One Happy Podcast

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, I am being joined by my partner in crime and favorite co-host Maggie.  Being that we are preparing for another trip to Aruba, we figured this would be a good time to do our pre-Aruba vacation special.  So this is the show where we talk about what we plan on doing this next trip to Aruba.


Being that our trip is being put together so last minute, plans are a bit sparse for now.  However, instead of this being looked as a hindrance, it's actually an opportunity.  A lot of times we can get too bogged down in planning and end up with something that looks like one of those cruise ship itineraries.  You know, be here at 4pm and then at 7pm we are going to do this.  Its cool to be organized and all but it can turn a vacation into something that ends up not being very relaxing.  So this is a great opportunity for us to just jot down a few “must dos” and let everything else just fall into place.


So on this episode of One Happy Podcast Maggie and I start out discussing our pre-flight night before plans.  After that we talk about those couple of absolutely must-do activities and attractions.  While the list of potential activities may be small the potential for excitement is pretty much through the roof.  Of course, we also talk about restaurants.  What would an episode of One Happy Podcast be without food related discussion?


As always I had a lot of fun hanging out with the Magg and you guys.  Hopefully you guys enjoy the banter as much as I did.  Also remember to stay tuned for what is sure to be an incredible adventure in all of our favorite playground… Aruba!

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Find out why we think a pre-flight hotel beats an hour long early morning drive
  • Hear about our plans for the Carnival Grand Parade
  • Learn why we think Aruba Ray’s Comedy at the Marriott is a “must do”
  • Be the first to hear about Aruba Curt potentially jumping out of a perfectly good airplane
  • Find out about my plans to find out who has the best burgers and pizza on the island


Restaurants mentioned this episode:

Activities mentioned this episode:


Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:


Direct download: EP75_-_Curt_and_Maggs_Feb_2017_Pre_Aruba_Special.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, I am lucky enough to be joined by friend of the show and Aruba veteran Tracey Beaver.  Tracey first appeared on the show way back in episode 8.  During that episode, we learned all about her discovery of Aruba and how she’s grown from newbie to seasoned vacationer.  Now nearly two years later we check back in to see how her love for the island has evolved.  Fresh off a trip to Aruba Tracey has now stayed at a half dozen different properties.  Additionally, Tracey has accumulated a whole list of amazing restaurants to recommend.


Over the course of this info-packed hour-long episode of the show, we touch on so many topics you may want to listen twice.  It’s not often you have the opportunity to sit down with someone with such a diverse understanding of so many resorts.  I ask Tracey which resort is best suited for couples, families, budget travelers, etc.  She also takes the time to school me on the procedure for renting a timeshare.  Also, Tracey fills me in on some of her newly discovered restaurants, as well as a few excursions she has experienced in the past.


All in all, this was a fantastic conversation about a subject near and dear to all of us.  Tracey’s love for the island really shines through during this interview.  Also, the knowledge she’s gathered from her experiences on Aruba taught me so much.  Hopefully, you guys enjoy this interview as much as I did.


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear opinions on no less than 6 different Aruba resort properties
  • Learn how Tracey went about renting a timeshare from an owner
  • Get an Aruba veteran’s opinion on many popular restaurants
  • Hear an unbiased opinion of Palm vs Eagle Beach


Properties mentioned this episode:


Restaurants mentioned this episode:


Links and Resources Mentioned in this episode of the show:



Direct download: EP74_-_Talking_Aruba_Resorts_with_Tracey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me today on Episode 73 of One Happy Podcast is Marie Geerman of Aruba Flight Volunteers and the New Life for Paws.  Marie has been a guest on One Happy Podcast a couple of times before on episode 15 and episode 30.  Just to catch you up Marie has been traveling to Aruba for 30 years and even lived there for just about a decade.  Her husband is Aruban and she even has an Aruban born son.  In other words, Marie has a connection to the island as strong as any.  When you combine that connection to Aruba with her love for animals what you get is some extremely driven to impact the quality of life of the animals of Aruba.  


