Mature Friends Newsletter

What’s New in March
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., Mar. 14 and 28, at 12:00 noon Roosters on Broadway  🍴
Dinner Out
Tue., Mar. 20, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill  🍴
Monthly Potluck
Sat., Mar. 31, at 6:00 p.m.
Food Contributions
Wallingford Community Senior Center 
Wine Tasting
Mon., Mar. 19, at 7:00 p.m.
In members’ homes
Selection: Argentinian wines
Photos of wines we tasted last time...
Annual Banquet
Sat., June TBD, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. Womens’ University Club  🍴
Annual Picnic
Sat., Aug. TBD, 2018, at 12:00 noon
Woodland Park  🌲
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes 🍴
Christmas Lunch
Sat., Dec. TBD, cocktails 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., Mar. [contact club leader for date], at 5:00 p.m.  
Members, contact club leader Ray for location  📈
Book Club
Tue., Mar. 20, at 7:30 p.m.
In members’ homes.
Selection:  André Aciman’s latest novel, Enigma Variations  📖
Board Meeting
Mon., Mar. 12, at 7:00 p.m.
In a board member’s home  📓
Tue., Mar. 20, at 9:30 a.m. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge  🚶 
Garden Tour
Gone dormant till April
Climax to an Exciting 2017  🌺
Theater, Music
Aug. 17 – 21, 2018
Ashland, Oregon, for Shakespeare Festival
Scarecrow  Screenings
Sun., Mar. 18, at 3:00 p.m. Wilde 🎭  RSVP to member in charge only to ensure admission; see newsletter.
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 Wed., Mar. 7 and 21, at 7:00 p.m. 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., Mar. 28, at 3:00 p.m.
Seattle Pinball 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 B, F, G, O, V
Main Dish
I, M, N, R, T, W
D, K, L
C, H, J
A, E, P, S, Z

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?

March Hike — Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

Our March hike will be at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge near Olympia. It has undergone a major change in the past few years. Most of the dike that was built to keep out tide water to allow farming has been removed. The result is that a large area is now tideland again, covered with water at high tide, and mudflats at low tide. There is a new boardwalk with observation towers across the tide flats. Restoring the tide flow greatly enhanced habitat for wildlife, especially migrating birds, so this hike will be of interest to bird watchers.

We will hike the Nisqually Estuary Trail and Boardwalk. The salt water tidal estuary is to the north of the trail and freshwater wetlands are to the south. The first half mile is on top of the earthen dike, while the rest is a boardwalk. The trail is flat and easy walking, about three miles round trip.

We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, in front of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. Bring a lunch and water. Car pool riders share the cost. A Senior Pass covers parking, or you can pay the fee at a kiosk. We will be back in Seattle around 3:00 p.m.

February Hike – Cama Beach State Park Trails

In February nine of us hiked along some trails in Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island, the first time we hiked in snow. This hike offers a walk on the beach and a woodland trail to Cranberry Lake. Cama Beach State Park started out as a fishing resort in 1934 and became a state park in 1994. Miles of trails have been built in the park.
Our hike started at the beach area. Then we followed a trail that goes through woods to Cranberry Lake. The woods are a mix of conifers and broad leafed trails, typical lowland forest. We crossed a small ridge and arrived at Cranberry Lake. This is a gentle hike, about three miles round trip, with elevation gain of about 350 feet.

Hikers in Cama Beach State Park

Roger, Garry, Ed, Chris, Dale, Scott, Al, Steve, and David

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.

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

Dale, Doug, Bruce, Stephen, and Gene Take a Break along Gold Creek Trail, with Taz at Dale’s Feet

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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!

October Garden Tour Climaxed an Exciting Year

Seventeen members picked a perfect October afternoon to view an established garden in southeast Bellevue with a picture-perfect view of Lake Sammamish and the Cascades.

Oct. 2017 Garden Group

Gathering promptly at 1:00 p.m., after a circuitous trip up the hills, we meet in the secluded driveway of the Rekha and Narender Sood Garden. The landscape was designed and planted over twenty years ago to provide privacy, by Daniel Boroff, LA. The home sits at the top of a MAJOR slope and so the entire garden of several acres winds itself done that slope. This offers many different sight-lines and “rooms.”

