In 2009 I was at a point in my life where I wanted to travel but didn't have anyone to travel with. I had never been outside
the U.S. besides going to Tijuana. My friend Bonnie and her husband Bob had retired early and began traveling in Latin America.
I kept in touch with her and when I heard that she was going to Belize, I Googled it. I liked that Belize was English speaking,
accepted U.S. currency, and was only a 2 ½ hour flight, so I decided to meet her there. On Good Friday April 10th, 2009 I flew
Some of Bonnie's friends from Houston flew in at the same time, so there was a group of us. My first day there we hung out
and partied at the villa they were renting. The next day we went cave tubing and I had never experienced anything like that before.
On Easter Sunday I slept in and was the last one to wake up after the fun day before. Bonnie said she knew of a beach bar
close by she thought I'd like. It was a nice breezy day and we walked along the beach to the bar.
As we approached the bar Tanya had her back turned to us and said "Hi, I could smell you coming". I said "I hope that was a
compliment" and she smiled and said "you smell nice". I ordered a Capt. Morgan's and OJ and she began to explain to me that imported
liquors are expensive in Belize,was I sure that's what I wanted. I said yes and she made me a great drink. There was just myself,
Bonnie, and a couple of others at the bar. Through Tanya's conversation with us, I found out that she was well traveled and had
lived in parts of Mexico and Canada. I really liked the way she spoke and seemed worldly. At some point I thought to myself wow,
I'd like to get to know her better. I even got up and took pictures of the bar, and I snapped a picture of Tanya from a distance,
thinking "I don't want to forget her". As we were leaving the bar, I told Tanya I'd like to hang out with her and asked her out.
She said "I'm busy tomorrow". I asked about the next days, and she said "no I'm very busy, but I like the villa you guys are staying
at so I'll stop by one day". When I got back to the villa I was telling Bob all about her and how much I liked her.
I went back to her bar a couple of days later and met her co-worker Enrique. He said Tanya would be playing her drum at a near
by bar that night. I was excited. I went to the bar for awhile and I didn't see Tanya, so I had a beer and left. I ran into Enrique
again a couple days later and he said Tanya also plays at a hotel in town so I could find her there. I rode the bike I rented into
town looking for Tanya. I rode and rode down the island. I rode so far down south that the police stopped me and told me I had to
turn around and that I wasn't allowed any further. I gave up and rode back into town and had a lot of fun that night. I had a great time
over the next couple of days checking out all the bars. I partied with some local girls and some girls that were also tourists.
On Saturday the 18th we all went fishing and snorkeling. When we got back to the house I was ironing my clothes gearing up for
my last night in Belize. (YES IRONING!!!) There was a knock on the door and it was Tanya. By that time I was over her. Bonnie
invited her in and I was like "whatever". I didn't say much to her. She invited us all out to meet her in town and as she walked by
me she gave me a pinch on the arm as she left. I thought "hmmm, OK".
We met Tanya in town that night and as I got to the bar she was dancing and talking to another guy. My friend was urging me to
go talk to her. When Tanya was alone on the dance floor dancing by herself with her back turned to me, I made my move. I said "Hi
Tanya" and she turned around and said "Gus!!" and smiled big at me. We never separated the rest of the night. We danced for awhile
at that bar, then we went to another bar and talked. That's when we both noticed we had some chemistry. We hung out all night
and through the morning. The next morning when it was time for me to leave I told Tanya I would be back to see her. She didn't
I called her when I got back to Texas and again told her I would be there during my next holiday which was Memorial Day. My
friend Bonnie had already moved on in her travels, so this trip would be on my own. Tanya invited me to stay with her, and I was
nervous about that. When I arrived I felt the instant chemistry again. We had no problems. That whole trip we had great
conversations, we laughed, and we danced. When I got to see her paint for businesses in town and play her drum for the first time,
I felt so proud to be the guy that she was with. Those six days flew by and when it was time to fly home, I was so sad to leave
Tanya. I called her when I got home and asked her to be my girlfriend and she said "Yes!" We already began to make plans for her
to come and visit me and 1 month later she arrived in Texas.
I had fallen in love with her during my 2nd trip to Belize, but it was during this trip that she fell in love with me. The day
before she left she said she wanted everyone in Belize to know she was mine and asked if I would buy her a ring. We found a really
nice trinket ring in the mall that she liked. Soon after Tanya left I knew that this was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life
with. I began researching engagement rings and knew I would propose to Tanya during her next visit.
