Mature Friends Newsletter

What’s New in April
Mailing Address:
Mature Friends
PO Box 21203, Seattle, WA 98111-3203

Every month, Mature Friends publishes the newsletter with updates on our activities. So, here is what we’re up to this month, such as traveling (both locally and internationally), attending arts events, playing bridge or pinochle, reading and discussing books, making investments, touring gardens, taking walks and going on hikes, choosing among many options for dinners and lunches, cooking, and tasting fine wines from our own state, from other states, and from around the world.


Goings On

Please click on underlined area for additional information.

Eating Date and Time Location
Lunch Out
Wed., Apr. 11 and 25, at 12:00 noon Roosters on Broadway  🍴
Dinner Out
Tue., Apr. 17, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill  🍴
Monthly Potluck
Sat., Apr. 28, at 6:00 p.m.
Food Contributions
Wallingford Community Senior Center 
Wine Tasting
Mon., May 21, at 7:00 p.m.
In members’ homes  Wine
Annual Banquet
Sat., June 16, cocktails at 6:00 p.m., dinner at 7:00 p.m.
Womens’ University Club  🍴
Annual Picnic
Sat., Aug. 11, at 12:00 noon
Woodland Park  🌲
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes 🍴
Christmas Lunch
Sat., Dec. 15, cocktails at 11:30 a.m., lunch at 1:15 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill  🍴
Playing Date and Time Location
A Better Club for Investing
Sun., Apr. 1, at 5:00 p.m.  
Members, contact club leader Ray for location  📈
Book Club
Tue., Apr. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
In members’ homes
André Aciman’s Enigma Variations  📖
Board Meeting
Mon., Apr. 9, at 7:00 p.m.
In a board member’s home  📓
Tue., June 19, at 9:30 a.m. Mine Road Trail  🚶 
Garden Tour
Thurs., May 17, at 10:30 a.m.
New Arboretum Trail  🌺
Theater, Music
Aug. 17 – 21
Ashland, Oregon, for Shakespeare Festival  🎭
Scarecrow  Screenings
Sun., Apr. 15, at 3:00 p.m. Chicken Tikka Masala  RSVP to member in charge only to ensure admission  🎭
Travel and Events
Various trips, foreign and domestic Check our destinations   ✈️
Bridge Club1 Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Wallingford Community Senior Center  🃏
Pinochle Club2 On hiatus due to lack of players
Wallingford Community Senior Center  🃏
Green Lake Walk & Lunch
Every Wed. at 11:00 a.m.
S.W. Corner of Green Lake 💃
at the Empress tree, #51 on map
Oddball Outings
Wed., Apr. 12, at 2:00 p.m.
Living Computers Museum  

1 The fee for Bridge Club is $4.00 per night for members (who pay an annual fee of $40.00 to join the club) and $5.00 for nonmembers.

2 The fee for Pinochle is $4.00 per night for members and for nonmembers.


Potluck Contributions

On the last Saturday of ten months, the membership meets for a big potluck at the Wallingford Community Senior Center. In June, our annual banquet substitutes for the potluck, and in August, the picnic substitutes.

Each member is assigned a type of dish to bring based on the initial of the member’s last name.

If you bring a vegan or vegetarian dish, please label it as such.

Plan for all dishes to serve 6-to-8 people.

Dish to Bring Initial of Last Name
Appetizer1 L, P, S
Main Dish
A, C, D, F, H, V, Z
E, G, R, T
B, M, O
AI, J, K, N, W

1 For those assigned to bring an appetizer, please arrive early.



Once a month, our hike leader takes a group on a day hike through some beautiful territory. If the hike leads the group out of town and you share a ride, expect to chip in a few dollars to the driver for gas. Also, the group sometimes brown bags it for lunch along the trail. Other than that, this activity is an invigorating, frugal day’s entertainment!

So why not join us on the next hike?

