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Franco Manca and Marian Bonelli

This shall be the start of our story... how we met, where we live and our histories past.... Our most exciting news is we are getting married! Franco and I got engaged on Christmas Day, and we are getting wed in Las Vegas on April 25th this year! We are both so excited... all the flights are booked the hotel and most importantly the Chapel, its going to be on a live web cam from there too.... Franco is warm, generous and good hearted, and never ignores a friend in need, he is my best friend and I love him.

Married.... our story goes on...

Its October now already... where has the time gone! So April 2004 beginning at malaga airport with seeing and talking to, keith duffy, x boy band member and now bar man at the rovers in coronation street... kieran!!

We began our trip going to wales to visit with Franco's mom, spending time with her and Nicky, and Tore, and his family, we met lots and lots of franco's best friends and visited his old work places and haunts; we went to Mumbles and the Gower, very beautiful Welsh coastal resorts, and the beach, absolutely stunning scenery.... we saw lots of sheep in the fields and a cow in the lane! it rained some of the time but most certainly didn't spoil our visit....

Then on to Nottingham to stay with Barry and Danielle, we arrived saturday afternoon after a long'ish drive up, we went into the city of Nottingham in the afternoon and again sunday morning, we left them in the afternoon and drove down to Berkhamsted to stay near my mom.....

Monday evening we met up with 16 friends in the Crows Nest, a restaurant in Aston Clinton, we had a really great evening, nearly all my best buddies came... Bridget, Sarah, Lisa and Richard all from Mercedes, Janette and Lenny, and my extra 'mom' and 'dad' Maureen and John, from my Eurocolor days... Clive from Subaru and Lorraine, turned out Clive and John knew each other from years ago and hadn't seen each other for a very long time which was a good surprise! Sean and Tara, who used to work with Franco in Spain a few years ago, my friends Andy and Tanya who i have known for nearly 23 years! OMG! and of course, Tony and my Mom came with us too, it was a wonderful evening....

A couple of days of pottering with friends and family some more and then we left early for Gatwick, when we arrived in Atlanta i went one way, as a US citizen and Franco had to go the other, he got treated like a king! the immigration officer loved his Welsh accent and the way he spoke Italian, i was waiting further down and worrying something was wrong, i got moved down the walk way several times by a guard who thought i was up to no good!

So, we arrived atlanta, then las vegas, the stratosphere hotel on the strip... my brother was there waiting, thank goodness and helped us get our marriage license and check out the wedding dress/tux hire shops, then he had to go....

The following morning, our wedding day we were at the shop before 9, and after explaining exactly what i wanted, if i could.... the lady came out with the exact dress! as if i had designed and planned it! she grabbed up my hair and put a comb with attached small veil in and 'hey presto'! Franco hadn't seen me with my hair like that and was in shock when he saw me after she called him over!

We had a big stretch limo to take us back to the hotel and got ready slowly, just taking our time, we got down to the casino and walked through slowly, people were wishing us luck and got into the awaiting stretch limo that took us to the chapel, the driver was a nice guy and chatted to us, although we had to use a phone at the back to talk to him, he was sooooooo far away!

We arrived at the chapel just as another couple were leaving, they said the web cam was working now, but it seems they had changed the site name, so, although no one watched us.... thank you friends and family who did try... for looking to see us even though you couldnt, but, we felt you were all there with us, and thats what counted...

We had lots of photos taken and the service was lovely, quick but lovely none the less, Franco looked so good, absolutely gorgeous, in his black tux and purple waistcoat, his tails jacket coming down to behind his knees, black patent shoes.... gorgeous...

After the ceremony the limo took us back to the stratosphere, the driver took a couple of photos for us outside his car and in we went.... we went up to the room and unloaded a few things and then back down to one of the bars in the casino, Franco had a beer and i had a white Russian!

Then about 130 ish, we started our long walk to the Bellagio, the driver who took us home said it was 3 miles!! 91 degrees of heat too, phew very hot in our wedding clothes, but we wouldn't have missed doing what we did - it was out of this world, what an experience! nothing could have prepared us for it, never mind 15 minutes of stardom, we had nearly 5 hours! i don't know how many people we passed, 10 a minute? 20? over the next 4 hours, how many is that??? and nearly every single one said congratulations to us and or clapped, people passing by in cars beeped their horns, hells angels on their bikes cheered, shouts wolf whistles clapping, people took photos, and cam recordings, they took photos of us, with us! and on our own, we went into many of the casinos.... what a time! and what a time my feet were having! rented shoes too but the blisters were all mine!!

