EP17: Returning to Where it Started with James Haroutunian

Today on One Happy Podcast it is my pleasure to present to you an episode I did with a wonderful guy, James Haroutunian. James is a Massachusetts native who first visited Aruba 14 years ago as a newlywed for his honeymoon with his beautiful wife Amy. Well now they are returning to the island for the first time since then with their two incredible children Isabelle and Jack.

This interview is very special as it actually takes place in two parts. During the first half you will hear about how they spent that first trip. James takes us back in time and we explore the island through his eyes. Then we talk about the expectations he has for this upcoming trip. Then in the second half of the interview James returns to fill us in on where Aruba is as special as he remembers.

Throughout the interview we also are joined by a couple of very special guests who offer their opinions on our favorite vacation destination.

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EP16: Heather and Adam Visit the Wild Side of Aruba

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is another fantastic guest. On this episode of the officially unofficial podcast of Aruba I am being joined by the incredibly talented Connecticut photographer Heather Hudson.

Heather is a newcomer to Aruba who just returned from a trip where she and her husband Adam were in Aruba to celebrate a very special occasion, Adam’s birthday. While they were there to relax, have a great time and celebrate somewhere along the way they ended up becoming full blown members of our tribe of Arubaphiles.

Although the Marriot was their home base they didn’t stay glued to the resort grounds. In the middle of their stay Heather and Adam rented a jeep so they could explore the other side of the island. They even managed to make that treacherous drive to the Natural Pool. In this 16th episode of One Happy Podcast you will hear all about their exploration, restaurants visited and of course why you should visit Aruba.

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EP15: Rescuing Aruba’s Dogs with Marie Geerman

Joining me today on episode 15 of “One Happy Podcast – the Officially Unofficial Podcast of the Island of Aruba” is longtime Aruba-phile Marie Geerman. Marie has been traveling to Aruba for nearly 30 years and even lived there for about a decade. Being that Marie is married to an Aruban and has an Aruban born son saying she has a special connection to the island would be a gross understatement.

Marie’s connection actually goes much further than the people who are important to her, the animals of Aruba also occupy a very large space in her heart. When visiting Aruba it’s hard to not notice the stray dogs roaming the streets eeking out an existence. When Marie made the move to Aruba she did more than just notice these animals… alot more.

Through the course of this episode you will hear all about Marie’s connection and dedication to those animals. A dedication that started in the early 90’s and continues to this very day. Now this isn’t your typical episode of One Happy Podcast. While I hope every episode touches you in some way, none of them will touch you quite like this episode.

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EP14: Daniel Putkowski Takes Us An Island Away

Joining me on this episode of One Happy Podcast is best selling Author Daniel Putkowski. Daniel is the author of several books including the iconic aruba based An Island Island Away and its followup Under a Blue Flag. Additionally Daniel also has a fantastic travel blog called the Bentpage that is one of my favorite sources for information about the part of Aruba that is off the tourist trail.

Daniel first visited the island more than 20 years ago on business and has been going back nearly every year ever since. Due to the way he was introduced to Aruba, Daniel was welcomed into the Aruba social scene in a way not many can claim. It was this insiders of Aruba and particularly the once booming refinery town of San Nicolaas that made his first book An Island Away so authentically awesome!

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EP13: Alyssa and Louis Take a Holiday Inn Aruba

Joining me on this episode of One Happy podcast is a repeat guest, the multi-talented Louis Johnson. Louis was a guest on episode 6 of the show but this time has brought along a surprise, Aruba first-timer his lovely girlfriend Alyssa.

Back in February Alyssa and Louis were fortunate enough to be able to escape the harsh New York winter for an incredible week at the Palm Beach Aruba Holiday Inn. They picked a great time as the Northeast United States was pelted once again pretty much as soon as they touched down

On this episode you will hear Alyssa and Louis talk about the Aruba Holiday Inn and the recent changes (both good and bad) they’ve made, Aruba Carnival, snorkeling at Baby Beach and much more. If you ask me the real treat you get to see it through the eyes of a newbie.

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EP12: Stephen’s Excellent Aruba Culinary Experience

Joining me today on One Happy Podcast is International man of mystery Stephen from Toronto or act1966 if you are a member of the forums at aruba.com. A lover of Aruba, Stephen was kind enough to stop by the podcast to talk about why he feels Aruba is special.

On this episode you will hear Stephen and I talk about what its like to go from subzero temperatures to the constant meteorological perfection of Aruba. You will also hear about some of the benefits to renting a villa, something I know many of you have questions about.

One of the big focuses of this episode of One Happy Podcast is the Aruba restaurant scene. Stephen and I discuss just how amazing it is that an island so small is able to provide such an outstanding culinary experience. If you are a foodie this is definitely an episode you won’t want to miss.

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Ep11: Maggie G and “Aruba” Curt Narrowly Escape the Snow March 2015

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, the officially unofficial podcast of Aruba I am joined once again by Maggie G. Some of you may remember Maggie from the very first episode of the show “Beach Bumming in Aruba with Maggie G”. Well we just recently returned from another trip and thought a review of some of the highlights needed to be done. Those of you who have listened to other episodes may notice that on these show notes I have time stamped topics so if you are interested in a particular topic you can just fast forward to the time listed in parentheses.

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Ep10: Desiree Eldering Introduces Us to the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary

On this episode of One Happy Podcast I have the pleasure of interviewing Desiree Eldering the Managing Director of the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary. Desiree was kind enough to stop by to tell me all about the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary and its inhabitants.

Now the average tourist visiting Aruba probably never leaves the beaches of Aruba. Those lucky few tourists who do venture off the beaten path to this Aruban treasure will be able to see and interact with some of the 130+ donkeys cared for at the Sanctuary.

On this episode I spend just under 30 minutes talking to Desiree and one thing that is abundantly clear from the interview is how much she loves the Donkey. So if you are traveling to Aruba and want to do something a bit out of the ordinary, the Aruba Donkey Sanctuary is a great place to start.

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Ep9 – Revisiting Aruba with Cindy and Rob O.

On this episode of One Happy Podcast I have the honor of welcoming back Cindy and Rob O to the podcast. We first spoke with Cindy and Rob in episode 3 “Investing in the Family”. There we learned a great deal about their love for Aruba. Today they have returned to tell us about their most recent trip to the island of Aruba.
Today you will hear about how Cindy, Rob, family and friends explored and enjoyed our favorite vacation destination. This was the 20th trip for Rob and Cindy and amazingly enough with the help of Arias Schwarz they were still able to find a new experience on the island. Think about that for a second. At this point Rob and Cindy have probably spent close to a full year on an island that is only 19 miles by 6 miles and are still discovering some of Aruba’s treasures. Simply amazing!

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Ep8 – Happy Hours and Happier Times in Aruba with Tracey D

On this episode of One Happy Podcast, I am joined by a fantastic guest, Tracey D. If you are a visitor of the Aruba.com forums, the Aruba section of tripadvisor or the “All Things Aruba” facebook group you may already be familiar with Tracey. She is a relative newcomer to Aruba but has fallen head over heels in love and is here to share her experiences with us.

If I were to describe this interview in one word, it would be vivacious. Tracey has an enthusiasm that shines through so much that by the end you will definitely be wanting to book a trip if you don’t already have one in the works.

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