June Hike — Mine Road Trail

Our hike in June will be along the
, south of Highway 530, between Arlington and Darrington. This is a beautiful hike up an abandoned road to an old mine, with views of Whitehorse Mountain at the end when the weather is clear.

The hike follows the old road in lowland forest, with moss covered trees in places. After crossing Moose Creek on a bridge the trail climbs gradually for two miles, to the end at the old mine. Along the way we pass Furland Creek with some nice rapids. Near the mine is Snow Gulch Creek, a good spot to have lunch while watching the water cascading down the rapids. When the weather is clear you can see the snow fields on Whitehorse Mountain, the source of the creek. Wildflowers may be coming to an end in June but by then there may be salmon berries to pick. This is a moderate hike, with gradual elevation gain of 500 feet.
We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday June 19, at the north end of Northgate Shopping Center, just off Northgate Way, in front of the Bank of America building. Bring a lunch and water. Car pool riders share the cost. We will arrive back in Seattle by 4:00 p.m. A Northwest Forest Pass or Senior Pass is required at the parking area.

If you wish to go directly to the trail head:

  1. Drive east toward Darrington on SR 530.

  2. A ways past milepost 43 turn right (south) on 387th Ave NE/Old Mine Road.
    There is a Shell gas station on the corner.

  3. Drive 0.6 miles to the dead end, with a steel gate on the right and a barricade of large boulders on the left with a wooden bridge directly behind them.

The last tenth of a mile is unpaved. The Northgate car poolers will arrive around 11:00 a.m.

May Hike — Pratt River Connector Trail

The Pratt River Connector Trail is a beautiful trail along the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River that was recently rebuilt by Washington Trails Association volunteers. Also, after several year of road work the Middle Fork Road to the trail head is finally paved from North Bend to the Middle Fork camp ground. So for our May hike we drove on the newly paved road and enjoyed the rebuilt trail.

The trail starts by crossing the arched Gateway Bridge over the river, worthy of a picture itself. We then went downstream along the river, through forest that was logged early and now has a regrowth of hemlock and other lowland trees. In places the trail moves away from the river, and you will see a moss covered forest almost like the rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula. We ate our lunch where we found a nice view of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.

Pratt River Trail Hikers

Ramon, Steve, Al, Chris, Chris (there were two hikers named Chris), and Dale on the Pratt River Connector Trail

This is a moderate hike. We hiked part way to the Pratt River, for about a three mile round trip. The elevation gain is around 300 feet, made up of gentle up and down once you are in the woods.

A Northwest Forest Pass or Senior Pass is required at the trail head.

Snapshots from Some of Our Previous Hikes

Our hikers posed with beautiful backdrops from some of our past treks. The following pictures show some examples.

Dale, Chris, David, Steve, Gene, Al, Ron, and Roger on the Pass Lake Loop Trail

Chris, David, Ramon, Brian, Steve, Lee, Al, Gene, Garry, Dwayne and Dale

Roger, Garry, Ed, Chris, Dale, Scott, Al, Steve, and David on Cama Beach State Park Trails

Stephen, Lowell, Duane, Ed, Roger, Scott, and Dale on Meadowdale Beach

Dale, Stephen, Bill, and Lowell on the Trail to Cedar Butte

Lowell, Scott, Edwin, Gene, Jim and Dale Crossing Kelley Creek

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Garden Tours

This wildly popular activity takes you on tours of beautiful gardens in the Seattle and greater Seattle area. Led by our resident horticulturalist, Dr. John Wott, you see a variety of plants, flowers, and shrubs. So, if you like plants and gardens or if you’re just interested to learn a little about horticulture, come join us!

May's Tour to Explore the New Arboretum Trail

On Thursday, May 17, we will explore the new Washington Park Arboretum Loop Trail, which officially opened on April 15. It only took eighty-two years for it to be completed, being originally part of the Olmsted Plan for the Washington Park Arboretum in 1936. The Green Print, the comprehensive plan approved in 2001, also re-affirmed the trail. When over seven million dollars of mitigation money was received for land taken to widen the SR520 bridge, it funded the new trail.