As we carefully trekked down the steep stairs, we entered an area with a pond with bubbling water and multicolored water plants. The vegetation is planted and controlled to give a most scenic view of Lake Sammamish and the Cascades. As we wandered we felt like were on the “wings of an angel” because we could see for miles! We were fortunate that fall color had begun although Dan, our guide, reported it was even better a week later. The garden is a mixture of native plants as well as exotics such as Vine Maple and purple beauty berry.

Then you continue down the paths/slope with more views, finally reaching the Pavilion. This is a teak structure from Kerala in the far southwest of the sub-continent. They are common in resorts on the Backwaters, natural canals formed from sandbars over millennia. They are usually topped with a double layer of the tiles, while perfect in tropical sun, they would be too dark for the Pacific Northwest. Since access to the garden is by foot and down a steep slope, no heavy equipment or granite columns could be used, and all had to hand carried. Thus the structure was modified for the Pacific Northwest. The Pavilion is used for wedding receptions and dinner parties, often set with candles and marigold blossoms.

Then down more slopes, more views, and even more views, we found the Thai Spirit House. Enter through this door, but first take a closer look at the carvings. This ornate house is used daily for meditation. The Gayatri Mantra stone, which measures four feet by three feet, took over a day to bring down and set. Luckily no one was hurt.

Throughout the garden Indian art is incorporated, including this cow. After a short respite, our able tour guide Dan led us back up the slope. We paused at the Shantipath, seeking the words for our peace. We said our good-byes for the year again in front. Dan, Brian Wade, our capable photographer, and myself finished the year.

Shantipath Translation:

May there be peace in the Heavens.
May there be peace in Space, Earth, and Water.
May there be peace in Medicinal Plants and Vegetation.
May there be peace in Learned Sages and Educators of the past and present.
May peace, only peace, pervade the entire Universe.
May THAT peace, real peace, be my lot.
Om. Peace, peace, peace.

For more pictures of this beautiful garden:

Garden Tourist Brian’s photos

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

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Wine Tasting

This every-other-month activity is hosted in a MF member’s home—see the Mature Friends Newsletter for RSVP contact and location info.

March Tasting

The evening will focus on Malbec wine from Argentina. These reds have a long history in France and more recently Argentina. They have become a hallmark of that country’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

Please look for these and share a bottle. This will increase your pleasure and decrease our volume.

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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.

March Outing: The Seattle Pinball Museum

The Pinball Museum features more than fifty pinball machines with manufacture dates of between 1962 and 2017. Although the museum provides a brief description of each game, this is a hands-on gaming experience with unlimited play for your $15.00 admission. With the Gold Card, the museum offers a ten percent discount.

Join us on Wednesday, March 28, beginning at 3:00 p.m. The Seattle Pinball Museum is located in the International District at 508 Maynard Avenue South.

After the museum, we will have a group gathering for dinner in the International District.

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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:

Mardi Gras Party and Lunch

On Wednesday, February 7, spend your lunchtime 11:30 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. at the Miller Community Center 330 19th Avenue East to celebrate Mardi Gras! This fabulous event will include an authentic New Orleans lunch, music, and lots of surprises.

Costumes welcome! Cost $6.00. Please register by e-mailing Cheryl Brown or calling her at 206-615- 0619.

Tulalip Casino and Outlet Mall

Spend the day at Tulalip. Something for everyone – slots, cards, fabulous buffet, or wander over to the Outlet Mall for a day of shopping. The bus leaves from the Miller Community Center at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 20. We will return at 4:00 p.m. The cost is $15.00.

For more information, e-mail Cheryl Brown or call her at 206-615-0619.

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 “Wilde”

Our next movie is Sunday, March 18th, at 3:00 p.m., at Scarecrow Video. The movie Wilde is the story of Oscar Wilde, recounting his life, times, writing and loves. Starring Stephen Fry and Jude Law. Released in 1997, the running time is 1 hour 20 minutes.


Scarecrow Video
5030 Roosevelt Way NE

The private viewing room can accommodate only 30 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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