Days begin and days end. There is no gray area or debate, they come and go, the sun rises and sun sets.

Daylight in black and white is the photo challenge theme for #SundayStills this week. Below is a very contented Mr. Cooper, sunning himself. The peer bliss and light make this one of my favorite pictures of him. His adopted birthday recently passed making him a grand old gentleman of 14 years.

But enough about Coops, March is my birthday month. Every year it arrives and melts away with time. So, what better way to embrace the challenge than share birthday trip travels in black and white.

The 50th Year Trip: Wine Tastings and Aquariums

I’d never done a solo road trip, but I set out to do a 2 week trek up to Napa Valley in California. What better way to celebrate my 50th birthday if not with friends. It’s going to happen whether we show up or not, so might as well enjoy it!

The Monterey Bay aquarium was quite delightful. Not too big but with plenty to see and do to fill an afternoon. Jelly fish and penquins were two creatures that intrigued me for quite some time at the aquarium. I enjoyed a full afternoon wondering around that marvelous facility. If you go, look into pre-purchasing tickets. I’ve been through the area more than once and they get very busy with long lines.

Napa was a bucket list area that I was finally able to check off. It’s been 7 years now and we all still talk about the trip. I played with the below wine glass photo a bit and decided I liked it better with the color of the wine still showing through. In our group photo, I’m on the far left and we had just finished being spoiled in the BV winery cellar. Definitely a highlight of the trip.

The bridge depicted below is the Bixby bridge along CA HWY 1. It was completed in 1932 and spans a deep canyon on the Big Sur coast. One of the most photographed bridges in the state.

My favorite picture of this trip was capturing our reflection in this stair stepped wine bottle collection.

“If I could save time in a bottle the first thing I’d like to do is save everyday”

Jim Croce

Bahamas Trip

In the previous year, I flew to Nassau, Bahamas for a week’s stay again with friends and again around my birthday. The weather mostly cooperated but the water was very deceiving. Was it welcoming or not?

Bahamas 2015

I can assure you, that the water was slightly chilly. The locals said it was still winter for them. It was grand for a few minutes but when we snorkeled one afternoon, I also wish I had a spring suit on instead of just a swim suit.

Black and White Native Captures

One of my photography goals is to keep learning what works well on my trusty old Sony camera. I’m determined to not upgrade my camera until I have some skill of manual settings! Black and white images are not something I take often and this gave me an opportunity to look at things a little differently. I made a walk about the property to play with different angles and combinations to see what I could come up with. Here’s my select few winners; all unmodified or should I say unprocessed.

No Gray Here

Although the challenge is showing B&W photos, there is many shades of B&W being shared; so yes there is definitely gray here. And as birthdays come and go, there is also gray hair.

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More Sunday Still Posts

Thanks for visiting our travel blog and I hope you enjoyed finding the #SundayStills Challenge. You can join the weekly challenge by visiting our hosts blog Second Wind Leisure. Terri’s amazing post for this week is Not Too Jaded.