The trail is both a pedestrian and slow bicycle pathway and runs north from E. Madison Street, close along Lake Washington Boulevard E. It now stops at Foster Island Road. Upon the completion of the Montlake Boulevard exchange and extension to I-5, the trail will then continue across and tie into the Burke Gilman Trail.

The tour will be lead by Ray Larson, curator for the University of Washington Botanical Gardens. Everyone should park in the Japanese Garden parking lot and then CAREFFULLY walk across Lake Washington Blvd. E. to meet just west of the Stone Cottage. The address is:

1075 E. Lake Washington Blvd. E.

We will then slowly wind our way along the trail, through areas of the Arboretum never before accessible. Ray will point out new plantings and specimens as well as interesting construction tidbits.

We will conclude where the trail now ends at the Foster Island Drive and Arboretum Drive E. on the north end of the Arboretum. Hardy souls can either hike the inner drive back south or we will carpool those less hardy.

We will leave promptly at 10:30 a.m., three-quarters of a mile, taking about ninety minutes.

April Tour Featured Spring Weather, Flowers, and New Members

On Thursday, April 19, twenty-five members were immersed in the history and early spring beauty of the Dunn Gardens located in the southwest corner of Shoreline, Washington. Nine were new Mature Friends members. This was one of the first sunny warm days of spring.

We met at 1:00 p.m. in the meeting room attached to the E. B. Dunn residence or carriage house. The tour was capably lead by Guide Rene Montgelas. Head Gardener Mark Mosinski also assisted. Rene reviewed the family history.


Arthur Dunn bought ten acres in 1914 and built a summer house, around which he had the Dawson/Olmsted firm design a garden in 1935. Major remnants of this Olmsted garden remain today and large old unusual specimens can be seen “showing off” during the year. Upon Arthur’s death, the garden was then splint between three of the children, with additional houses built

However, son Edward Dunn lived in the cottage, and being a plant enthusiast, especially with rhododendrons, he built several new gardens on the grounds, Upon his death the properties were again brought together to function as the E. B. Dunn Garden.

Rene lead the tour from the cottage, down Olmsted Drive, and past the Moss and Shade Gardens. We traversed the Great Lawn, and then saw the Heather Borders, the Croquet Borders and Wildflower Glen. Then we headed into the Ed Dunn’s Woodland Garden, the ravines and all those mystical trails and waterfalls.

Trout lilies, one of the garden favorites, were showing off and early azaleas, magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias were lurking around each bend. This is a garden which is best visited every two or three weeks as the change of colors and flowering plants continues all year long. It was a delightful way to begin the gardening season.

— Dr. John Wott, Tour Organizer, Leader, and Expert Horticulturalist

Dr. John Wott

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Wine Tasting

This every-other-month activity is hosted in a Mature Friends member’s home. The newsletter gives the location and wines to be tasted.

May Tasting

We met on Monday, May 21, to taste Italian white wine.

Some of the wines we tasted

There are no regional or style limits for this evening so you have the opportunity to try any Italian white and experience the random selection brought by others. There are hundreds of choices from sweet to bone dry, full bodied to light and fresh. So use your own curiosity and team up with someone to raise the tasting’s quality. If you can stop at Esquin you’ll find a knowledgeable staff and vast selection of whites. Other smaller merchants in Magnolia, Ravenna, Bothell (Rain City), etc., will have plenty of information to entertain you. Many of these vineyards have existed in Italy since the Middle Ages. There are some good articles online regarding the history and variety of these wines.
This YouTube video from the famous “Unknown Winecaster” offers general information on Italian wine classification:

Italian Wine Quality Classification

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Oddball Outing

This once-a-month activity, begun in 2017, takes us on day trips and activities around the town or to locations nearby.