This drive Marie feels to help the animals started back when she lived on Aruba and now continues on here in the United States.  Marie is part of the animal rescue organization “New Life for Paws” which helps care for and nurture stray dogs on the island.  Also, she founded “Aruba Flight Volunteers”, which helps set up and organize transport of adopted animals from Aruba to the United States.  Recently both of these organizations hit significant milestones.  While it has been legally registered in Aruba since 2015 New Life for Paws has recently received 501c3 status as a not for profit organization in the United States and Aruba Flight Volunteers just surpassed four thousand members in its Facebook group.  Both of these organizations are at the forefront of changing the lives of so many animals on the island.


In this interview, Marie and I catch up on what has been happening on the island in the area of animal rescue.  She tells me about the team of wonderfully caring individuals that make up New Life for Paws, and the strides they’ve made over the last year.  She also tells me about the struggles they have endured as a fledging organization and what it will take for them to reach that next level.  I hope you all enjoy this episode of One Happy Podcast as it is centered around a subject that is near and dear to my heart.  For those of you who may not be animal lovers (if there are any of you out there), I am sure you can appreciate the passion and work ethic of someone trying to make a difference.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Learn about two fantastic organization doing amazing work on Aruba
  • Discover how the strays are captured to be spayed or neutered
  • Hear about the difficulties of getting adult dogs transported
  • Find out about the impact of spay and neuter campaigns on Aruba’s stray animal population
  • Hear about the team of volunteers
  • working to make a difference on the island

Links and resources mentioned on this episode:


Direct download: EP73_-_Checking_in_with_Marie_Geerman_of_Aruba_Flight_Volunteers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me on episode 72 of One Happy Podcast is a guest who has been visiting Aruba for 8 years, Kellie Shackleton.  She first discovered Aruba thanks to a timeshare presentation in Florida.  This led to Kellie discovering her ideal timeshare property, La Cabana.  She can usually be found traveling with a group of friends to the island a couple of times each year. Thankfully I was able to catch up with Kellie in between visits to Aruba.  She was just on the island about a month ago and will be returning very shortly.  

This episode of One Happy Podcast is all about how a group of girls spends their time on One Happy Island.  Kellie is nice enough to show us La Cabana through her eyes and also educate us on how Blue-Green timeshares work.  Over the course of this interview, we also talk about various experiences, restaurants, and activities Kellie and her friends have enjoyed on Aruba.  

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear how a timeshare presentation led to Kellie discovering her paradise
  • Learn why the ease of traveling to Aruba is one of it’s biggest draws
  • Hear what it's like traveling from Minnesota to Aruba
  • Find out why the rooms at La Cabana are so conducive to a great night’s sleep
  • Learn how Blue Green points based timeshares work
  • Hear an unknown (to me) perk to using
  • Discover the Phase 10 Card game

Restaurants and Properties mentioned this episod


  • Mr jazz (defunct jazz club)

Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:


Direct download: EP72_-_Exploring_LaCabana_with_Kellie_Shackleton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

For some of you episode 71.5 of One Happy Podcast will be familiar as it is a remix of the Thanksgiving episode.  Since that particular episode of the show was so time sensitive I decided to cut out the part that was no longer relevant and repost.  The reason for this is because Aruba Ray’s Comedy show is still happening over at the Aruba Marriott Stellaris and it is absolutely amazing.  


I’ve been to this comedy show probably 6-8 times and each time is funnier than the last.  What I didn’t want to happen is even one person missing out on getting this information.  Prior to going to my first comedy show I honestly didn’t think I wanted to take time out of Aruba to sit inside a comedy club.  After I took that chance the first time, I will never miss a show.  To this day we still laugh about some of the jokes we heard at that very first show.  


A few times each year, Ray brings down some of his fellow comedians from New York City and they recreate a comedy club down on the island.  The intimate venue seats maybe 100 patrons or so and each night there are 3 or 4 comedians featured.  Listen to the episode to hear about the show directly from Aruba Ray Ellin and then head on over to to check out the lineups for a particular night and to purchase tickets.


