How we met
I was 35 years old, single and working at a paramedic contractor in Iraq. Having never been married and without any kids, I was just at the beginning of my acceptance phase of being and remaining single and childless for the rest of my days. Now that I was finally able to afford to travel, I decided to make several ‘world travel’ plans for each of the vacations that I would be getting. I worked 105 days in Iraq followed by 35 days of vacation.
Somehow, someway for some reason or another, I came across a website called singledudetravel.com, which for obvious reasons, looked very interesting. I came across an article about Playa del Carmen in Mexico which was titled ‘Cancun – but good’ The next thing I know I was walking down the main street in Playa del Carmen, not sure what to do or where to go. I had no plans, no wants, no needs and no ambitions.
As I was strolling down the 5th avenue, which runs parallel to the beach, on my way back from nowhere, I caught a glimpse of a very nice pair of tanned legs. I made a swift u-turn and headed inside a bar called EZ Bar and sat down for a drink, hoping to catch another glimpse of those long tanned legs.
As fate would have it, they belonged to Beatriz, and the rest is history! Beatriz was working successfully in Chihuahua, Mexico with her father passed away, 6 months prior to us meeting. Realizing how short life is and having a life time dream of living on the beach, she quit both her jobs and moved to Playa with very limited funds. She quickly found a waitressing job at EZ Bar only 4 days after her arrival in Playa del Carmen. Her very first night working there was in fact the night we met. Looking back it seems that her father ended up bringing us together in a mystical way.
how they asked
I’m not sure exactly where the idea came from; maybe watching proposal videos or perhaps
memories of fairytale proposals that I had remembered. I decided on a scavenger hunt with a twist! One thing I was sure of was that, in order to really surprise Beatriz in a well known, romantic and obvious location like Playa del Carmen, I would really have to step up my game. I organized for her mother to fly in from Chihuahua, my father from Texas and my sister and her boyfriend from Missouri. I also organized for one her good friends, the previous manager of EZ Bar, the owner of EZ Bar and two other friends to be there too. To set the scene, I told Beatriz I had to move the car after unloading it in front of the hotel and
followed that with a request to the hotel reception to call Beatriz up in the room and ask her to be
at the hotel bar at 3pm.
And so the hunt began! Beatriz was first surprised by her good friend at the hotel bar, carrying a message in a bottle, a balloon, and a rose. The note in the bottle led her to the next location. Each location would have a love note and a hint leading her to the next place. Each location was carefully chosen by me, holding a special memory and meaning to us both. For example, our first dinner date location, or the first beer we had together… You get the idea.
At the the second location, she was surprised by my sister and given a surprise with the same package: a message, ballon and a rose. At the third location, she was greeted by my father, which was a big surprise for her! At the fourth location she came across Matt, my sister’s boyfriend, and the message told her to sit back, have a drink, and relax. After a few minutes, her good friend Santiago appeared. Each person who was involved in the previous surprises now joined her in the hunt, and a little group of people started to walk down the street with a bunch of roses, balloons, and glass bottles! There was no chance of blending in with the crowds, and they started to get a lot of attention as they walked by!
Santiago then blindfolded Beatriz as she was led to the final destination – in front of EZ Bar where a chair was waiting for her, with balloons tied to it. Once she was seated, I walked over to her and the blindfold was removed.
It was then that I asked the question. Once she said YES I told her I had one last surprise for her. She turned around and saw her mom!