April Outing: Living Computers Museum and Labs

Here is your chance to Geek out and remember your old Compaq Deskpro! April’s Oddball outing will be to the Living Computers: Museum and Labs in the SODO district of Seattle. The museum provides a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience with computer technology from the 1960s to the present. We’ll relive the story of computing with the world’s largest collection of fully restored—and usable—supercomputers, mainframes, minicomputers, and microcomputers. There are over fifty computers in all, and yes, you'll be able to try out most of them. The main gallery will allow us to explore robotics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, big data, the Internet of Things, video-game making, and digital art. What’s not to like? It is truly a hands-on tour of the digital age, and it garners almost all five-star reviews online.

The outing will take place on Thursday, April 12,  at 2:00 p.m. The tour itself will last forty-five minutes, and then we will be on our own to play for as long as we like. Those who wish to can go out afterwards for a beer or happy hour and dazzle each other with our new insights. The cost is $14.

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Travel and Events

This section is about recent or upcoming trips planned for Mature Friends. Everybody who has gone on one of these trips has had a great time and was well taken care of. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up and join the fun!

NOTE: To travel with us, you must first join the club.

Day Trips with Seattle Parks and Recreation

Seattle Parks and Recreation and Mature Friends are partnering to offer day trips to our club members. The first three trips developed for our members were in October, November, and December. Three more are offered this year:

Check out the flyer for the springtime events.

Viking Homelands: April 28 – May 12, 2018

Mature Friends is planning a more ambitious cruise schedule in 2018 than in 2017. We embark for fifteen days on Viking Ocean Cruises to Bergen, Norway, and disembark in Stockholm, Sweden. We will visit eight countries and dock at eleven ports of call. Accommodations on the Viking Sky include a private veranda stateroom and includes wine and beer with meals. The itinerary comprises eleven guided tours with ports of call that include Helsinki, Copenhagen, Berlin, Gdansk, and St. Petersburg.

Accommodations on the Viking Sky include a private veranda stateroom and wine and beer with meals.

For full information, contact Shawn (or call him: 360-903-4353) at Woodside Travel.

— Mature Friends President Bruce T.

Past Trips and Events

If you missed some of the trips organized by Mature Friends, you might be interested in reading about what you missed. Or if you went on any of these wonderful trips, you might be interested in reliving the fun and adventure. If so, this section is for you!

Tacoma’s Big Three Museums: Last November, 2017

On Thursday, November 9, we bused down to Tacoma to visit three Tacoma Museums, including the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Washington State History Museum. Each participant chose what museums to see and paid his or her own entry fee.

Special exhibits for November at the Art Museum include “Two Centuries of Still-Life Painting,” “The Dynamic American West,” and “The Art of Framing.” The Museum of Glass showcased special exhibitions dedicated to the work of Dale Chihuly and the glass and steel sculptures of Albert Paley.

Lake Diablo Day Trip

On August 10, thirteen Mature Friends bused to Diablo Lake. Hop aboard and get a taste of what these tourists saw and experienced. Maybe you can schedule this tour some day.

Diablo Lake Tour

California Coastal Cruise, 2017

Departing on April 11, seven Mature Friends sailed on the ten-night California Coastal Cruise departing from Vancouver, B.C. sailing at 4:30 p.m., we cruised down the coat for two days before arriving in Los Angeles, followed by a day on Catalina Island. After Catalina, we embarked for Santa Barbara for a day, ending up with an overnight stay in San Francisco. Then we sailed up the coast for two days before arriving back in Vancouver the morning of April 21.

Escape into Cuba

Five Mature Friends took off on an all gay tour with seven days in Cuba. They departed from Seattle and arrived in Havana in time for a group dinner.

The tour included a bus overview trip around the city and visits to a rum-bottling facility and a tobacco farm to see the cigar-making process. We also saw the unique mountains and caves in Vinales National Park. The highlights, though, were the explorations of the city we did on our own.

We saw the beautifully renovated plazas and streets in Old Havana (a UNESCO Heritage Site), strolled along the Malecon with hundreds of cell phone-toting Cubans, saw various museums, and reveled in the joy of riding in 1940s and 1950s vintage American car taxis. We all thoroughly enjoyed one another’s company, and it was a trip we will long remember.