Aruba Ray’s Comedy Lineup:


Visit for all the information


Links and Resources Mentioned this episode of the show:



Direct download: EP71_and_a_half_-_Closing_out_the_year_with_Aruba_Rays_Comedy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:29pm EST

On episode 71 of One Happy Podcast, I am trying something a bit different.  This podcast episode basically has 2 separate parts, Aruba Ray’s Comedy and Thanksgiving on Aruba.  In the past, I’ve mentioned how I want to mix up show formats.  In addition to the hour-long interview style shows, I also want to do topic and information based shows.  Episode 71 is kind of a glimpse into what a second weekly episode of the show could look like.  


In the first half of the show, I am being joined by Aruba Ray Ellin who is here to tell us about the latest installment of Aruba Ray’s Comedy at the Marriott Stellaris Hotel and Casino.  Aruba Ray’s Comedy runs from November 19th Through December 20th and features a lineup comprised of mostly Aruba newbies.  To me this makes Aruba Ray’s Comedy extra exciting as the energy these comedians bring will be something different than anything the island has ever experienced.


The second half of the show has to do with celebrating Thanksgiving on the island.  While I was surfing around I noticed some of the restaurants on the island set and posted menus.  The more I came across the more I realized that some of you on the island may be able to make use of this information.  This led to me recording the second half of the podcast episode which is me highlighting ten Aruba Thanksgiving menus.  So on this part of the show I share the menus with you and give my recommendations on which I would choose.  


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Be the first to hear this format of One Happy Podcast
  • Hear all about the November/December edition of Aruba Ray’s Comedy
  • Find out which comedians are coming down to the island to do shows
  • Discover what 10 different restaurants are serving up for Thanksgiving in Aruba
  • Learn the best way to help One Happy Podcast grow

Restaurants mentioned this episode of the show:


Links and Resources Mentioned this episode of the show:



Direct download: EP71_-_The_Thanksgiving_Episode_w_Ray_Ellin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Episode 70 of One Happy Podcast features a guest who has was on the show way back in episode 4 of the show, Vallon Davis.  On my last trip down to Aruba in mid-September, Vallon and I both occupied the island at the same time.  We didn’t have the opportunity to meet, just because vacation and scheduling oftentimes don’t mesh well.  However, upon both of us returning home we made it a point to catch up.  

On this episode, Vallon shares the details of his trip to Aruba.  We talk about the challenges of getting to and from one Caribbean island to another.  What it’s like landing on Aruba at night, the Marriott and the Aruba based books written by Daniel Putkowski.  This interview is nothing like his first one which followed my tried and true formula.  Since Vallon has been a prior guess this is pretty much two friends sitting down and chatting.  

One of the main purposes for Vallon making this trip to Aruba was to reunite with old friends from the island.  One thing that you will learn from his story is just how much of a focus his friends were.  While Aruba is different things for different people, for Vallon it’s not about the fancy restaurants or excursions.  His trips are about visiting a place he absolutely loves and hanging out with the people who make those visits complete.


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Realize just how easy your 2000 mile trip is compared to Vallon’s 600-mile journey
  • Hear about quite a few Aruba based books
  • Hear about the Carubbian Festival in San Nicolas
  • Get an idea of what it’s like to stay at the Marriott
  • Hear about a couple of book ideas Vallon has

Links and R\resources mentioned this episode:


Direct download: EP70_-_An_Aruba_Comedy_of_Errors_ft.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

One Happy Podcast would like to welcome to the show Frank Tisellano Sr., a 20-year member of the Playa Linda Family.  Twenty plus years ago, Frank and his wife Patricia took a trip to a place called Aruba.  Shortly thereafter they completely fell in love with the island and decided to purchase a timeshare there. That timeshare was at the Playa Linda which has been home to Frank Sr., Patricia and their children Frank Jr. and Kristina.  


Frank and I sit down for about an hour to discuss his love for Aruba and what the island has meant for him and his family.  Having introduced their children to the island when they were only about 4 or 5 years old, Aruba has been part of their family dynamic nearly as long as anyone can remember.  I guess you could say the children grew up on the island.  


This episode seems to follow the theme of family.  There is Frank’s actual real family but also another one.  Being an owner at the Playa Linda for so long, the other families who share the same weeks have also become a sort of family.  This is a running theme I have heard from many of the guests I have had that own a timeshare.  However, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it represented as extensively as what you get at the Playa Linda.  If you have doubts, just wait until you hear episode 69 of One Happy Podcast - the officially unofficial podcast of the island of Aruba.


