It is a true feat nowadays to surprise your teenage kids and organise a birthday celebration that they will truly revel in. Never the one to pass up a challenge, I set out to scout Paris' off-the-beaten track activities but did not find quite the right fit ... until one day... jogging past Passy Metro station I spotted a bunch of teenagers all kitted with bright yellow traffic vests busying themselves over some kind of skateboard. Taking a closer look, I recognised those awful hover boards that kids (and some adults) have been using as transport cutting off your path along the Parisian pathments over the past year or so.
I am addicted to technology therefore it did not even take the time for me to reach home that day, I had decided this would be just the ticket for Expat Girl's birthday activity. The clever business entrepreneur - whom I was to meet later on - had marked the traffic vests with name, telephone number and website. A few minutes later I was booked for a party of 5!
Expecting a rather emotionless but fun ride around the block for the kids, I could not have been more mistaken. The positive vibes were flowing the moment we met the monitor; smiling, on time and fully equipped with protection and safety material as well as the infamous self-balancing powered personal transporters consisting of two small-wheeled platforms on which the riders stand.
Everyone got to work excitedly making sure helmet, arm and kneepads and skate gloves with wrist support fitted snugly. Oh, and of course, the fluo yellow traffic vests!
Thirty minutes later after a clear and complete introduction session by the extremely kind and patient monitor the kids were ready to venture out onto the bike path over the Bir-Hakeim bridge and head towards the Tour Eiffel along the famous banks of the Seine. Wohoooo!
They received tips how to face and overcome urban obstacles, go up or down curbs, venture over a manhole cover, slalom between passersby… only one hour later the children were dancing to Justin Timberlakes' Can't stop the feeling on their hover boards!
The experience would not have been so much fun and playful had it not been for the guide, a young French entrepreneur who started his business of alternative tours two years ago. Thanks to his exceptional guidance, laid-back approach and endless patience the kids had an exciting and unforgettable afternoon while becoming little Hoverboard pros in just 90 minutes.
The smile on my daughter's face said it all, this unusual way of touring Paris had been a hit. Mille mercis Ibrahima pour une aventure inoubliable et une balade vraiment réussi.