Sail Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain Sailing Ships

Avast, ye buccaneers! Last summer, our evening sailing on the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain got canceled because of a heavy rain and lightning storm that struck just before our sailing time. This year we tried again.

The three-hour cruise on Lake Washington in reproductions of eighteenth-century sailing ships features booming cannons, close quarter maneuvers, and the singing of sea shanties. Both ships have appeared in numerous movies and television shows. The ships will sailed on Saturday, September 3, at 2:00 p.m. from the docks at Carillon Point in Kirkland.

But don’t take my word for it. Read all about it and check out the pictures!

— President Bruce T.

The Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23, 2017

The famous Cruise to Nowhere (actually it went somewhere) departed from Seattle with a one-day stop in Astoria, Oregon, then for two days in San Francisco, and finally one day in ., before returning to Seattle. This voyage consisted of a full seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas with no airfare required.

Cruise to Nowhere

Rome and Tuscany, April 23 – May 8, 2016

This trip began with a week in Rome. We spent a week in the Eternal City with a gay guide escorting us to the major tourist sites, including ancient, renaissance, and contemporary Rome.

We spent the second week at a private villa in Montisi, a small hill town in southern Tuscany. Day trips took us to Siena, the wine towns of Montepulciano, Montalcino (home of Brunello wine), Assisi, Pienza, Chiusi (Etruscan sites), Orvieto, the antique fair in Arezzo, and Monte Olivetti Maggiore (a major abbey with a large collection of frescoes by the Renaissance painter Sodoma).

The fabulous trip concluded with a day in Florence. Some travelers extended their tour for a day or more in Florence.

Weekend in Texas, October 30 – November 1, 2015

On Friday, October 30, nine Mature Friends flew on Alaska Airlines nonstop to

San Antonio. We spent a great time in this beautiful city over Day of the Dead (Halloween) weekend, staying at the traditional El Tropicano River Walk Hotel right on the banks of the famous River Walk.

Daily high temperatures hovered around 75º with cloudy and clear skies. San Antonio is a popular convention town and the most visited city in Texas. It has the Alamo, an easily walkable downtown with several museums, and an amazing San Antonio River, which meanders for miles and on which quiet tour boats glide. Great restaurant terraces line the route from which you can watch the lighted boats pass and hear Mariachi and jazz quietly echoing up the canyon. The natural ambiance is romantic and real. And . . .

Remember the Alamo!

The Alamo

We spent a low-stress weekend mainly riding the hop-on-hop-off sight-seeing bus. Some in our group had booked a Halloween dinner cruise on the San Antonio River, but at the last minute the cruise got canceled due to heavy rains. Undaunted, the dinner guests got re-booked into a fine restaurant on the River Walk. Others of us went off on our own and also experienced fine dining on the River Walk. Two went to Landry’s Seafood and sat outside by the river. When the rain started, everybody scampered indoors . . . all except for two of us, who decided to stay put when the staff erected an umbrella over us.

Aside from the great food and beautiful scenery along the river banks, we enjoyed touring the Alamo, the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Tower of the Americas, La Villita, the Spanish Governor’s Palace, the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, as well as many more sights. We could have spent a week and seen something new every day.

We flew home on Sunday evening after a full day of last-minute of sight-seeing. Everybody had a great time. Thank you, Jerry and Bob, for organizing this relaxing, enjoyable long weekend in Texas.

Reno Gambling Trip

Twenty-one people took off for our annual gambling trip on May 12. The package included round-trip airfare and accommodations at the El Dorado Resort Casino. We arrived in Reno shortly after 5:00 p.m., just in time for cocktail hour in the Roxy bar.

But to get the full story, come on and click the link and see some pictures of this relaxing three-day excursion.

Reno or Bust!

