This is my 2017 yearbook post recapping family, friends, work, travel, and adventure. It has been an exercise in gratitude to pour over all these photos from the past year and appreciate all of your beautiful faces. Thank you for being a part of my life! And there are plenty of times I hung out with friends and forgot to take photos — those memories are important to me too!
I started the year back east — took a New Years Day beach walk with my parents, snuggled with Missy, and saw Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway just before it exploded.
Skyline at dusk in Central Park (I had a fun dinner with my friends Sarah & Ben this night but forgot to snap a photo!), and Missy getting her paws sandy on the Cape:
Enjoyed getting together with friends and family — the Shefts and my cousins on the east coast (photos on the left below) and friends in LA (photos on the right below).
Went to the Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles with plans to meet friends, but when it got too difficult to find each other in the crowd, I spent hours by myself taking photos. Quite a memorable day. Another downtown LA trip was to The Last Bookstore for my friend Casey’s book event — he runs the website Modern Hiker and wrote an excellent book about hiking in Los Angeles.
Other fun times with friends this month — a rainy day lunch with Eva & Bryan in Atwater Village, working on The NHL 100 with Adam & Marissa, watching Stranger Things season 1 with Kelley, and enjoying kebabs and sangria with Adam & Sabrina.
Ate some delicious meals out this month: fried chicken & waffles from Steampunk Kitchen + Coffeebar, ramen from Tsujita on Sawtelle, and a burger and pizza (shared with a friend) at The Butcher’s Dog.
Started the month with a trip to Joshua Tree National Park with my friend Kelley — it was a highlight of the year! We hiked all over the park and there were boundless photography opportunities, including a memorable sunrise at Cholla Cactus Garden (my thumb has since recovered).
I worked on the Grammys Red Carpet show. It was fun to be around that energy for a few days and catch up with friends.
Made more friend memories — dinner with Tamar at Everson Royce Bar downtown, drinks with Jess & Elena in Mar Visa, and coffee with Lindsay at Romancing the Bean in Burbank.
Dinner with Steve at Pearl’s in WeHo, happy hour with Nancy at the Grove, bacon burgers with Jenny & Ziggy at Slater’s 50/50 in Pasadena, and drinks with Kai, Laura, and Michael at Woodranch.
Screening of Manchester by the Sea followed by Q&A with Casey Affleck and Matt Damon, deep dish pizza at Masa with Michael & Laura, and trivia night at Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater Village with friends.
Spent a sublime afternoon hiking around Griffith Park and caught a planetarium show at the Observatory. Went to San Diego for a weekend to visit my childhood friend Emily — she was a terrific host and tour guide! Visited Harry Potter World at Universal, where I spotted former UConn basketball star Breanna Stewart. And spent an hour playing with rescue dogs at The Dog Cafe in LA.
Some delicious eats this month included baklava cheesecake at Rodini Park in NoHo, vanilla hazelnut spiced latte at Priscilla’s in Toluca Lake, and a poke burrito at H2O Poke Grill in Burbank.
Saw The Lion at the Geffen Playhouse, and a podcast taping (Ronna & Beverly) at UCB.
One of my favorite things to do in life is to lie in the park on a sunny day reading a good book. Throw in iced blueberry vanilla coffee from Priscilla’s and I am in heaven! This is my happy place.
Finally visited Watts Towers. Worked on the iHeartRadio Music Awards with Adam, Sabrina, and Michael:
Fun meals out with Brenda, Jenny & Ziggy, and my former Y&R co-workers:
Attended the 4th Annual Fabulous (But Very Serious) Las Vegas Drag Weekend — my first time going! — as Alexandria Hamilton. SUCH A FUN WEEKEND!
Above-right photos by Michelle of Infinite Imaging Photography. Photos below by me!
I turned 33 and celebrated in Connecticut with my family:
Winter weekend on Cape Cod:
Theater and family memories… seeing Sunday in the Park with George on Broadway and Assassins at Yale Rep with my sister. Dinner with Uncle David in Beverly Hills and a fun night hanging out with my cousin Elena and her husband Pete (and their sons and pups!).
I finally visited Austin, TX in late March. Had the best time exploring there and spending time with my friend Michael and his partner Chris. And I ate way too much food but was it was too delicious to pass up. Austin is a place I’d love to return to.