On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Get an idea of what it was like landing on the island before the big terminal was built
  • Hear why Frank and Patricia chose the Playa Linda to be their family’s home away from home
  • Get a description of Aruba’s three very different golf courses
  • Find out what it’s like to be a member of the Playa Linda family
  • Hear about some of Frank’s favorite restaurants on the island
  • Realize that Aruba is the ideal place to go for family time away from it all.

Properties Mentioned this Episode:





Aruba Golf Courses:





Restaurants Mentioned on this episode of the show:




Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:



Direct download: EP69_-_Frank_Tisellano_Sr._Playa_Linda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

Joining me on this episode of One Happy Podcast are Sean and Khanisa Darby, two guests who love Aruba.  Although Sean and Khanisa have only been visiting the island for a couple of years, they are definitely hooked, which is completely understandable considering their grandparents have been visiting for more than 20 years.  Now as newlyweds who actually got married on the island, Sean and Khanisa are joining the family tradition of being regular visitors to the island.  If being married on the island of Aruba isn’t connection enough, Sean and Khanisa have an ace up their sleeve, pudding.  As owners of a pudding company Sean and Khanisa have found a way to integrate Aruba into the business via an island-inspired flavor that’s so good that literally everyone who tries it, buys it.


Over the course of this 50-minute episode of One Happy Podcast, we talk about a lot.  Of course, we start with how Sean and Khanisa first discovered Aruba, but you already knew we were going there.  Where things get unique is when they describe to me what it’s like planning a destination wedding on an island where you don’t know anyone.  We also talk about their pudding company and what One Happy Island tastes like.  Lastly, we finish things off with the “eye of the hurricane” which always yields unique insight into what the guest's version of Aruba looks and feels like.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear all about Sean and Khanisa’s first trip to Aruba
  • Learn how a destination wedding to Aruba can actually save you money
  • Discover a flavor of pudding that was inspired by Aruba
  • Get Sean’s take, on the casinos of Aruba
  • Learn about an awesome chef that is available for private catering
  • Hear about Sean and Khanisa’s favorite taxi driver Junie


Properties Mentioned this Episode:


Restaurants Mentioned on this episode of the show:


Links to Khanisa’s Pudding


Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:

Direct download: EP68_-_Sean_and_Khanisa_Darby_talk_One_Happy_Island.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST

This episode of One Happy Podcast featuring 30 year Aruba visitor Ann Fontaine is one of my favorites. It's a bit unique not only because it was recorded on location but also because there are four active participants in the conversation.  It wasn’t planned out that way but sometimes you just have to go with the flow.  While there were audible challenges that came with 4 people being limited to 2 microphones, the end result is something pretty special.  

So the interview took place at the Passion’s Beach Bar at Amsterdam Manor, during one of the bulletin board meetups.  The four of us commandeered a table and had a bit of a round table discussion about Aruba.  The end result is a recording that gives the impression of a conversation being eavesdropped on from an adjacent table.  I really like doing the in person interviews and would love to do many more in the future.  

Over the course of this hour long episode, we find out how Ann first discovered the island 30 years ago and what circumstances led to her purchasing a home.  Ann tells us all about her experience buying their home and also about the Aruba residency requirements.  We finish off the episode by talking about some of Ann’s favorite places on the island to eat.  While most of us can tell you about all the popular tourist places, it’s always nice to find out about lesser known establishments from someone who actually lives on the island.

On This Episode of One Happy Podcast you will:

  • Hear ann’s advice for those thinking of relocating to Aruba
  • Learn how long it took from the time she started the home buying process until finished
  • About what it’s like applying for residency in Aruba
  • Hear why becoming a full fledged resident may not be the ideal move to make
  • Discover some restaurants you probably didn’t know existed

Properties Mentioned this Episode:


Restaurants Mentioned on this episode of the show:


Links and Resources Mentioned on this episode of the show:




Direct download: EP67_-_Eavesdropping_on_my_conversat.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EST