Grand Tour of China

In April 2014, about twenty Mature Friends set off for an adventure of a lifetime — touring China! To read about the trip, all we did, all we saw, please click the link:

Tour of China

And enjoy the pictures, too!

Spain and France

On October 12, 2014, twenty-four Mature Friends took off for Madrid, where they began a two-week tour of Northern Spain and Southern France. Please click the following link to see some of the sights they saw:

Tour of Spain and Southern France

Don’t forget to click the links in the story to see some pictures.

Costa Rica

On February 14, 2015, some adventurous Mature Friends took a short winter’s break in a land down south to soak up some warm weather and fine culture, as well as to see incredibly beautiful and fascinating sights. If you missed the tour or have an interest in what we did and what we saw, just click the link below for a description, written by Dan, one of the Mature Friends on the trip. Also, click the links in the write-up to see more:

Tour of Costa Rica

Cruise Down the Asian Coast

At the beginning of the Year of the Dragon, several Mature Friends took a cruise down the East Coast of Asia. We began in Hong Kong and ended up in Singapore. As with the tour of China, we saw several incredible sites, but without the hassle of unpacking and repacking, because our Holland-America ship acted as our home base. Check out this great cruise:

Cruise Down the Asian Coast

Cruise to Alaska

On April 29, a few Mature Friends set off on a short cruise off the Alaskan coast to Ketchikan. Everybody had a great time, as usual on a Mature Friends’ voyage. Check out some of the pictures of this relaxing trip

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Theater and Music

This section lists local theater and music productions that might be of interest to Mature Friends.

Screening of “Chicken Tikka Masala”

Chicken Tikka Masala is a Bollywood production. The traditional parents have arranged a marriage for their son, not knowing he is gay and has a boyfriend. The movie stars Chris Bisson. Released 2005, the running time is 1 hour 30 minutes.


Scarecrow Video
5030 Roosevelt Way NE

The private viewing room can accommodate only thirty people. To make sure no one is turned away at the door, please send your indication of interest to Roger. (See your newsletter for contact information.)

— Roger M.

Shakespeare and Daedalus in Ashland — August 17 – 21, 2018

Twelve Mature Friends have already signed up for this year’s trip to Ashland, leaving space for only four more. Participants will arrange their own travel to Ashland for August 17 – 21 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

We will see four plays:

The Festival has received permission to cross cast Oklahoma!, with Curly as a cowgirl courting the farmer’s daughter and Ado Andy as the boy who can’t say no to any cowboy, or traveling salesman, for that matter. This is the first time the play has been cross-cast, except for a staged reading in 2015 at the Daedalus Festival.

The Way the Mountain Moved is a new play, commissioned by the festival in a series of plays on American history, including the two plays All the Way and The Great Society, which played at Seattle Rep as well. This play concerns a team setting out in 1850 to survey a route for a transcontinental railroad, and their encounters with lost pioneers, African-American Mormons, and Native Americans.

Henry V is the final play of Shakespeare’s great trilogy of historical plays.

Othello is one of his major tragedies, and to me, the most tightly plotted.

In addition, on Monday, August 20, we will take part in Daedalus, the Festival’s AIDS benefit. We will attend a reading of a play with some connection to AIDS and the evening talent show, complete with an Underwear Contest. The play at the reading is unannounced, but recent titles have been The Baltimore Waltz, Oklahoma! with a queer slant, and Cabaret.

Costs will be $430 for tickets to six events and one group dinner, as well as supplying afternoon cocktail gatherings. Participants will pay for lodging themselves: We have reserved double rooms in the Stratford Inn, which will be under $200 per night for two, so approximately $400 each for the four-night stay. You are welcome to look for other accommodation, but this is a pretty good rate for Ashland, and we can cancel up to a month before our stay. If you want to pursue other lodging options, let me know. I suggest we hold the Stratford booking until you secure something else.

You can reserve a space for the trip by sending a deposit check for $100 to the responsible party. See page 5 of the newsletter for details and mailing information.

— Bruce B.

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