Aruba can best be described as divine intervention
  • Get in-depth details about the 5 properties they stayed at around the island
  • Learn some awesome money saving tips that help make spending six weeks on Aruba affordable
  • Get tips on how to pack for a 6-week stay on the island
  • Find out what a Boat and Breakfast is and why you want to stay there
  • Have your soul warmed by the couple’s effusive love for Aruba


Properties and Services mentioned this episode:

Restaurants and Excursions mentioned this episode:



Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:


Direct download: EP82_-_6_weeks_in_Aruba_with_Gae_and.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:52pm EDT

Joining me for Episode 81 of One Happy Podcast is Kristina Tisellano.   Kristina is a repeat guest on the show (Episode 33) where we learned that she has been visiting Aruba since she was 4 years old. Kristina is an owner at the Playa Linda but her timeshare weeks are in the summer.  This time around Kristina was on the island for Carnival.  However, unlike most of us, Kristina wasn’t on Aruba to watch Carnival, she was there to participate.  

In this interview Kristina shares the story of her latest adventure which took place this February.  The main focus of this trip to Aruba was to participate in Carnival but the two of us discuss so much more.  Kristina shares with us, this awesome apartment she rented for the week.  Also, Kristina and I talk about a couple of topics I receive inquiries about on a weekly basis; healthy eating and nightlife.  Having basically grown up on the island Kristina is thoroughly in tune with the after dark festivities that go on around the island and as a self-described pescatarian she can speak to that a lot better than my meat loving ass.

This episode of One Happy Podcast was a lot of fun to record and also pretty inspirational if you are someone that has some trepidation about doing something on the island.  Kristina had a dream of wanting to be in Carnival, and she set out to make it happen.  During that same timeframe I was also on the island and went skydiving, making a dream of mine happen.  I’m sure you dream about something, we all do, go out and make yours happen.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear  about the nightlife on the island from someone who has been visiting since she was 4 years old
  • Get a description of what the morning after Carnival feels like
  • Learn why Aruba loves house music so much
  • Find out how to eat healthy while on vacation in Aruba
  • Learn a pretty cool Air BNB trick to expand your available options
  • Hear the difference between a Pitaya Bowl and Acai Bowl
  • Find out what it’s like to be in a Carnival parade


Properties and Services mentioned this episode:


Restaurants and Nightlife mentioned this episode:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:


Outtro music is called INSIDE THE THING by 'N FUZION FT. BUDDY the full video can be seen here


Also a very special thank you to Empire Carnival Group (Clary and Darren)

Direct download: EP81_-_Kristina_Tisellano_does_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38pm EDT

Today on Episode 80 of One Happy Podcast, I am being joined by a couple of Aruba-lovers who just returned from their 13th trip to the island.  Bev and Bill Flood first visited the island via cruise ship but very quickly they stopped window shopping.  The couple’s second visit to Aruba would be a full blown vacation, rather than a cruise stop.  By the end of that second trip, Bill and Bev would purchase a timeshare at the Marriott.  

This interview is the Flood’s taking us on a journey to their Aruba.  Not only do we hear about how they discovered the island, but we also get to hear about their most recent visit. Having just returned from the island literally earlier that week, Bev and Bill were full of enthusiasm and also information.  Additionally, we talk about an excursion they did on a past trip that still rings out as one of the biggest highlights of all their vacations to Aruba.

This episode of One Happy Podcast is a back to the basics episode, featuring a conversation with two fun-loving Aruba vacationers.  We talk about how they first discovered Aruba, where they stay, what they like to do and of course they visit the eye of the hurricane.  Then entire episode lasts about 50 minutes and it is chock full of good times and Aruba vibes.  

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, you will:

  • Hear about the procedure for getting a Palapa at the Marriott
  • Find out about the difference between pool people and beach people
  • Hear Bev and Bill’s perspective on when you should you rent a car or not
  • Find all about their experience with the Aruba Trike's excursion
  • Hear about a delicious dining in tradition the couple does on the island

Properties and Activities mentioned this episode:


Restaurants and places mentioned this episode:

Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP80_-_Bill_and_Bevs_13th_Trip_to_Aruba.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT