The family bookends a fun-filled Sunday in Paris with a hot-air-balloon ride and a riverboat cruise

By Peter Mikelbank
Updated November 29, 2010 10:20 AM
Pacific Coast News

Pax Jolie-Pitt got to see plenty of Paris on Sunday, from the air and the water, while celebrating his 7th birthday a day early with his family.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt made a full day of it with their kids – minus the 2-year-old twins – starting with a hot-air balloon ride and finishing with a party cruise on a riverboat.

They turned up unannounced in the morning at the riverside Parc André Citroen in the Left Bank for a ride in a tethered hot-air balloon. “They were like any other family,” the balloon’s operator tells PEOPLE. “There was nothing out of the ordinary to tell you about them which made them any different from any other family.”

He adds that they were “charming” and the kids were “excited but well-behaved. What I think they wanted was a little moment of peace.”

Thanks to the hour, the time of year and the cold weather, they found just that – enjoying the 20-minute ride by themselves.

As if that weren’t enough, the group took the festivities to the water in the early evening, renting the luxurious Josephine riverboat out of Port Debilly, alongside the Eiffel Tower, for a birthday cruise on the Seine.

“We made a short cruise upriver. They stayed on board for about 90 minutes,” a crewmember tells PEOPLE.

“Angelina is a very beautiful woman in person. She was friendly and spoke to me. Brad,” the female crew member said with a sigh, “is very, very nice and very outgoing. He played a lot with the kids.”

There was an assortment of cakes and sweets, and the boat was decorated with blue and yellow balloons.

The birthday celebrations capped a busy weekend for Pitt and Jolie, who also took daughters Zahara and Shiloh shopping on Saturday.