Mature Friends Web Site

What's New in June
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 Where
Coffee Night
Canceled for June
Cubcake Royale, West Seattle  🍴
Lunches Out
Wed., June 8 and 22, at noon Charlie’s on Broadway  🍴
Dinner Out
Tue., June 21, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill  🍴
Monthly Potluck
No potluck in June in favor of banquet
Womens’ Athletic Club   🍰
Wine Tasting
No tasting in June
May tasting: Wines of Tuscany
In members’ homes🍷
Annual Banquet
Sat., June 18, at 6:00 p.m.
Womens’ Athletic Club  🍴
Annual Picnic
Sat., Aug. 13, at noon
Magnuson Park  🎄
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes  🍴
Christmas Lunch
Sat., Dec. 17, at noon
Robb’s 125th Street Grill  🍴
Playing Date and Time Where
A Better Club for Investing
Sun., June 5, at 4:45 p.m.
TBD  📈
Book Club
Tue., June 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Robert Beachy’s Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity, at home of Grant F. Contact Bruce B. for any questions you may have 📖
Board Meeting
Mon., June 13, at 7:00 p.m.
At the home of Curt and Dean  📓
Tue., July 19, at 9:30 a.m. Iron Goat Trail  🚶
Garden Tour
Thurs., June 23, at 6:15 p.m.
Laurelhurst Garden
Travel and Events
Various trips, foreign and domestic
Check our destinations   ✈️
Bridge Club
Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall  🃏
Pinochle Club
Wed., June 1 and 15, at 7:30 p.m. Temporarily in a private condo room
Normally at Odd Fellows Hall  🃏
Theater and Music
May 19 – June 12
Seattle International Film Festival  🃏
Exercise Group
Every Wed. at 10:00 a.m. Odd Fellows Hall  💃



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?

July Hike Along the Iron Goat Trail

Our hike in July will be along the Iron Goat Trail, just off Highway 2, east of Skykomish. This is a gentle walk along the old Great Northern railroad grade built over the Cascades in 1893. We will start out at the scenic trailhead, near the red caboose, just beyond milepost 58. The first part of this loop hike is both interesting and beautiful. It is a wide gravel gentle uphill trail with wooden bridges across small creeks making the journey easy. There are several old tunnels with trails going up to the opening, and collapsed timbers that once were protection from the snow. Interpretive signs along the way also tell of the people that built the railway.

At a junction we will take a short crossover trail to the upper grade, and start our return. This part of the trail will take you by the remnants of several snow sheds. There are usually waterfalls coming off the top of some of them. At some point we will find a spot with a view and stop for lunch. Further on we will come to another crossover trail that takes us back down to the red caboose and our cars. The hike is about four miles long, with about 700 feet of gain spread along the whole length.

We will meet for car pooling at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, near the Bank America building at the north entrance to Northgate Mall, with the goal of reaching the trailhead by 11:00 a.m. Bring a lunch and water. Wear sturdy shoes. Car pool riders share the cost. We will get back to Seattle around 4:30 p.m.

If you wish to drive directly to the trail head take Highway 2 to milepost 58. Three tenths of a mile beyond that you will see a red caboose on the north side of the highway. Turn into the parking lot, which is the lower trail head where we will start from.

Last Month’s Hike to Talapus Lake

In June we hiked to Talapus Lake, in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, which we last hiked five years ago. This popular hike on the north side of the I-90 corridor goes two miles to a lake nestled in a rocky bowl. The trail begins with a gentle wander on wide track through the woods, and then goes up some gentle switchbacks. It crosses Talapus Creek and traverses marshy areas through a series of bridges and raised walkways. There are various small paths winding around the pretty lake that travel past nooks perfect for a lunch spot overlooking the water. Round trip is four miles, with a moderate 650 feet of elevation gain.

Hikers near Talapus Lake

Dale, David, Tim, Edwin, Ramon, Brian, Jerry, Jim, Gene, Gary, Doug on Trail to Talapus Lake

If you'd like to see more pictures of this hike, check out hiker Brian’s album.

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.

Jerry, Dale, Stephen, Gene, Ramon, Doug and Edwin on the Boulder River Trail

Robe Canyon Trail, L to R Dale, Gene, Ramon, and Doug

Brian, Tim, Jim, Edwin, and Dale in Lord Hill Regional Park

— Dale J.


