A few months back, I saw that The Illusionists, a touring mega magic show which happened to feature Kevin James, an old friend from Vegas, would be hitting Vilnius in early March. This was a cool bit of news. I immediately reached out to see if Kevin would have a chance to meet up for coffee while they were in town. Of course, since it was still a ways in the future, we agreed to talk as it got closer.
Well, it got closer. In fact, they showed up in country last week, with shows scheduled for Friday-Sunday, March 1-3, and he would be free the afternoon of the day I was scheduled to be in Vilnius anyway. We met up and had a great time catching up and chatting about all sorts of stuff. Earlier, he had invited Rasa and me to come and see the show on the 3rd, so we firmed up those plans and said goodbye (he did help me get an uber from the hotel to the bus station).
Come Sunday, Rasa and I were ready for our first actual date on our own since Monki was born. It gets hard to have time to ourselves for a variety of reasons but the stars seemed to align with this one. Rasa’s friend Laima volunteered to hang out with the little (who already loved “Teta” Laima from last week’s solo outing) and since we had just acquired the car, it meant we could make our own schedule.
Which we did.
The Sunday matinée of the show was at 2pm, so with Laima ensconced by noon, we were ready to go. The car handled like a dream (not bad for a 2003 Corolla) and we made it to the Siemens Arena in Vilnius in about 75 minutes (only got lost once!). The only, slight, glitch was they initially couldn’t find our tickets, but that was solved pretty quickly and we went inside, escorted to our 7th row seats just before showtime.
The show itself was wonderful. Two hours of family friendly, mind-boggling magic. The premise is a bunch of different magicians, each with a different specialty genre, performing everything from big illusions and escapes to quick change and sleight of hand. Yu Ho Jin, the 2012 FISM champion, was in this cast and he was amazing. Of course, it goes without saying that Kevin is always brilliant. His magic is so out of the box you can’t really define it. Rasa and I kept looking at each other and commenting that we couldn’t wait until Monki was old enough to come and enjoy a show like this.
After the show, we waited around for the cast to finish their meet and greet so I could introduce Rasa and say good-bye. Then, since we still had a bit of time, we decided to grab a bite to eat and make this a proper date night. Dinner and a show, right? Not necessarily in that order.
Ozas, one of the larger malls in Vilnius, is just across the street from the arena where the show was, and we figured there would be a restaurant there, so we headed over. Not only was there a restaurant, there was a food court! This is an unusual occurence in Lithuania, but was fun since it meant we could pick from a bunch of different choices, and didn’t have to wait for sit-down service. Not that we didn’t know going in what we were looking for.
Rasa hadn’t had sushi since she found out she was pregnant. Not good for the baby, not good for breast-feeding, and after that, there just wasn’t any time. But now we could rectify that situation. We found a Japanese place and ordered a few plates of sushi, enough for both of us. But we had a few minutes so we decided to explore what else was on offer. Eventually, we came across a Mexican place (I sorely miss Mexican in Kaunas) and figured we needed a chips and guacamole appetizer. Rasa discovered the joys of guac recently and so wanted to compare hers with an actual restaurant. (Spoiler alert, we liked hers better).
After dinner, we figured we had probably head back home. Good thing, too, because it started to rain heavily so our commute time was significantly slowed (and we found out that not long after we left, there was a pretty major accident right where we’d been, so our timing was perfect).
By the time we got home, Monki was ready to see us and Teta Laima wanted to get home herself. Spending the day with an energetic 31 month old can take a lot out of you if you’re not used to it (hell, even if you are!).
So, for the first time since 2016, we were able to go out and have fun, just the two of us. It was delightful and a huge round of thanks to all involved. Now, let’s just hope we can do it again sooner than 2022!