“Happy birthday”, a friend texted. “Hope you have something special planned,” he added.

"I am having a mountaintop experience", I replied. 

What better way to usher in a new decade than to stand at the top of a beautiful mountain?


It started when Jeff offered to take for out for pizza on my birthday. Some of you may think, well that doesn’t sound that exciting even if you love pizza. Others of you may have heard Jeff  joke that to take me out for pizza is a $10,000 expense. 

Since being diagnosed with Celiac in 2005, pizza is off limits. I have yet to find “good” gluten free pizza in the US. (If you know otherwise, put your recommendations in the comments below – Jeff will thank you). The best gluten free pizza is in Italy. For us to go out for real pizza, you have to figure in the airfare, hotel, local transportation, etc. Hence, the “$10,000”, joke. As you can imagine, I don’t go out for pizza very often, and I was super excited to go for my birthday. [See also: The Most Expensive Pizza!]

We couldn’t go all the way to Italy just for pizza, so we tacked on a few days in Venice and a photo-tour to the Dolomites. You may have enjoyed our earlier posts:  Lost in VeniceAlone in Colorful Burano, and Eastern Dolomites, but the actual day of my birthday was truly spectacular.

Birthday Eve…. pizza followed

Birthday Morning at Val di Funes

Lunch view from Seceda

Sunset, Alpe di Siusi

Sunrise, the day after.

Amazing fog turned golden by the rising sun.

I made the most of my birthday trip to Italy, enjoying both the pizza (nine different times in less than two weeks) and the spectacular mountains!! It was truly a mountaintop experience.  Thank you, Jeff!