One of the benefits of being in business for over 30 years is the relationship you can create with a loyal customer. Randy has been buying Islanders gear for decades and has become a great example of what it’s all about to be an Islander. Traveling the world and seeing what exotic locales have to offer is something we encourage everyone to do. Our new Islanders Van Teesare all about the long journey of life and wherever that crazy road may lead. Randy was kind enough to share with us his journey to Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico:
“I decided to spend my first full day (a Sunday) in Merida exploring the old city founded in 1542. It has lots of Spanish colonial architecture, plazas and cathedrals. The city is clean, but the side streets away from the center of the city are narrow with heavy fast moving traffic and a policeman at each intersection trying to keep things under control. The main streets near the town center are wide with a smoother flow of traffic, and roomy sidewalks lined with striking old buildings, shops, restaurants, and plazas. The people of Merida are fiercely proud of their Mayan heritage and still resemble their stocky powerfully built ancestors. They take pride in the fact that they were never completely subdued by the Spanish, and even thought they did adopt the Catholic faith, it was with a distinct Mayan flavor. Every few blocks is a beautiful plaza, some small, some large, most with a Catholic church across the street, also of varying sizes. Most date back to the Spanish colonial period. The main plaza at the center of the city is the 2nd largest in Mexico, surpassed only by the plaza in Mexico City. Although I am not Catholic, I wanted to attend the 8:00 mass at the huge Cathedral De San Ildelfonso next to the central plaza. This is the oldest cathedral in the Americas, dating back to the mid 1500′s, and a very beautiful structure. Constructed from stone blocks taken from Mayan temples, the church features the largest indoor crucifix in the world. Much of the church is relatively bare due to most of the ornate decorations being looted during the Mexican revolution of 1916. Sunday is fiesta time in Merida. Some of the principal streets are closed to traffic and only open to pedestrians and bicycles. Venders set up their canopies and wares in each of the many plazas, bands, from traditional to conjunto, play for throngs of people dancing in large stone paved areas, and food vendors and their carts or tents are everywhere. The fiesta carries on all day and well into the night, when fireworks displays are sometimes held. I spent all day and much of the night walking from plaza to plaza, each with something unique to offer, sampled amazingly delicious food and drink, and enjoying the company of locals who were unfailingly friendly. I could write a volume of my experiences, of the things I saw and did, of the picturesque customs and people, but space is limited. I’ll just say that a few days in Merida is a wonderful experience and a great way to get to know the real Mexico of the Yucatan.”
Thanks for taking us on your adventure, Randy. We look forward to hearing about more exciting trips to exotic destinations. Do you have any exciting trips that you would like us to share? Send us your stories to email@example.com and we will share them (as long as they are rated PG, of course!).
Happy Earth Day from all of us at Islanders and IslandSurf.com. In addition to being part of the 1% Of The Planet family of businesses, we pride ourselves on carrying many brands that give back to the environment. Here is a list of a few of the brands who are leading the way for responsible, sustainable, businesses:
If you see someone walking around barefoot on Tuesday, April 16th, don’t be alarmed. They are just raising awareness for those in developing countries who lack the access to footwear. For the last six years, TOMS has used a day in April to show how much people take shoes for granted. Each year has seen participation grow and grow.
We’ve told you before about the great things TOMS Shoes does for people in developing countries, but it bears repeating. Blake Mycoskie founded the company with the intent of creating a better tomorrow. He saw a link between the health risks associated with lack of footwear in developing countries and he knew he could do something about it. The answer was a One for One business model that allowed TOMS to donate a pair to a person in need for every pair purchased.
One Day Without Shoes came about as a way to raise awareness for those in need. Since 2007, workplaces and campuses worldwide have participated. Each year has seen more and more participants and 2013 looks to be no different. Check out onedaywithoutshoes.com for more information on how to get involved.
One thing we look for in a brand at Islanders and IslandSurf.com is whether or not the company goes above and beyond to better the world. It’s important for us to know that companies are willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the environment or humanity. It sets a very good example and we are proud to partner with such great vendors as TOMS, Patagonia, 5% For The Planet, WeWood, and many more.
Freewaters is another brand that we at Islanders/IslandSurf.com are happy to add to that list. Freewaters is a California based footwear company that is dedicated to providing people with comfortable and fashionable footwear. Freewaters makes shoes and sandals from green materials that are durable and go with just about anything in your summer wardrobe. Founding partners Martin Kim and Eli Marmar have worked long and hard to provide cutting-edge designs that transport the wearer to a vacation in a tropical destination.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Well, it gets better. Not only do the shoes look awesome, but you can feel great about wearing Freewaters because for every purchase, the company provides clean drinking water to someone in a developing country for up to a year. The founders believe that clean water should be a right, not a privilege. Unfortunately, for many parts of the world it is difficult to get clean drinking water which causes sickness and death. Kim and Marmar seek to cure the Global Water Pandemic by funding locally made and managed water wells in locations where it is needed.
Improving quality of life and providing quality footwear are two things Freewaters take very seriously. Help out the cause by buying a pair at Islanders and IslandSurf.com. If you would like to learn more about the company, check out their website. Do your part to kick water shortage to the curb.
Do you feel that? The temperatures are getting warmer and the days are lasting longer. Spring has officially sprung for most of us lucky enough to enjoy warmer weather in March. Before you know it, summer will be here and then the real fun starts. Exotic trips to beautiful, far-away, destinations are almost within your reach. Time to stow away your sweaters, jackets, and boots and blow the dust off your warm weather staples.
What’s that you say? Your warm weather clothing is looking a little dated? Luckily, Islanders Land & Water and IslandSurf.com have you covered.
Everyone knows sandals and boardshorts are essential pieces to have for spring/summer, but a nice pair of summer shoes are always nice to have when you want to switch it up. Soludos Shoes are a stylish and comfortable alternative to your flip flops.
Soludos started in 2010 in the unlikely location of New York City. Company founder Nick Brown felt that there was a serious need for some summer shoes that could be worn casually at the beach and around the town. He drew his inspiration from his summers spent in Spain where the espadrilles reigned as the ideal footwear for people on the Mediterranean.
The word “espadrille” comes from the Spanish word meaning grass, which is an essential part of all Soludos Shoes. The jute sole is very breathable and comfortable in warm weather. A thin layer of rubber protects the wearer from getting soaked in puddles. Soludos come in many stylish patterns and prints on 100% natural cotton.