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.
Please click on underlined area for additional information.
Eating Date and Time Where Lunches Out
Wed., July 13 and 27, at noon Charlie’s on Broadway 🍴
Tue., July 19, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill 🍴
Fri., July 29, at 6:30 p.m.
Odd Fellows Hall, Ballard 🍰 Wine Tasting
Mon., July 18, at 7:00 p.m.
July tasting: California Chardonnay
In members’ homes🍷
Sat., June TBD, 2017, at 6:00 p.m.
Womens’ Athletic Club 🍴
Sat., Aug. 13, at noon
Magnuson Park 🎄
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes 🍴
Sat., Dec. 17, at noon
Robb’s 125th Street Grill 🍴
Playing Date and Time Where A Better Club for Investing
Contact Ray for details, members only
Tue., July 19, at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Bruce B. for location 📖
Mon., July 11, at 7:00 p.m.
At the home of John Chaney 📓
Tue., Aug. 16, at 9:30 a.m. Source Lake Overlook 🚶
Tue., July 26, at 10:00 a.m.
Private Waterfront Garden
Travel and Events
Various trips, foreign and domestic
Check our destinations ✈️
Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall 🃏
Wed., July 6 and 20, at 7:30 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall 🃏
Theater and Music
May 19 – June 12
Seattle International Film Festival 🃏
Every Wed. at 10:00 a.m. Odd Fellows Hall 💃
* The fees for Bridge Club are $4.00 per night for members (who pay an annual fee of $40 to join the club) and $5.00 for nonmembers.
* The fee for Pinochle is $4.00 per night for members and for nonmembers.
* The fee for exercise is $6.00 per month, only $1.50 per week and when there are five weeks to a month, the fifth week is free. Nonmember guests are welcome for the first week, but then must join Mature Friends and pay the $6.00 monthly fee thereafter.
On the last Friday of most months, the membership meets for a big potluck at the Odd Fellows Hall in Ballard.
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.
Dish to Bring Initial of Last Name Appetizer1 A, B, S
K, M, P, W (servings for 6)
C, E, L, N
D, G, H, O, V, Z
F, I, J, R, T
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?
August Hike to Source Lake OverlookOur August hike will be to an overlook looking down at Source Lake, the beginning of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. The lake is small but the setting is among craggy peaks with an alpine feel. It is on a spur off the Snow Lake Trail, but we won’t go to Snow Lake. The trail starts from the Alpental ski area parking lot, with an initial 200-foot climb up log steps, and then becomes a gradual ascent in forest. A mile in, a talus slope offers a break in the trees and views of a rocky mountain landscape. In another mile we go left on the spur trail, with views of Chair Peak and the valley back toward Alpental. There are nice rocks to sit on for our lunch with a view. The hike is just over four miles round trip, with 700 feet elevation gain, about the same gain as our last two hikes.
We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 16, at the Seattle Asian Art Museum parking lot in Volunteer Park. Car pool riders share the cost. Bring a lunch and water. We will arrive back in Seattle by 4:30 p.m. A Forest Pass or Senior Pass is required at the trail head parking area. If you wish to meet us at the trail head we will arrive at around 10:45. Head east on I-90 to exit 52, signed for West Summit. Turn left, and drive under the freeway. Continue on the main Alpental road to the end, the large parking lot at the Alpental Ski Area.
Last Month’s Hike Along the Iron Goat TrailOur hike in July took us 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 started 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.
Dale, Jerry, Edwin, Garry, Jim, Doug, David, Tim, Brian, Ramon, and Gene on Iron Goat Trail, accompanied by Doug’s dog Taz, an Australian Shepherd
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, David, Tim, Edwin, Ramon, Brian, Jerry, Jim, Gene, Gary, Doug on Trail to Talapus Lake
Robe Canyon Trail, L to R Dale, Gene, Ramon, and Doug
— Dale J.
July Tour of a Private Waterfront Garden
We have an opportunity to visit a private waterfront garden in Medina, Washington, on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. It is the property of a major International corporation executive, seldom open. Daniel, their gardener, has made arrangements for us to visit. For security reasons, I cannot divulge the address or names.
Meet in the lower parking lot (on Foster Island Drive) inside the Washington Park Arboretum by 10:00 a.m. We will then carpool across Lake Washington. For those coming from the east side, contact me, and as we pass through the parking lot of Wells-Medina Nursery, you can join the caravan.
If you would be so kind, please inform me of your attendance.
Last Month’s Tour
On Thursday, June 23, 2016, twenty-three members managed to “dodge” most of the raindrops during the dinner hour while touring a Laurelhurst Garden, constructed in 1920.
The tour was led by Jason Morse, a landscape architect, who re-designed the front garden of the home a few years ago. It is one of two houses originally built side-by-side by two sisters, originally so they could enjoy both gardens.
The front garden was designed to fit the symmetry of the home, with the contrasting box wood hedges, circular fountains and walkways, and prominent white fences. The rear garden gently slopes to Lake Washington, and the two large back gardens still flow together as one unit. One has a large vegetable garden with brick and river-stone raised beds, and the other had complimentary a perennial garden. Both, of course, had boat docks. We were afforded a view southwest toward the new SR520 Bridge and Foster Island.
The evening concluded with drinks and snacks on the patio enjoying the long, damp summer night.
For those interested, you can see a collection of Brian’s photos. Here’s the link:
Brian’s garden photos
— Dr. John Wott
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.
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 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 shanties. Both ships have appeared in numerous movies and television shows. The ships will sail on Saturday, September 3, at 2:00 p.m. with boarding beginning thirty minutes prior to sailing from the docks at Carillon Point in Kirkland.
Only a limited number of tickets are available at $63.00 per person, so reserve your space soon with President Bruce.
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 Victoria, B.C., 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 10Last 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.
Cruise to Nowhwere 2017
The ten-night 2017 Cruise to Nowhere departs from Vancouver, B.C., on April 11, 2017. Departing at 4:30 p.m., we have two days at sea before arriving in Los Angeles, followed by a day on Catalina Island. After Catalina, we depart for Santa Barbara, with an overnight stayin San Fancisco before two more days at sea, arriving back in Vancouver the morning of April 21.
Linda from Cruiseworld will be working on round-trip train transportation between Seattle and Vancouver. Cruise fares range from $1,099 to $1,649, based on double occupancy, with the cost for third and fourth persons in a room ranging from $548 to $824. These fares do not include the $225 taxes or the cost of the trrain. Cruise registration is open with complete details coming in later newsletters.
Contact Linda Lane by e-mail or phone (206) 284-0500.
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.
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!
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.
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 CoastAt 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 AlaskaOn 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 MusicTune in to this section to find out theater and music goings-on that often contain gay themes, but not always.
Seattle International Film FestivalGo 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,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.
August 19 – 22
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.