By Dana Sicko
Have you ever thought about how amazing water is? It is kind of wild when you think about it. We are water. We are constantly surrounded by water. It is necessary for growth, stability, and life itself. It’s beyond powerful, which we sometimes find out the hard way.
Last week our team shared their favorite vacation spots for summer and most of our team mentioned being near the water was their favorite place to be in the summer. I am one of them. I love being close to the ocean. There is something about the water for me, and especially the ocean, that is humbling. There is something about looking out at the ocean, seeing the horizon and realizing how small your problems are. I can always make a mountain out of a molehill so coming back to this perspective is really important for me. In fact, three years ago when Gundalow Gourmet was 4 years old and Gundalow Juice just turned 1 year old, I would leave a folded up beach chair in the car. Those were really tough years in business, lots of building and growing and stretching and there was no time, or money for that matter, for a vacation. There were these two days, one in late spring and one in the dead of summer, where my day opened wide up and I drove to Rehoboth Beach, DE (2.5-3 hour drive each way) for an hour to breathe in the salt air and look at the ocean. I didn’t bring a bathing suit, I actually didn’t tell anyone where I was going, I just needed to see the water and touch the ocean. An hour sitting by the ocean seemed to cleanse my spirit, lower my shoulders, and tell me that everything was going to be okay. I happily drove home from my one-hour-beach-vacation, ice cream in hand (of course), with a clear head of determination. I always know that when I need to reset, I find the ocean and it just happens.
Yesterday, I had a new perspective from the water. I had a really cool sampling event on board the new water taxis in Baltimore. For two hours I road along in the boat named “Billie’s Voice,” an homage to Billie Holiday whose hometown was Baltimore. It was an open house event and the boat went back and forth from two ports which gave a view into the harbor, and much of Baltimore itself. I hadn’t ridden this route of the water taxi for years, and it gave me an experience so similar to my one-hour-beach vacations.
As I stated in an earlier post, soon my husband and I are moving up to New England to expand both businesses (don’t worry, I am splitting my time and both businesses are still based in Baltimore). This water taxi route looking into and around the harbor was a perfect trip down memory lane. I looked around and so much has changed and so much has stayed the same. I saw the spot where I first parked my Fiat on Under Armour’s campus and started selling juice out of a cooler, my favorite running route along the Ritz Carlton Residences that gave a beautiful view in Harbor East (I would often stop here, meditate on my thoughts, and then tell myself I would one day live in the Four Seasons residences). I also saw where we catered for Light City one year in a complete windstorm (after that one, I was reminded that we are capable of anything and everything), the Broadway Square in Fells Point where we participated in our first farmer’s market (and still do each Saturday), the new Harbor Point which has grown into another neighborhood of beautiful Baltimore, and of course all of the boss babe owned shops dotted around the harbor (Fells Point Surf Shop, Poppy and Stella, Amuse Toys).
It was a lovely afternoon, as people I have met throughout the years got on and off the water taxi and as I made new friends on the taxi, too! Water has a way of bringing people together and if you think about it it really links us. When I look out at the water beyond Fort McHenry, that water is connected to the water in New England and when put that way, I am reminded that I am really not going to be that far away at all. I can look out at the water and New Hampshire and still be able to see the my beautiful Baltimore. Just a reminder the view might change, and you might gain new perspectives, but you will always be connected to the places you love and the places that built you.