One Happy Podcast (general)

The One Happy Podcast Holiday Carolers present the Twelve Days of Christmas

Featuring:
Day 12 Vallon Davis EP4
Day 11 Andrea James EP2 and EP20
Day 10 Marelene Scherrenburg EP32
Day 9 Chloe and Lori Donlan EP18
Day 8 Cheryl Talcof EP19
Day 7 Marcia and Ray Frost EP23
Day 6 Tracey Beaver EP8
Day 5 Maggie G EP 1, 11 and 27
Day 4 Dee James EP 28
Day 3 Kristina Tisellano EP 33
Day 2 Cindy of Rob and Cindy O from EP 3 and 9
Day 1 Me Aruba Curt Robinson

Direct download: Christmas_2015.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20pm EST

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is fellow Aruba fanatic Amy White.  Amy was first exposed to Aruba many years ago thanks to a college friend and has been in love ever since.  Over the years she has taken many trips that range from family getaways with her son to girl only trips perfect for letting loose.  Over the years Aruba has taught Amy many lessons, one of which is to not make too many plans if you really want to experience all that the island has to offer.

Amy frequently stays at the Divi Dutch Village but has stayed all over the island in not only the high rise and low rise areas but also apartments outside of the hotel zone.  Amy is extremely adept at finding deals, which has allows her to visit Aruba without breaking the bank.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • Why Amy doesn’t plan anything
  • The advantages of staying at the Divi Dutch Village
  • Which tools Amy uses to save money on Aruba trips
  • About Amy’s most embarrassing Aruba moment
  • The types of deals you can find on EBay

 

 

Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

  • Mi Dushi
  • Palm Pleasure
  • Pelican
  • Kukoo Kanuku
  • Mama’s Food Truck
  • Redfish

 

Links and resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP36_-_Amy_White.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EST

Episode 35 of One Happy Podcast features Dawn Bellantoni who has been visiting the island for 22 years.  Despite having traveled the world, Dawn has over the course of her Aruba visits fallen in love so much that now it’s pretty hard to stay away.  In fact, today’s guest has visited the island 4 times since May of this year.  Told you it’s hard for her to stay away!

Although Dawn is an owner at La Cabana, due to the sheer number of visits she makes to Aruba she has experienced staying at numerous properties on the island.  Some of these properties include all of the Divi properties in addition to the aforementioned La Cabana resort.  Make no mistake about it Dawn prefers staying in the low rise area of the island; however she does maintain an appreciation for the night life that Palm Beach offers. 

It should come as no surprise that over the course of about 30 trips to Aruba, Dawn has developed many friendships on the island.  In fact, despite living more than two thousand miles away from her Arubian friends, many of them are closer than some friends who reside much closer to home.  One day Dawn hopes to live on the island of Aruba full time and I’m sure she feels it’s comforting for her to know she already has a community ready to welcome her home.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast You Will Learn:

  • About the best lunch you’ve never had in Aruba
  • Where to find incredible Peach and Mango Margaritas.
  • What it’s like to cruise to Aruba after you’ve fallen in love with paradise
  • Why you don’t bring sand to the beach

 

Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

  • Fishes N More
  • Kukoo Kanuku
  • Mama’s Food Truck
  • Palm Pleasure
  • Redfish
  • Senor Frogs

 

Links and resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP35_-_Dawn_Bellantoni.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:33pm EST

Joining me today on Episode 34 of One Happy Podcast - the Officially Unofficial Podcast of Aruba are two very special guests, Debbie Mitchell and Patrick Mallison.  If those names aren’t familiar to you just think back couple of months.  Do you remember a couple from the UK who purchased and began renovation on a villa in the Savaneta area of the island?  It was an incredible project that transformed what was a quaint home relatively traditional looking Aruba home into something truly magnificent.  

There were lots of posts about the project in the various Aruba centered Facebook groups.  Eventually those postings became so popular that a dedicated Facebook page was started for those of us who wanted to keep up. It was then that Fortuna Villas was born.  Then over a 2 month period many of us followed along living vicariously through the adventures of Patrick and Debbie.   If memory serves me, at one point we were even enlisted to help make a design decision.  

Now finally after so many weeks of dedication, focus and hard work Debbie and Patrick were kind enough to come on the show. In this episode of One Happy Podcast we talk about their discovery of the island and how falling in love at first sight compelled them to do what so many of us dream about... buying a home on the island of Aruba.  

 

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will Learn:

  • About a couple who fell so in love with the island they decided to purchase a home on their first trip
  • Why the property is called Fortuna Villas even though there is only one home
  • Some of the advantages to staying in Savaneta
  • The one feature Debbie and Patrick are most proud of
  • About a snorkel mask for those who hate snorkel masks

 

Restaurants and Attractions Mentioned on this Episode:

  • Iguana Joe's
  • Fermin's
  • The Kitchen
  • The Flying Fishbone
  • Zeerover

 

Links and resources mentioned this episode:

Direct download: EP34_-_Debbie_and_Patrick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:09pm EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST

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 EST