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
No tasting in April
In members’ homes  Wine
Photos of Malbec wines we tasted
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., May. 15, at 9:30 a.m. Pratt River Trail  🚶 
Garden Tour
Thurs., Apr. 19, at 1:00 p.m.
Dunn Gardens  🌺
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?

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 will drive on the newly paved road and enjoy the rebuilt trail.

The trail starts by crossing the arched Gateway Bridge over the river, worthy of a picture itself. We then go 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 will eat our lunch somewhere that has a view of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.

Middle Fork

This is a moderate hike. We will hike 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 we are in the woods.

We will meet to share car pooling at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday May 15 in front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. We will be back in Seattle by 3:00 p.m. Bring a lunch and water.

If you wish to drive directly to the trailhead:

  1. Take I-90 east to exit 34.

  2. Turn left (north) onto 468th Avenue and follow it to the junction with the Middle Fork Road (Forest Road 56).

  3. Turn right and continue up the Middle Fork Road for 11.8 miles to the Middle Fork trailhead parking area on the right.

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

April Hike — Pass Lake Loop Trail

Our hike in April took us along the Pass Lake Loop Trail in Deception Pass State Park. This trail goes above the shore of Pass Lake for a ways, then leaves the lake and makes a loop around a hill north of the lake, returning to the trail head near Highway 20, near the boat launch. It is the only one of the major hikes in Deception Pass State Park that our group has not done before.

The hike is mostly in forest, with some views of the lake during the first part of the hike. Eventually we started going uphill, and farther along we walked through a section of land that had been logged. The downhill part of the loop after that goes through forest again, and some hike reports say it is the prettiest part of the hike. The hike is about three-miles long, with moderate elevation gain of about 300 feet.
Pass Loop Trail

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

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.

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!

Garden Tours Spring Back to Life

We will visit the Dunn Gardens in northwest Seattle as part of their spring tour season. The tour will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 19.  This garden has a rich history in Seattle.


13533 Northshire Road Northwest
Seattle, WA 98177

Driving Directions

From I-5 North or South:

  1. Take Exit 175, NE 145th Street (2 exits north of Northgate).

  2. Go WEST on NE 145th (if coming from the south, turn left; if from the north, turn right).

  3. Continue across Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue N) and across Greenwood Ave N. The Seattle Golf Course will be on
    your right.

  4. Continue on NE 145th Street until you get to a stop sign at 3rd Ave NW.

  5. Turn LEFT onto 3rd Ave NW.

  6. Turn RIGHT on NW 137th Street.

  7. Turn LEFT on Northshire Rd NW, which is the second street on the left.

  8. Go past three houses on right, and then turn RIGHT into our entrance marked by two brick pillars with an open white

  9. Keep LEFT at the first fork, following the small green signs.

  10. Bear LEFT at the second fork.

  11. Then take the next RIGHT which loops in front of our gray two-story cottage.

  12. Drive past the front door and garage and take a LEFT into the parking lot.

From Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue N), going north or south, follow same directions as above, beginning with step 2.

Please park on Northshire Road, enter the white gates and enjoy the one-minute walk to the tour. Tours start in the garden room to the left of the cottage front door. The residence is private, so please do not arrive more than fifteen minutes early. Only service animals are permitted on tours.

Mature Friends, please call or email me your ATTENDANCE no later than Monday, April 16.   Please bring $10.00 which is the garden entrance charge.

— 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.

March Tasting

The evening focused on Malbec wine from Argentina. These reds have a long history in France and more recently Argentina. They have become a hallmark of that Argentina’s large reach into quality wines. We are most familiar with them from shelves in groceries and massive chain stores. More Malbec is grown in Argentina, 50,000 acres, than all the wines of Washington. If you spend some time looking and asking many high quality Malbecs will emerge.

The web site Wine Searcher can be useful. Many Malbecs grown at high altitudes, are considered superior values. These two YouTube videos from the famous “Unknown Winecaster” offer delicious information on Argentine wine: 

Winecast: Argentine Wines

Winecast: Malbec

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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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