Then we left the hotel. The people, by far and large were rude, more rude than I had even thought imaginable. Once we started ignoring everyone around us, we began enjoying the sites of Paris. Our evening in front of the Eiffel Tower, sitting upon the grass, backpack champagne in hand, watching as the lights danced across the massive structure's burnt-umber frame, made the entire adventure worth the trouble. As we ascended to the top the next morning, still ignoring everyone around us, a chill tattooed up my spine. I didn't want to leave the zenith of the world but we couldn't stay much longer as the crowds were beginning to thicken around us like incessantly chattering quicksand. Whoever decided we should walk to Notre-Dame should have had their mouths taped shut but since it probably was me, I retract my previous statement. The sun beat down upon us, upon my bare, sun glass-free face. A headache began to form, wrapping its muscular hands around the most generous portion of available skull. We searched in earnest for a solution to my visual conundrum but came up empty. The only sight I shall ever behold of the Tower of Notre Dame (which, by the way, wasn't as amazing as The Dom in Cologne) was through bare, tired eyes. Only now, after I have met the perfect eyewear do I realize how spectacular that sight could have been.
Switch Eyewear, a new company offering an interesting product, approached me some time ago about doing a review of their product. I searched through their website and placed myself within the safe confines of Marci's capable hands. I, as illustrated above, have never really owned a pair of real, honest-to-goodness eye protection before so this was uncharted territory. Polarized versus non-polarized amounted to a battle of epic proportions as I had no idea what each size was fighting over. Marci already knew that I planned on using the glasses for outdoor use; during hunting, shooting, or simply walking one of trio down a leafy trail. So, she opted to decide which lenses would work the best, leaving my over-stimulated brain to the difficult part, deciding which frame would best suit my little noggin. I choose the frame that was the solitary one which resembled camo the closest, Stoke in Olive. Marci put my order in, and I waited just a couple of days for the little guys to get here.
I hope that by this point, I won't have to feel it necessary to explain to you the extent to which I adore mail. If you have no idea why anyone would love anything so menial, then you should revert to a couple of my earlier posts about gloves, women's camouflage, and tactical boots. However, I have found one more reason to love product reviews; the invoices. One of the beautiful things about my anonymity is that no one really knows my name. Companies know me by The Writing Huntress, a title, produced from my clever brain in mere moments, now brands me which provides my little ego with an endless amount of joy (see fig.1).
The sheer amount of literature that accompanied the Switch sunglasses was a sight to behold. Pamphlet after pamphlet, directions after guarantees spilled from the package even before I unwrapped the Stokes. I read almost every word and was extremely impressed by the information. Switch glasses work with magnets which allows an owner to employ various kinds of lenses without a complicated way of assembling or disassembling the glasses. The lenses are not flimsy in any sense of the word, making the glasses the most durable I have ever put to eye. I was given low-light rose and polarized contrast amber reflection bronze lenses, each perfectly suited to days spent in the field (up a tree, in a boat, what have you). The olive Stokes blended in quite well with my camo, as well as my all-important face paint.
I began wearing the sunglasses immediately after they waltzed into my life. Being a skeptic, I really did not think that they would make much of a difference but obviously, since I'm writing this review, they did. The rose lenses worked perfectly in the early morning and late evening of a hunt, the amber in between. The world around me seemed to snap into focus the moment I sported the frames; shadows sharpen, defining the edifices within their reach. My dogs' happy faces shone through a little bit brighter on our walks, their cuteness seeming to multiply when viewed through the frames.
Hunting with the Stokes makes me angry that I had been hunting for so long without them. The forest gains greater depth, each leaf is given center stage. The hunting experience becomes amplified and the proof is in the deer- flavored pudding. Unfortunately, I had just pushed the glasses atop my bandanna-enveloped dome when I shot my first buck (you can see how beautiful they look when not in use when Huntograhy, season 2 releases). However, redemption came when I harvested my first muzzleloader buck while wearing the Stokes, the lenses helping cut through the dense fog of the early morning. I had planned on reviewing the Switch sunglasses whilst duck hunting but extenuating circumstances (weather, the lack of ducks, depreciating finances, our plans to move to North Dakota, etc) have prevented us from doing much hunting as of late. So, this review is part one of two, an incomplete dichotomy if you will, the second installment coming whenever we find the time and money to venture out to kill some ducks.
Efficiency, durability, and effectiveness aside, I find myself struck by the company as a whole. Their customer service is next-to-none (I really mean that, ask Marci, I e-mailed her approximately 49 times in one day), the technology is innovative (and works, a combination rarely seen in those attempting to alter something that is already perfectly fine) and most of all, Switch's connection to the customer is (for me, at least) unmatched. DU and I have been going through an extremely difficult time, for reasons I cannot divulge here and for reasons that y'all are well aware. I expected my Twitterbuds, family and friends to surround me with love but when I never expected was for the Switch people to contact me, express their concern for our plight and the pledge to help if need be.
Switch sunglasses employs a program that allows customers to send in scratched lenses for new ones, for a small fee. They state, "You no longer need to replace the whole sunglass if you scratch or damage a lens". This saves time, money and a little bit of worry; all things that comfort potential buyers while creating lifetime customers. After my experience with the glasses and the people whose livelihoods depend on them, I count myself a member of the latter.
*Please note: This is a representation of our time in Paris. My cousin, who is fluent in French and even lived there for a time informed me that the whole of the country is not as rude as I had come to think. Hence, if you dwell in France, dub yourself a Parisian or simply just enjoy the toast that is mass produced there, please do not take these comments to heart as it is the perspective of one who has a horrible stay in your fine country,
** A big, huge thank you goes out to Switch Eyewear for allowing me the opportunity to try their product out, y'all really do make a fine pair of sunglasses. Stay tuned, there's more to come!
*** An even bigger thank you goes to Marci, Switch Eyewear PR Queen, who helped me through this process and cared enough to check up on us after the difficult passing of Oscar. Your compassion meant the world to us, thank you to the moon and back.