Mature Friends Web Site

What’s New in October
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
Lunch Out
Wed., Oct. 14 and 28, at 12:00 Noon Canterbury Ale House  🍴
Dinner Out
Tue., Oct. 20, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill  🍴
Monthly Potluck
Fri., Oct. 30, at 6:30 p.m.
Food Contributions
Odd Fellows Hall  🍰
Wine Tasting
No Oct. meeting
September’s tasting: Argentine Malbec  🍷
Annual Banquet
Sat., June 2016, at 6:00 p.m.
Womens’ Athletic Club  🍴
Annual Picnic
Sat., Aug. 2016, at 12:00 Noon
Woodland Park  🎄
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes  🍴
Christmas Lunch
Sat., Dec. 12, at 12:00 Noon
Robb's 125th Street Grill  🍴
Playing Date and Time Where
A Better Club for Investing
Sun., Oct. 11, at 4:45 p.m.
The New Pandasia Restaurant  📈
Book Club
Tue., Oct. 13, at 7:00 p.m.
Discussion of Maria Rosa Menoca’s The Ornament of the Word  📖
Board Meeting
No Oct. meeting.
Tue., Oct. 20, at 9:30 a.m. Lord Hill Regional Park  🚶
Garden Tour
Tues., Oct. 13, at 4:00 p.m.
Volunteer Park Conservatory  🌺
Theater and Music
Oct. 8 – 18
20 th Lesbian & Gay Film Festival   🎬
Travel and Events
Various trips
Check our destinations   ✈️
Bridge Club
Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall  🃏
Pinochle Club
Wed., Oct. 7 and 21, at 7:30 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall  🃏
Camera Club
Still waiting for a new leader. Any volunteers?
Odd Fellows Hall  📷
Exercise Group
Every Wed. at 10:00 a.m. Odd Fellows Hall  💃


Picnic Contributions

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
C, D, J, T
Hot Dish
H, K, M, O, P, V (servings for 6)
A, F, I, R, W, Y
E, L, S
B, G, N, Z



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 invigoring, frugal day's entertainment. So, why not join us on the next hike?

October Hike to Lord Hill Regional Park

Our hike in October will be to Lord Hill Regional Park near Snohomish, Washington, a 1,463-acre upland nature preserve. It’s an interesting mix of lakes and hills and trails, on a ridge above the Snohomish River valley.

The Snohomish County Parks website has this to say about the park. 

The park contains over six miles of designated trails. From the higher points within the park, one can capture panoramic views of the surrounding Snohomish River valley and distant mountain ranges. Viewpoints such as Devil’s Butte Lookout or along the ridge of the Pipeline Trail are popular destinations for viewing the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. Mitchell Lord purchased 80 acres on the hill in 1879 and homesteaded on 130 acres in 1884. Devoting most of his attention to dairy farming, he also raised horses, sheep, and hogs. 100 acres were in cultivation. His home, built on a terraced elevation overlooking the Snohomish River Valley, was one of the most imposing residences in the county.

We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday October 20 at the north end of Northgate Shopping Center, just off Northgate Way, in front of the Bank of America building. Car pool riders share the cost. Bring a lunch, and drinking water. We will be back in Seattle by 3:00 p.m..

September Hike along the Tonga Ridge Trail

Adding to the list of hikes our group has not done before, we hiked along the Tonga Ridge Trail. South of Highway 2 and east of Skykomish, this popular trail has views of mountain peaks in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to the south.

Hike to Independence Lake

Dale, Tim, Stephen, Jerry and Ramon on the Tonga Ridge

The trail begins at 4,300 feet, entering cool, shady forest, and goes uphill a ways. Depending on how ambitious you are, you can take a side trail up toward Mount Sawyer, or just enjoy the main trail and find a place with views for lunch. There is about 400 feet of elevation gain up and down. We hiked for a couple miles each way for a total of about four miles.

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.

Ramon, Harvey, David, and Dale Taking a Break on the Hike to Independence Lake

Steven, Hector, Brian, Dale, Jerry, Robin, and Jerry on the Naches Peak Loop Trail

Dale, Harvey, Jim, Ramon, Tim, Ed, Bill, and Roger at Mirror Lake

Scott, Ed, Roger, Harvey, Dale and Keith with Elmo Relaxing along the White Chuck Bench Trail

— Dale J.

Back to “Goings On”


October Tour of the Volunteer Park Conservatory

On Tuesday, October 13, 2015, we will return to the Volunteer Park Conservatory in Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill for a special “behind the scenes” tour. Our guide and host will be senior gardener David Helgeson, who creates and cares for all the indoor displays. The conservatory just celebrated its 102nd birthday. Much of it was closed during 2014 while a three-million-dollar renovation occurred.