Back in our room - what a mess the bottom of my dress was black! the dirt and dust from the streets and casinos was up to my knees!!! my white shoes were black, Franco had to clean them with tooth paste! they smelled minty clean... but at least looked white again!

We showered and we changed into fresh clothes and went down to Fellini's Ristorante Italiano down stairs, we had a beautiful meal and relaxed after such a busy day, seemed strange though, no one was taking too much notice of us now, after all the attention earlier.... fame, easy come easy go.... we had just a little taster of it, a brilliant exciting time, but how can people live with that on a daily basis i wonder....

Monday... we were awake from about 4am, down to breakfast at 7am, and again like our wedding day we ate in the courtyard buffet, there are 9 places to eat in the stratosphere alone and what food, the american bounty its called! all american dishes from fried chicken, mash potatoes etc etc and huge international section with foods from around the world... fantastic, buffet style, all you can eat... sunday was champagne, or lobster or both! we had champagne, the food... well there was everything.... breakfast foods of course the usual eggs bacon sausages, done in a whole range of ways!! cereals, fruit etc, but then there was chicken, pork, lamb, steak! fish! deserts by the dozen cakes pastries ice-cream... even some sugar free deserts?? yeah well..... maybe next time eh! a dozen different fruit juices and of course coffee coffee coffee! the food bars covered an area of about an Olympic size swimming pool! massive....

It was 94 degrees on monday and we walked to the new york, new york which is 4 miles there and back from our hotel and then in the evening we walked to the bellagio 3 miles and back.... after another good meal in our hotel, breakfast foods were gone and a whole lot more in their place... we went to bed about 2am, so we were up for 22hours, jet lag is a weird and strange thing!

Breakfast in the hotel tuesday of course before we checked out and left for the airport... my jewelry set off the beeper and i had to go through a clear plastic tunnel thing and be searched... very sensitive metal detector there, the one in Atlanta didn't even blink!

We changed aircraft again in Atlanta, didn't have to recheck our baggage, just go along to the gate and wait, not too long, had a coffee and went to wait, gatwick we did have longer, but with so many familiar faces from last week the time went by ok, final trip.... our third aircraft and 4th time zone ahead, we just wanted to get home..... we collected a suitcase we had left in left luggage and checked in when we could...

We arrived Malaga in good time, there was a thunder and lightening storm below for last few miles which looked absolutely stunning from above and we didn't suffer with much turbulence at all, we even saw a rainbow... and then we got off the plane walked up the gantry and a man on a buggy indicated for us to come over and we got a ride! all the way to passport control then he took our passports, showed them to the immigration guy and continued to drive us through!! so we felt like VIP's all over again... of all the people he picked us! not sure why, maybe we looked totally exhausted.... then to collect our baggage, first one then the other, got to the car and found the second one wasn't ours! woops! so back in and suitcase change with a poor woman standing and waiting... with our case!

Home!

We had the most fantastic time, the most memorable and exciting day, we would'nt have changed a single thing, except maybe my shoes!

Franco Manca

Franco was born in Swansea, South Wales, his Mom and Dad born in Sardinia, he has one sister, Maria, and two brothers, Piet and Tore.

Marian Bonelli

Me, Marian, I was born in Los Angeles, California the US of A, my Mom and Dad both born in New York, my paternal grandparents were both born near Naples, Italy and my maternal grandparents from England.

this is from the web link above, a little bit about my family... my name is marian carmela bonelli, born los angles 1959. my grandparents came over from italy, a small town possible called gualette somewhere in the mountains around napoli, they came to NY ellis island arriving with his brother and her sister who married also, two brothers marrying two sisters, my grandmothers name carmella grasso, grandfather john bonelli, may have been bonello in italy. they arrived in the early 1900īs. my mom, muriel alice, american born in NY NY with english parents, my dad, arturo guisepe bonelli son of above born in NY NY, i have a brother michael bonelli, born in california like me but to another mom, and another brother whose mom is harlene - dont know where he is!

would love to find cousins etc in italy, especially after living in england now for 40 years, 2 here in spain and now my new husband, francesco manca and i are moving to sardinia where his parents came from before moving to wales in the 1950īs.

try chasing us in 50 years, we have to leave a trail!

i have cousins on my momīs side who left england also, my maternal grandfather percy had two brothers who went to argentina... alan and george nelson. only leaving charles nelson in england.