I started this month in Los Angeles — got to visit with a bunch of friends there (Tamar & Nathan, Matt, Sommer, Jeremy, Daniel, Eva). But my main reason for this trip was to attend Allison & Craig’s wedding in Temecula, CA! It was a lovely weekend surrounded by good friends.
I think this is a good time for a dog collage — here are some pics of Missy and Oscar, our favorite four-legged creatures:
Below left: a delicious meal my mom made (zucchini noodles with shrimp). Below right: catching up with Carrie in Washington, D.C. the night before my flight to Chile.
From mid-April to mid-May, I spent four weeks visiting Chile and Argentina. This was the main international trip I took in 2017, and it lived up to expectations — the highlight was hiking through mountains and icebergs in Patagonia.
Here is a sunrise photo at Torres del Paine, Chile:
And a photo in front of Fitz Roy mountain in El Chalten, Argentina:
I’ll share more photos of Patagonia in my “Best Photos of 2017” post soon. But since today’s post is more about the people I spent time with, here are new friends I made in Patagonia — Caroline & Paul from Canada, Betsy from the States, Emily from the States, and Linde from the Netherlands:
I came back from South America and had a few days to visit with family before it was time to work:
I worked on the Peabody Awards (with Sabrina) and then Showtime at the Apollo (with Adam & Sophia):
Love this action shot as we go over script changes with host Rashida Jones and the Peabody Award writers (photo by Randy Shropshire):
Fun times with friends in NYC — my friend Greg from Y&R visited and we got drinks at the piano bar Don’t Tell Mama, then my LA roommates Jenny & Ziggy were in the city for a visit (we went to the 9/11 Museum and got pizza), and one night after work I went to dinner in Harlem with my college friends Sophia, Adam, and Sabrina:
Photos from touring Alexander Hamilton’s former home in Hamilton Heights and from the 9/11 Museum:
I got to go backstage at a Broadway show for the first time ever! Definitely a highlight of 2017. Thanks to McKenzie for showing me around the theater!
Worked on Showtime at the Apollo in Harlem for the first two weeks of this month with Adam, Sophia, and Thomas:
We ate a lot of… salad. Check out my Harlem food guide.
Back in CT, I hiked Giuffrida Trail in Meriden a few times.
And enjoyed long walks in my hometown of Wallingford, CT:
Family time on Father’s Day — strolling in Essex, dinner in New Haven, and playing our first Escape Room game:
I took each of my parents out for Mother’s / Father’s Day:
Soaked up culture in New Haven — attended a few free events at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas (specifically two theater-related ones: one about the legacy of playwright August Wilson, and a conversation between Taylor Mac and Bassem Youssef), plus visited the Yale Art Museum:
Attended two events on welcoming refugees in Connecticut (sponsored by IRIS — Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services). One of the events was a panel discussion with the CT governor, and the other was more arts and food-oriented and featured a performance by Collective Consciousness Theater.
I finally saw a show at the Goodspeed Theater! What a picturesque area.
Spent the first week of July on Cape Cod with my parents and the dogs. It was pretty much heaven.
Lighthouse Beach in Chatham, MA:
Went to a few summer theater festivals, like Williamstown in MA and the Eugene O’Neill Theater in New London, CT.
Joined my cousin’s family on a trip to Storyland in New Hampshire — such a fun day:
And spent TWO weeks at Silver Lake this past summer! What a treat that was. Really special to bond with the people there (kids and adults alike) and come together in community.
We celebrated my mom’s birthday in New Haven with pizza and cake:
Had a great time catching up with high school friends I don’t get to see too often — this was a terrific night:
Then I kicked off a 2.5 week camping road trip through parts of New England and Ontario, Canada. It was my other big trip of the year (after Patagonia) and really special. Saw lots of nature as well as family, friends, theater and a wedding. The trip began with Julie & Anna’s union in Northampton, MA:
I drove north and stopped in the Berkshires, Vermont, and the Adirondacks in upstate NY. Then crossed over the border into Canada. These photos were taken at Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario:
And here is Bruce Peninsula National Park, also in Ontario:
I ate a lot of campfire meals, but the most memorable dinner of the YEAR goes to O Noir in Toronto — patrons eat in a pitch black room and are served by blind waiters. It’s a way to get a sliver of perspective on a blind person’s life. I went with my friends Brenna & Jordan and digesting the experience with them (literally and figuratively) made for fascinating conversation.