Two of the five sections of the conservatory were recast with aluminum frames which replaced the wooden structure. This means it should stand for at least another one-hundred years. The collections in those houses have been renovated. In addition, an entirely new growing and education house (not open to the public), located behind the conservatory, replaced an old growing house long declared a disaster zone.

The conservatory closes at 4:00 p.m. Our festivities will begin at 4:00 p.m. However you will need to park on the street in front, and then walk down the long narrow drive on the east side of the conservatory to the rear. At the end of the drive, turn left and continue to the entrance door midway down the new growing house on your right. We will assemble down the two steps in the central growing house. I will try to have balloons so you won’t get lost.

We will have our own private party with refreshments, so please let me know if you are attending, so I can have ample refreshments.

Garden Group Visited Long-Time Highlands Garden

Twenty-two members enjoyed a typical rainy end-of-summer morning on a visit to the garden of Alison Andrews in the Highlands.

September Garden Tourists

Mrs. Andrews and her husband moved into the property in 1958. They added to the house and were grateful for the fruit trees and vegetable plots while raising their family of three. As the family grew up and left, Mrs. Andrews gradually turned it into a gorgeous sweeping series of garden beds, dispersed between broad expanses of lawn. Her gardener Frank Lawley has been there for thirty years, and she built him a small house on the property.

We met in the parking lot in front of the Central Market, just off Aurora Avenue North, and then carpooled through the heavily wooded streets of the Highlands, entering the Andrews property through the stately gates and parking at the front door. The rains began just as we started the tour and stopped just as we left, but came back again later with great gusto. It did not seem to deter our enthusiasm.

We entered through the house, hoping to see a glimpse of Puget Sound, which on a sunny day is quite visible and is quite a focal point from many locations in the garden. The home and garden are located high on the bluff above the water front railroad tracks. Mrs. Andrews welcomed us on her porch and served us chocolate chip cookies. Then we descended into the long perennial border outlined with neatly clipped boxwood hedges. There was an enormous espaliered pyracantha two stories tall covering the west side of the house, which obviously helps keep it cool in hotter weather. We then carefully walked along a descending pathway with a circulating stream and pond with many high-moisture-loving plants such as the white-berried Pernettia. Even though the season is greatly advanced this year, there were still many spots of color.

By the time we began descending the sweeping lawn areas, Mrs. Andrews had driven her electric cart down the hill and was patiently following us around, eager to answer all questions.

There are a number of large curing beds, usually featuring one or two unusual specimen trees and shrubs, which are then surrounded by complimentary perennials. Variegated dogwoods, the luscious exfoliating bark of river birches, Japanese maples, orange hot pokers, sedges, and fall blooming anemones all added color contrast. The lawns were luscious, thick, and green, since the property has its own well.

The garden is a beautiful place to stroll around and down and then back up. It changes with every season, and Mrs. Andrews reminded us several times that we need to come back again many times. It is truly a remarkable tribute to a lady who has grown and tended it for nearly sixty years.

For those of you who would like to see more photos of this magnificent tour, check out Brian's album. He was one of the Mature Friends on this tour.

— 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: For those of you who are not members of Mature Friends, you must join the club before you can travel with us.

Lady Washington Evening Clipper Cruise, September 5

Just before our departure on Lady Washington, a replica of the first American clipper ship to reach the west coast of North America in 1787, an electrical storm blew in across Lake Washington. Due to the rest of taking a clipper ship out in the middle of a lightning storm, our evening sailing was canceled!

Movie buffs have seen this ship in Star Trek: Generations and Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Our two-hour sailing would have featured demonstrations of tall ship handling, sea shanty singing, and maritime stories. The ship was set to depart on Saturday, September 5, at 6:00 p.m. from Carillon Point Marina in Kirkland. The cost was $47.00 per person.

Next year we will plan on a midday, three-hour cruise that will feature a cannon battle.

Weekend in Texas, October 30 – November 1

Take Alaska Airline’s nonstop ride to San Antonio over Day of the Dead (Halloween) weekend and stay at the traditional El Tropicano Reiverwalk Hotel right on the banks of the downtown River Walk. The cost per person is $471.00, including air and lodging. Cash in 22,500 frequent-flyer miles from Alaska or Delta or take the Alaska Airlines package

The Alamo

This is a low-stress break with nonstop flights leaving SeaTac on Friday, October 30, at 11:00 a.m. and heading back from San Antonio on Sunday, November 1, at 6:30 p.m. Daily high temperatures should be around 78º with 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 a couple museums, and an amazing river that meanders for miles and on which quiet 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!

For further information, email Jerry Jordheim or call him.