June Tour of a Laurelhurst Garden

The June Garden Tour was held on Thursday, June 23. The tour presented a Laurelhurst Garden, featuring total renovation of a garden surrounding a 1928 Georgian home.

The tour was led by Jason Morse, the landscape architect who is responsible for the new design. A deep slope slanted toward the house from the street. There were drainage issues. The homeowners had differing aesthetics. Some older plants were preserved and new seasonal color was added. The home’s architecture was extended into the garden. One garden room extends into another. The home was featured in the January 2, 2015.

Currently the home has a daytime construction project, so hence we will be able to visit after the noise abates. Besides, we will finish with refreshments on the view deck.

For those interested, you can see a collection of Brian’s photos. Here’s the link:

Brian’s garden photos

Last Month’s Tour

The May Garden Tour visited the headquarters and gardens of Ed Hume’s Seeds in Puyallup on Wednesday, May 11. Ten hearty souls made the drive down. The weather turned out beautiful, a perfect day for a pleasant drive and a tour of this special site.

Garden Group

Ten Garden Lovers Pose with a Hopper in the Shape of a Bug with Boots. Dr. Wott, Garden Guru on Left

Ed has long been a fixture in northwest horticulture on both radio and TV and in major publications.

Ed Hume

He has been featured on many area public programs. In fact, I, John Wott, have been a guest on Ed’s TV show.

We visited his family owned and operated business. Ed led the tour, taking us into the Topiary first. He then showed us the primula in the primrose garden. Next, we moved on to the puzzle garden. Here you can see the entrance to the garden, with some veggies growing upfront. Aside from beautiful yellow and red peonies, the garden displays some fun exhibits, for example, three feet to the yard. And then there's the snowball bush. Looking at the bush from a short distance.

Continuing on, Ed pointed out a line-up of bowling balls painted by kids to represent a dragon. Quite creative, wouldn’t you say? Going on, this handsome Viking greeted us. Then we came across a hopper from the Kent Valley where they grew hops for a long time. Ed took this hopper and shaped it into a giant bug with boots, no less. The group got such a kick out of the hopper that they posed for a picture with that intriguing creature, as you saw at the beginning of this write-up.

The family have also been selling the highest quality seeds and garden products since 1977. To pack the seeds, the family turns to a seed packer from the 1880s. And yes, it still works perfectly. Lucky for us, we saw the maching in action, packing green beans. Next Ed demonstrated marigold seeds being packed. Their seed lines are especially selected for short season and cool climate areas. This makes their varieties perfect for high altitudes and early or late planting in warm climates. Here you see the seed storage area in the factory. In the next room, they seeds are sorted and packed in bins, ready for shipping. As we left the factory, we turned around for one final look at the exterior.

Their main goal through the years has been, and continues to be, providing the best quality products to customers. For this reason, they use only seeds from the current crop. Seeds that are unused at the end of the year are donated to charities worldwide instead of being held over for resale the following year. They showcase many of their varieties, offer public classes, and show-case the plants.

If you’d like to visit the garden and check out Ed’s seeds, here are driving directions:


  1. From I-405 (at Southcenter), take WA-167 south toward Auburn/Kent (about 20 miles).
  2. Take the ramp on the right for WA-512 W./WA-161 south toward Olympia/Puyallup (3.4 miles).
  3. Keep going straight onto WA-512 W. (3 miles).
  4. Take the ramp on the right for Canyon Road to Summit.
  5. Turn left onto Canyon Road E.
  6. Turn left onto 112th Street E.
  7. Turn right onto 58th Avenue E. and continue to:

    11504 58th Avenue E.

April’s Group Picture

April Tour Group

Tour Group at the Children’s Playgarden

— Dr. John Wott

Back to "Goings On"

Wine Tasting

The wine tasting group meets every other month.

May’s Tasting

We tasted wine from Tuscany, Italy, dominated by the Sangiovese grape well known for producing Chianti and Brunello wine of many qualities and costs. We also explored other lesser known varietals. This is one of the great centers in the history of wine, and we had a wonderful opportunity to enjoy their products.