Spent time with many great people on this trip:
I also squeezed in lots of theater — Company with Aaron Tveit at Barrington Stage in MA, An Octoroon at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the Lake, and The Legend of Georgia McBride at Dorset Theater Festival in VT (all were truly excellent).
Kicked off the month working at Miss America. Really enjoyed my co-workers on this project, and all the nights we spent hanging out in Atlantic City.
Visited Cape May for an evening and got to catch up with Roy Steinberg, artistic director at Cape May Stage who I worked with at Days of our Lives when interning there many years ago.
Worked on a hurricane telethon in mid-September, enjoyed dinner with Adam & Sabrina (and Stefani!), saw Norbert Leo Butz perform 54 Below, and saw my camp friends in a production of Avenue Q at MIT.
In late September I worked on iHeart Radio Music Festival in Vegas, headlined by Pink and Coldplay. Very fun event.
Then after the show, I rented a car and drive around the southwest for a week visiting Sedona, the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Zion National Park. I saw fantastic scenery, ate delicious food, and took hundreds of photos.
I got back from this trip just in time to attend The Big E in Springfield, MA with my sister and cousin’s family. Was a delicious day!
We celebrated my dad’s 65th birthday with an autumn drive up to Sharon, CT. The next day we went to a German restaurant and played an escape room game. Very fun weekend.
I took photos of my cousin Elena’s family down by the shore, enjoyed family game nights, met my uncle in NYC for a show, and attended my cousin’s shower in MA:
I met fellow travel blogger Kelsey and her friends when they visited New Haven! My friend Devan played a show in CT (check out his new album Whippersnapper) and got to see Val & Whendi, who led summer camp programs I attended in my teens — I have so much love and respect for them. And I worked on the 2nd Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards in NYC.
The Rare Book Library at Yale is a special place — I went there twice this year:
Got to see my good friend Arthur in NYC! We used to work on shows together in LA years ago and now he’s a dresser on Broadway. I also saw many incredible shows this month; two of my favorites were Torch Song and People Places Things.
I went back to Los Angeles this month (for the first time since early April) and tried to catch up with as many friends as possible. Here are a few photos with Tamar, Grace, Kelley, and Jenny & Ziggy and their newborn son.
Enjoyed brunch with Laura, Michael, and Yaz. Saw an outstanding play (Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play at Sacred Fools in LA) with Casey & Daniel (pictured) and Rian, Anthony, and Susie (not pictured). Was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with TWO sets of friends — Kelley & Irving hosted me for lunch, and Tamar & Nathan hosted a group of friends and family for dinner.
Select food consumed in the month of November… shout out to my friend Elena for teaching me how to make macarons and steak!
I worked one day on the finale of Dancing with the Stars to run script pages around to various producers. Check out that adorable photo of my sister’s pup Oscar. And I visited The Getty, one of my favorite places in LA.
I saw more theater in LA — A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Between Riverside and Crazy.
This month (and most of November) was spent working on A Christmas Story Live at the Warner Bros. lot. It was my professional highlight of the year — I had a blast being part of this show.
A few photos follow (the full recap is here):
Squeezed in more friend visits this month — Korean BBQ with Rian & Elena, lunch with Brenda and her new baby, lunch with Eva, gingerbread house building with Adele & Kelley, Silver Lake walk with Grace, and Barone’s with Michael, Tracy, and Laura:
Then I went to Denver for a few wonderful days visiting my uncle! Also got to spend time with my friend Molly and catch up with other friends.
While I was in Denver, my uncle hosted a holiday party that was especially fun:
And then it was Christmas time! I got back to Connecticut on the 24th and we enjoyed a relaxing Xmas morning opening gifts with the pups. I went to my childhood church to help out with a community lunch for a few hours.
The last week of the year was spent on freezing Cape Cod with family:
The highlight of the week was a murder mystery event we hosted on New Years Eve with extended family. Very fun night.
A few other moments from December — working at my favorite LA coffee shop, visiting the Whitney Museum in NYC at sunset, and doing our third escape room as a family on Cape Cod.
I wrote a full post about all the books I read, but here is a visual recap:
And these are all 54 shows I saw in NYC (Broadway and off-Broadway) this past year (full reviews here):
And that’s a wrap on 2017!