A month and a half later I picked Tanya up from the airport. I had dinner cooked at home and once she got settled to eat, I
appeared with 2 dozen roses, then got down on my knee and asked Tanya to marry me. I was so nervous that I could barely speak and I
was shaking tremendously. I was so happy that she said yes.
During that month, we flew to California and it was the first time that Tanya met my family and all my friends back home. I recall
after my first trip to Belize, I had plans to go to Thailand. I cancelled to go see Tanya again. I feel so blessed that I found her,
and now I have my partner to travel the world with.
I worked at a beach bar called Coco Loco's in San Pedro, Belize. I had not wanted to be a bartender again but I needed the money
so there I was. It was Sunday, April 12, 2009 and I woke up that morning feeling kind of blah. I was going to wear something to
reflect that mood but thought to myself, "You never know who you're going to meet today." So I wore something nice. At work, it
was quiet, it felt like it was going to be a long shift. A couple of people were hanging out and then I could smell something nice
in the air and knew someone was walking up to the bar. I turned and there was this guy walking in with a lady I had met before,
Bonnie. I found her to be pleasant and was happy to see her and that she brought company. He asked for Captain Morgan's and OJ.
I knew this was a pricey drink and told him so. I thought I might have been kind of rude but I hope it didn't sound that way. He was
cool and I made him his drink. I don't remember what Bonnie had. They stayed and talked with me for a while and there was a moment
when he was looking down, when he lifted his head, he smiled and he had that crooked tooth and I secretly loved that smile. I still
think about it from time to time. I do remember him asking me out right away and me shooting him down because I was so tired after
partying with friends the days before. I also thought, he was another tourist hitting on the bartender. So I didn't pay him much
A week went by and I must have rode past the house I knew he was staying at a few times. I was always tired and just wanted to
get home. But on this particular day, the Saturday, I was about to ride by when I thought, "you said you'd stop by, so turn around
and keep your word." So I turned around and went up to visit them. Gus was across the room ironing and I was shocked by that. In
this heat? Bonnie invited me in and I invited them all to meet me in town that night. I got the impression that Gus was not
interested but he eventually made his way over to where I was standing. I do remember giving him a soft pinch on the arm before
That night I was at Fido's with a friend. I remember seeing Bonnie and Gus standing at the side bar and I felt their eyes on me.
I do remember dancing by myself on Fido's empty dance floor with my eyes closed. I heard my name and when I opened my eyes, there was
that great smile again and looking up I was happy to see him. I said "Gus!" and I don't remember what was said after that. We were
together for the rest of the night. I had forgotten where I locked my bike and was upset about it. He comforted me but I could tell
he didn't know what a big deal it was about a bike. That is my main transportation and important to me. Well I found my bike and
was a little embarrassed I had forgotten I moved it but oh well. That's when we made plans to stay together that night.
In the morning I made him a cup of tea and he said he would like to come back and see me in about a month. I didn't believe him.
Sure enough he called me from Texas and we made plans for his return for a few days and it flew out of my mouth that he could stay
with me. It turned out to be pretty wonderful and I knew he was special. When he called from Texas asking me to be his girlfriend,
I felt breathless and accepted right away. We planned a trip for me to visit him in about a month, in June.
I remember we enjoyed our time together so much, we extended my stay. I remember walking down the street with him and it dawned
on me, I turned to him and said, "I think I'm falling in love with you." He smiled so sweet. I asked him for a ring just to show
we're together. We got a $7 trinket and picked it out together. I loved it. I know being back in Belize my friends thought I was
moving too fast. I also knew that I've been waiting all my life to meet this Special Man. It was time to work towards a stronger
relationship. I had a silver ring made for him and was happy to see he wanted it fitted for his wedding band finger and that he made
a habit of wearing it.
When I went for my next visit in August, he had dinner ready at home and I had just taken a shower, my hair was up in a messy bun
and I was wearing one of his red t-shirts and was sitting there chewing a chicken bone when I saw him come walking down the stairs
holding beautiful roses. When he gave them to me, I had my face in them smelling them. I looked over them and he was on his knee
looking up at me. I saw the little box but looked him in the eye first. His eyes were happy and sincere. I really don't remember
what he said. I just knew I was saying Yes. Soon after we were visiting his mom and family in California and I was being introduced
as Gus' fiancé. It was wonderful. It is still wonderful going on 4 years together.
I asked God for someone to love and He sent me Gus. I waited many years and it was worth it. I'm thrilled to be marrying him as
soon as can be and having him be my partner in adventures for the rest of our lives.