EP67: Listening in on a conversation with Ann Fontaine

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 more such interviews 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.


EP66: Maggie and Curt Aruba September 2016 Recap

So on today’s episode of One Happy Podcast, you get Maggie and I talking about our most trip to Aruba. Mostly we recap what all we did during our latest visit, but since this was supposed to be a more budget focused trip you also get us talking about costs.

This trip down to Aruba was definitely atypical to our norm. Not only did we set and more or less keep to a budget, but we did so without sacrificing any fun. While we didn’t partake in a few of our vacation staples, this gave us a chance to see what was truly important. As it turns out the number most important thing in any trip is not what you do, but who you are with.

On this trip standing side by side with my best friend we actually avoided Palm Beach almost entirely. For this visit to Aruba Eagle Beach and Arashi Beach were our stomping grounds. Also, as much as it killed us, we stayed away from most of our favorite restaurants. This trip down there was no Quinta Del Carmen or Tango Argentine Grill. Instead we went to more local type places such as Ramada Columbiana and Mi Dudu.

While our culinary and entertainment choices may have changed, our trademark fun continued on. Episode 66 of One Happy Podcast is a recap of that fun, with elements of education. We talk about our food choices, our entertainment options and our budget. In this episode everything is laid bare for you, so I hope you enjoy it.


EP65 – The Arubian Taste by Jerome Nahr

One Happy Podcast Episode 65 is a podcast that I absolutely could not wait to get posted. This one is an interview with Jerome Nahr of the Arubian Taste Rum shop. If you have never been to The Arubian Taste let me explain what it is. Located in the Orange Plaza, Arubian Tastes is a rum shop owned by Jerome and Marcia Nahr. Here Jerome makes and sells his own flavors of rum. The selection is absolutely astounding and many are unlike anything I have ever tasted anywhere else. To top it all off, you can sample any or all of the rums in the shop.

My last trip down to Aruba I walk into the Arubian Taste and absolutely fell in love. Not only is the shop an absolute paradise for a rum lover but Jerome and Marcia are two of the most amazing people you are likely to meet. Their fun-loving demeanor and welcoming attitudes are the absolute essence of what Aruba means to me. I wanted to record them ever since I visited that first time but this wasn’t one that could be done over skype. In order to get the full spirit and capture the love of rum, Jerome has it had to be done in person. So, for this interview, I was able to sit down with Jerome to pick his brain a bit on how all of this got started.

I know many of you listening don’t really venture too far from the beach during the day, but after this interview that is all going to change. Over the next half hour prepare to fall in love with not only the concept of a rum shop where you can sample more than 50 different products, but also the man behind the rum.


EP64 – Maggie and Curt Sept 2016 Trip Primer

On this episode of One Happy Podcast Maggie and I discuss our upcoming September 11th vacation to Aruba. I know you are probably saying something like, “didn’t you just come back from Aruba?”. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong since we were just there at the end of September. Now we are coming back not even two months later. This is a completely unplanned trip and is our 3rd of the year. Things just sort of lined up, where we would be able to do the trip relatively cheap, so we decided to go for it.

In addition to this being a vacation for us, I am also turning it into a case study on how to do Aruba as affordably as possible. However, the key is, to not sacrifice any fun. So what I will need to do is, be careful not to be extravagant while resisting the urge to skimp. I think this is something that will be of interest to a great number of podcast listeners. Who wouldn’t want to sneak in an extra trip to Aruba if it can be done for not much more than a long weekend (insert your local drive to getaway place) close to home.

This episode of One Happy Podcast features Maggie and I discussing how this trip came about and our plans for our latest visit to Aruba. There isn’t a ton of actual information about Aruba but it is a fun listen detailing what’s gone down so far. You also get to hear about the plans that I have for the type of broadcasting a plan on doing from the island. Lastly, you also get clued in on how little preparation we’ve done for this trip thus far. I’m not saying it’s going to take a miracle for me to execute flawlessly. However, as I sit here it is Wednesday night and I have until Saturday to get everything worked out. Yikes!


EP63: Checking in with Debbie and Patrick of Fortuna Villas Aruba

One Happy Podcast Episode 63 features a couple of repeat guests Debbie Mitchell and Patrick Mallison. They were guests on the podcast about 9 months ago on episode 34 – Creating Fortuna Villas with Debbie and Patrick. You may remember from that episode that Patrick and Debbie visited for the first time and purchased a home on the same trip. Then the next trip was a 9 week project to completely transform that home into an incredible rental property. Well now that all of the work has been completed and the rental is flourishing, Debbie and Patrick were able to actually enjoy a visit to Aruba.

This episode of One Happy Podcast is all about what Patrick and Debbie did once they touched down with a goal of just getting to know the island. Over the course of this 45 minute episode we talk about some of the activities and restaurants they enjoyed. We also discuss the Savaneta area where their home is located and why it could be the ideal place to stay on your next trip to the island. I actually learned a lot about the area surrounding Fortuna Villas Aruba and do plan on considering their home for a future vacation.

So many visitors to the island are funneled towards the Palm and Eagle Beach areas, understandably so, but there is so much more to Aruba. Savaneta is one of those areas that doesn’t really come to mind when thinking of a rental. However, that should not be the case. While the Savaneta area is a completely different vibe than the main tourist area, it is equally wonderful. Not only is it a fantastic area to experience total relaxation but the location on the island makes it an ideal base of operations for exploration of Aruba. So if you are looking for a different Aruba experience try Savaneta and Fortuna Villas Aruba.