Previous Tasting

In March, fourteen members gathered at the home of Jeff and Gus to taste ten wines from Sicily. Often overlooked and under appreciated we left with recognition of the pleasure and quality of Sicilian wine. There was only one white, a Grillo ($11.00) from Madrona Wine, which was fresh and crisp. The reds included two Grenache, Cannonau di Sadigna Reserva, 2011 ($16.00), and Cannonau di Sadigna, 2013 ($20.00), four from the Nero D’Avola grape, and others.

Comments revealed how uncommon some of the flavors were and worth exploring. Jeff and Gus provided us with quite a variety of appetizers emphasizing how well these wines accompany rich and mildly spiced food.

— Ed K.

Back to "Goings On"


Travel and Events

This section tells you all 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.

2016 Gambling Trip, June 12

The 2016 annual gambling flew on a return visit to Wendover, Nevada, on June 12. We stayed at the Montego Bay Hotel. A good relaxing time for all, including a historic busride to the nearby Salt Flats.

The Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23

The famous Cruise to Nowhere (actually it does go somewhere) departs 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. A full seven-day cruise on Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas with no airfare required.

The cost for a balcony cabin, including all taxes and fees, is $1,199. Inside cabins cost $771.

We have twelve signed up so far. Space is still available and with a couple more cruisers, the entire group will earn on-board credits. So be sure to book this trip as soon as you can.

You can get more information by contacting Linda at Cruise World.

Shades of Ireland, September 28 – October 10

Last call for our thirteen-day tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We will begin our tour in Dublin, where we will visit St. Patrick's Cathedral and the historic city center.

On Day 4, we are off to medieval Kilkenny with a stop at the House of Waterford Crystal.

On Day 5, you have the opportunity to kiss the Blarney Stone before traveling along the Ring of Kerry-Killarney with an overnight in Killarney. The next day, we will continue to Ennistymon, Cliffs of Moher, and Galway, where we will stay overnight in a nineteenth-century estate.

On Day 8, We will stop overnight at Lough Eske Castle. The next day, we take off for Derry before ending up in Belfast.

The whole trip costs you $4,149, including round-trip airfare from Seattle.

Questions? No problem. Just e-mail Linda at Cruiseworld, and fire away! She'll be more than happy to fill you in.

Sail Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain Sailing Ships

Avast, ye! 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 will try 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 chanties. The ships will dock in Kirkland the last week of August. Check upcoming newsletters for details.

Future Trips

Do you have a dream destination that you would like the committee to consider? If so, please let the travel committee know. So far, members have suggested an African safari, tour of Iceland, and a riverboat cruise up the Columbia River. We are also looking into a wine tasting tour of Central Washington for summer 2016.

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!

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 sights, 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.

Photos to come when the group gets back to Seattle and recovers.

Weekend in Texas, October 30 – November 1

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 touring the city mainly on 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 Ketchican. Everybody had a great time, as usual on a Mature Friends' voyage. Check out some of the pictures of this relaxing trip.


Theater and Music

Tune in to this section to find out theater and music goings-on that often contain gay themes, but not always.

Seattle International Film Festival

Go to the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) web site and search under Films A-Z with the Genre “Gay” and look at all the offerings. Our community is always well represented in feature and short films, and be sure to attend the ever popular Gay-La! film evening and party.

Third Annual Road Trip to the Shakespeare Festival,
August 19 – 22

Drive along on a trip to Ashland, Oregon, which includes four plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), participation in the Daedalus Project, OSF's fundraiser for AIDs, with the staged reading of a play on an AIDs-related theme and the talent show produced by the Shakespeare company with its pernennially popular Underwear Contest.

Shakespeare Festival

We have reservations to stay at the Stratford Inn, a short walk to the theaters. The cost comes in under $800, double occupancy, including tickets to four plays and the Daedalus events, four nights’ room, breakfasts, and one group dinner. Single occupancy costs about $300 more. We have tickets to Hamlet, Richard II, The Winter's Tale, and The Wiz. To reserve a place, send a deposit of $100 to Bruce B. Members of Mature Friends, see the newsletter for his address.

Note: Transportation to Ashland not included. Although most people carpool, some prefer to fly in to nearby Medford.