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 Lunch Out
Wed., May 10 and 24, at 12:00 noon Roosters on Broadway 🍴
Tue., May 16, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill 🍴
Sat., May. 20, at 6:00 p.m.
Wallingford Community Senior Center 🍰 Wine Tasting
Mon., May 15, at 7:00 p.m. In members’ homes Unusual Wines 🍷
Sat., June 17, at 6:00 p.m. Womens’ Athletic Club 🍴
Sat., Aug. 12, at 12:00 noon Woodland Park 🎄
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes 🍴
Sat., Dec. 16, at 12:00 noon Robb’s 125th Street Grill 🍴
Playing Date and Time Where A Better Club for Investing
Contact club leader Ray Contact club leader Ray 📈
Tue., May 16, at 7:30 p.m.
In members’ homes
Selection: Alan Cumming’s memoire:
Not My Father’s Son 📖
Mon., May 8, at 6:30 p.m. In a board member’s home 📓
Tue., June 20, at 9:30 a.m. Rockport State Park 🚶
Tue., June 27, at 10:00 a.m. Two Gardens in Federal Way 🌺
Arts, Theater, and Music
May 18 – June 11 and Aug. 18 – 22 Seattle International Film Festival and
Fouth Annual Ashland Road Trip 🎭
Travel and Events
Various trips, foreign and domestic Check our destinations ✈️
Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Wallingford Community Senior Center 🃏
Wed., May 3 and 17, at 7:30 p.m. Wallingford Community Senior Center 🃏
Temporarily suspended while searching for a new leader Wallingford Community Senior Center 💃
* The fees for Bridge Club are $4.00 per night for members (who pay an annual fee of $40.00 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 Wallingford Community Senior Center.
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 A, G, L, P
H, I, M N, S, Z
C, E, R, T
B, O, V, W, Y
D, F, J, K
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?
June Hike in Rockport State ParkOur hike in June will be on trails in Rockport State Park, located near Rockport, Washington, on Highway 20. This 670-acre park features trails through mossy woods with old growth trees. The old growth was never logged, and the entire ecosystem remains, creating a rare, natural forest with a canopy so dense that in places minimal sunlight penetrates to the ground. Opened in 1961, the old growth trees exist because the Sound Timber Company refused to log them. Instead, in 1935, Sound Timber sold the land and timber to the state of Washington.
The three-mile Evergreen Trail maintains a mostly easy grade with the only significant climbing (250-foot gain) along the top of the loop. Along the trail you will cross several quaint wooden bridges where numerous creeks flow down through the park from the top of 5,537-foot Sauk Mountain, which stays snow-covered into late July.
We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 20, at the north end of Northgate Shopping Center, just off Northgate Way, in front of the Bank of America building. Bring a lunch and water. Car pool riders share the cost. We will arrive back in Seattle by 4:00 p.m.
May Hike to Cedar ButteOur hike for May to Cedar Butte took us into the Snoqualmie River valley area near North Bend. The hike started with a walk along the John Wayne Trail for about a third of a mile, and then we entered the woods. The trail comes to an intersection where we took a short side trip to Boxley Creek and continued on up to the butte. The woods soon thicken and the trail gradually climbs to the top of the butte. Once at the summit, we enjoyed expansive views of the Snoqualmie Valley, including Mount Si, Mt. Teneriffe, and Mailbox Peak.
This was a moderate hike. The hike round trip distance covered three miles. The elevation gain reached 900 feet, most of the gain near the top of the butte on some gentle switch backs. We took sack lunches which we enjoyed along the way.
If you want to retrace our hike, you can drive directly to the trailhead:
- Take I-90 to exit 32 (436th Avenue SE).
- Turn south on 436th Avenue SE and drive about 4.5 miles.
- Pass the Rattlesnake Lake parking area until you find the Iron Horse Trailhead parking area on the left.
Since this is a state park a Discover Pass is required; one can be purchased at the trail head.
April Hike along Lime Kiln TrailIn April we hiked along the Lime Kiln Trail, just outside Granite Falls. The Lime Kiln Trail is a lovely hike, with lots of moss and railroad artifacts. The trail follows part of the Everett & Monte Cristo railroad grade and features gurgling creeks, an historic lime kiln, and a walk down to the banks of the roaring Stillaguamish River.
