Falling in love on bus route 8

Couple falls in love on public transit bus

“’Excuse me, can I sit here?”

Five years ago in February, Luis Martinez asked that question of a pretty dark-haired girl sitting towards the back of the Omnitrans Route 8 bus. When Celina Rodriguiz looked up and said yes, their lives were changed forever.

“It was his eyes that got me at first,” laughs Celina. “When they hit the light a certain way, they look like they’re glowing. Years later, that’s still his best feature.”

Can you find the love of your life on public transit?

“She had her head in her phone at first,” teases Luis.

“I was doing homework,” corrects Celina. “I was going to ROP at the time.”

“Then we started talking a little, asking each other how our day went, stuff like that,” Luis shrugs.

couple falls in love on omnitrans bus route 8

The couple soon realized that they were regulars on the route, and Luis always made a point of sitting or standing near Celina so they could talk. Slowly the two became friends. Their budding romance was quickly apparent to the other bus regulars, and they made sure that the seat beside Celina stayed open for Luis. It was three weeks before they exchanged numbers and went on their first date.

romance blossoms on the bus

Their relationship grew. But there were lots of things to think about, and challenges to overcome. Celina’s little girl Angelina was six at the time, and she wanted to be sure this was the right person to bring into her life. And Luis wasn’t crazy about kids so he was nervous. But as soon as he met Angelina, all that fell away.

“He kept saying how polite and well-behaved she was,” says Celina. “He thought she was amazing. The two of them actually hit it off right away.”

happy young couple loves riding the omnitrans bus

About two years into their relationship, Celina became pregnant with their son Jacob. The prospect of being a dad was a bit terrifying for Luis who had never imagined himself in that role. And strong-willed Celina defiantly tried to push him away saying she would be just fine on her own. But the two held on, knowing that deep inside they weren’t ready to give up on each other.

couple fell in love on bus and still together 5 years later

Luis stayed with Celina throughout the pregnancy. He was right there by her side during the labor and delivery–always a bit of a challenge for any father-to-be.

“Leave me alone!”

“Just breathe babe.”

“I hate you. This HURTS!”

Finally, baby Jacob was born, and Luis was the first one to hold him in his arms.

“He just . . . melted,” smiled Celina. “It was love at first sight.”

And he wasn’t alone. Angelina adored her baby brother and couldn’t wait to help take care of him. The two children were almost inseparable.

blended family enjoys going on adventures on the Omnitrans bus

happy children love riding the Omnitrans bus

Today, Jacob is three and Angelina, nine. His world still revolves around his big sister.

“The two of them are very close,” laughs Celina. “Every day he wants to know what is his sister doing, when is she getting home from school. She’s the only one he really listens to and he pretty much does whatever she tells him to do.”

Celina and Luis are still together and loving their role as parents.  It’s the thing Luis is most proud of in his life.

“I love being a dad. It’s fun to see the world through Jacob’s eyes. He’s really smart too. He gets really excited when we take them on the bus to Chucky Cheese. He knows the routes and can tell where we’re going!”

Celina and Luis laugh. Their relationship has gone through so many ups and downs, but when they look at each other you can see it’s worth it.

“In a way we balance each other out,” says Celina. “I tend to over-think and over-analyze every little thing, and Luis is more like wheeeeeee–let’s have fun! He’s more spontaneous. Together we’re better people.”

For more pictures from our photo shoot with Celina and Luis, visit us on Flickr.

story by Juno Kughler Carlson  /  photos by Janice Kuhn 

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she gave him her seat and he gave her his heart on public transit

One thought on “Falling in love on bus route 8

  1. This is a very sweet story with a positive ongoing young couple. I kinda would like to turn the page and see what the next chapter is going to bring.

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