Up, up and away …

Saturday afternoon, I joined some friends at Parc André-Citroën to do something I’d never done before: ride in a balloon! That’s right. Perhaps surprisingly, this almost 40-year-old had never, ever gotten inside the basket of a hot air-balloon to make an ascent. It’s not that I’m afraid of heights. (I have, after all, been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, and the Sears Tower in Chicago. I’ve even gone parasailing.) It’s just that, for whatever reason, I had never gotten around to doing this before yesterday.

I was invited by a friend who was doing field research for a presentation on Parc André-Citroën. This 59-acre park was constructed on the site of the 1915 Citroën factory, where André Citroën built one of the first fleets of French automobiles. That factory closed in the 1970s, and the city of Paris purchased the property and opened the park in 1992. The park features an expansive central lawn around which are situated two greenhouse pavilions, “dancing fountains” where kids (and adults) can play in the spray of the jets during the summer, a reflecting pool traversed by a suspended walkway, and six ornamental gardens. But what drew me to Parc André-Citroën yesterday (in addition to catching up with friends, of course) was the opportunity to take a ride in the Ballon Air de Paris. Continue reading Up, up and away …