Here's our wedding invitation. It's in Bulgarian only, but here's the English translation:
Ralitsa Ivanova Ilieva
Richard William Roesing
have the pleasure to invite you
to their wedding ceremony
on Saturday, August 1, 1998,
at 5:00 p.m. at the wedding hall in the City Council, Pleven,
at 5:30 p.m. at the church "Sveta Troitsa", San Stefano Blvd.
and from 6:30 p.m. at the "Tsentral" restaurant.
Witnesses: Kamelia and Boris Ivanovi
Please reply with the enclosed card by July 1, or call 02/578-3925.
Our "rehearsal dinner" wasn't really a rehearsal dinner because we didn't rehearse anything beforehand. But it's part of the tradition to have a rehearsal dinner, so we did. Pleven had opened its first Chinese restaurant earlier in 1998, and Rali and I had enjoyed a dinner there beforehand, so we decided to bring the whole family. Besides, after a few days in Bulgaria, I figured my family might miss the cuisine they're used to. [You might check your globe to note that Bulgaria is considerably closer to Pennsylvania than China is, but that's not the point.]
Anyway, our dinner was wonderful. Restaurants in Bulgaria are often inconsistent. You might have an amazing dinner someplace on Monday, then come back on Tuesday with high hopes, only to be served lukewarm, overcooked fare. We were lucky this time. Rali and I, Mom and Dad, Vili and Johnny (Rali's parents), and Meredith and Greg (my sister and her husband) enjoyed an excellent dinner at the Flaming Dragon. The food was plentiful, the beer was cold, the wine was excellent, and the waitress was attentive. What more could you want?
If you know my parents, you know that I've inherited my dislike of spending money from them. As our dessert plates were being cleared, Mom nervously wondered how much this was going to cost. No need to worry. Dinner for eight, including many courses and many, many drinks, came to around $40-45 or so. That's total, not per person. Yes, I'll wait while you go and make your plane reservations for Bulgaria now...
After dinner, we went for a walk on the central pedestrian street in Pleven. Most cities in Bulgaria have a pedestrian street like this (Sofia doesn't, which is why Rali and I try to get out of town as often as we can). We strolled until we found an attractive cafe-style bar with tables outside. Our out-of-town guests quickly learned about the hazard of ordering imported liquor by name...our round of drinks cost nearly as much as the dinner had.
Don't cancel your plane reservations yet. Just remember to order Bulgarian drinks.
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