Christmas on the Rhine River, December 5, 2015

What better way to kick off the Christmas season than with a twelve-day cruise down the Rhine River? We will cruise to see the European Christmas Markets, making stops in Strasbourg, Mainz, Koblenz, Cologne, Nijmegen, among other cities.

If this trip intrigues you, we have bad news: Grand Circle Travel just reported that no more spaces are available.

Rome and Tuscany, April 23 – May 8, 2016

This trip will begin with a week in Rome. We will spend a week in the Eternal City with a gay guide escorting us to the major tourist sights, including ancient, renaissance, and contemporary Rome.

We will spend the second week at a private villa in Montisi, a small hill town in southern Tuscany. Day trips will take 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 trip will conclude with a day in Florence. Travelers will have an option to extend the tour for a day or more in Florence.

There is room for more participants, but you must sign up very soon. The cost will be under $4,000.00. The cost includes housing, some meals, most ground transportation, admissions, and guides. Uncovered expenses include airfare airfare (currently $1,550.00 from Seattle to Rome, returning to Seattle from Florence), airport transfers, some meals, and personal expenses. A deposit of $500.00 will register you now, with another $500 due in October and the remainder in early spring 2016.

2016 Gambling Trip, Late May 2016

The 2016 annual gambling trip will be a return visit to Wendover, Nevada. As Marlyce confirms dates and prices, details will appear in future newsletters.

Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23, 2016

The “Cruise to Nowhere” departs from Seattle, with one day in Astoria, Oregon, two days in San Francisco, and 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. Cost for a balcony cabin including all taxes and fees is $1,199. Inside cabins are $771. More information from Linda at Cruise World

San Juan Islands, Summer 2016

We are planning to repeat the popular San Juan Islands cruise. Once again, we will leave from Seattle by train to Bellingham and transferring to a private boat for a three-day cruise around the San Juan Islands with overnight stops in Friday Harbor and Orcas Island. Details will be forthcoming, so stay tuned.

Ireland, Fall 2016

Galway, Killarney, Cork, and Dublin are among the stops on our fall 2016 getaway to Ireland. Cost will be $2,900 without airfare or $4,000 including airfare. Package includes some meals. Check out the next newsletter for details.

Future Trips

The travel committee will be meeting soon to select a trip for the fall of 2016. Do you have a dream destination that you would like the committee to consider? If so, please let the committee know. So far, members have suggested an African safari, tour of Iceland and riverboat 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!

Ashland, Oregon, and the Shakespeare Festival

Ten members of Mature Friends just completed an extended weekend in Ashland, Oregon at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We saw Guys and Dolls, Pericles, and Much Ado About Nothing. We had a back stage tour led by one of the stage managers and participated in the Daedalus Festival — Ashland’s annual event memorializing those lost to AIDS and raising funds to support those with AIDS. We attended a staged reading of Paula Vogel’s The Baltimore Waltz and enjoyed the Daedalus Variety Show, featuring a wide assortment of entertainment, including the annual Underwear Parade, where we got to stuff money into the underwear of actors and other company members. Indications are a good time was had by all.

We are beginning plans for next year’s trip. If you are interested, please contact me, Bruce Bigley. I will be surveying those who have attended for the last two years and anyone else interested to help formulate plans for a trip next year, probably in late August. The season next year looks very exciting.

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!

China Tour

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.

Back to “Goings On”


Theater and Music

Tune into this section to find information on theater and music that might interest gays and Lesbians over forty, or that might interest anybody, for that matter.

Seattle Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, October 8 – 18

Be sure to catch this year's Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. You can see the full program at the Three Dollar Bill Cinema's web site.

On Saturday, October 10, at noon, Mature Friends is co-presenting Tab Hunter Confidential. I'm sure most of you have heard of Tab Hunter and probably have seen some of his movies. So, check out this film.

There is something for everyone. You might check out Fourth Man Out on October 9 at 9:30 p.m. at SIFF Cinema Egyptian. Also Three Dollar Bill Cinema will mark the 20th Anniversary of the festival with a free showing of The Celluloid Closet on October 10 at 4:30 p.m. at the 12th Ave Arts Building.
Lots of films, lots of parties, lots of fun! Please support our Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.
Presenting a dramatic retelling of the Stonewall riots, the movie Stonewall opening at the SIFF Egyptian on September 25. There is also the documentary Upstairs Inferno at the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival on October 17 at 12:00 noon, showing at AMC Pacific Place. This documentary covers the tragic firebombing on June 24, 1972, at the New Orleans gay bar the Upstairs Lounge. We are so lucky the 2014 New Year’s Eve arson at our own Seattle Neighbors did not take any lives.

Check the SIFF web site for ticket prices.

Back to “Goings On”