The trail was constructed a few years ago by Snohomish County with help from Volunteers for Outdoor Washington, and it is now part of Robe Canyon Historic Park. The old railroad was built in 1892 and serviced the mines until 1920 and the logging industry until 1934. Since most of the hike was along a railroad grade we just climbed a moderate elevation.
Dale, Jerry, and Gene Stop along the Lime Kiln 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.
Dale, Roger, Keith, Brian, Ed and Harvey on the Chief Sealth Trail
Garry, Doug, Jim, Roger, Gene, Ramon, and Dale in Saint Edward State Park
Dale, Edwin, Garry, and Ramon Pause on the Boulder Garden Loop Trail
Brian, Doug, Roger, Jim, and Dale Hiking the Sultan RiverTrail
— Dale J.
Garden ToursThis 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!
June Garden Tour to Visit Two GardensOn Tuesday, June 27, 2017, we will visit two gardens in Federal Way, Washington. One is PowellsWood, a public garden, and the second, a private garden close by. We will meet promptly at 10:00 a.m. in the PowellsWood parking lot. Monty Powell, the founder as well as Kristine Dillinger will guide us. There will be charge of $5.00 each.
It is a Northwest pleasure garden of three acres, nestled against another thirty-five acres of native successional forest. A series of exquisite hedges help define several distinct garden rooms graced with more than a thousand varieties of trees, shrubs, and perennials. The perennial borders thrive, the fruit of an extensive soil conservation project. Walking paths, a meandering stream, and a pond blend gently into the forest and ravines of Redondo’s historic upper Cold Creek watershed.
We will visit the Entry Garden, the Fern and Rhododendron Border, the Shade Garden, the Woodland Garden, and House Garden. For four generations, the Powell family has invested love and personal care in all the things they’ve done: Raising families, creating and managing some of the finest homes in the Northwest, and giving back to the community. And one of the things Monte and Diane Powell have always loved is a good garden. Now it is open to the public.
An hour later, we will drive around the corner to the home of George Shriver and Omar Watson. They are Mature Friends whose private garden has been open to a number of Federal Way garden tours. It features hundreds of plants, many are Cougar red in deference to Omar’s Cougars. Omar will be standing proudly under his Cougar flag and next to his Cougars flamingoes. They also have a swimming pool, garden art, small veggie garden, and many colorful seasonal pots. These men never saw a “pretty plant” which did not end up in their garden, and daily spring trips to garden stores is a must. We will enjoy light snacks.
PowellsWood is easily accessible from Interstate 5:
- Take exit 147 and proceed west on south 272nd Street.
- At Pacific Highway South, turn left and proceed south to South Dash Point Road.
- Turn right and follow South Dash Point Road approximately one mile.
- PowellsWood will be on your right, 430 South Dash Point Road, Federal Way, WA 98003.
Parking lots are available.
May Garden Tour: A Normandy Park ParadiseThe clouds parted and twenty-eight people immersed themselves in a hidden half-acre paradise in Normandy Park, the home of Al and Caroline Galicic.
Their son Justin Galicic, a mid-thirty-year-old music teacher turned techie, has created rooms and rooms of plants which he has propagated and collected since 2009. It contains palms, bananas, cacti, succulents of all kinds, and the most unusual and flashy foliage in Justin’s palette of chartreuse, black, yellow, and green. Justin maintains his own city dwelling, but certainly spends much time in this garden. His mother is also an avid gardener.
Justin and His Parents
This self-taught, former music teacher sought out techniques on the internet as well as contacted plant experts. He really started with the clay soil, brought in tons of good soil, and created topography. He carried bags of concrete to build a 3000-gallon pond, created waterfalls, and even made his own rocks out of rebar and special concrete.
The front garden is shaded by a 90-foot redwood, which provides shades for hostas, epimedium, ferns, and hydrangeas. The sunny south side creates a warm microclimate for cacti and agave. There are also many samples of art sprinkled throughout the gardens surrounded by complimentary plants.
Justin has a unique artistic eye to arrange plants for contrasting texture, size, and shape. Each time we made a trip around the garden, there were more surprises that were unseen previously. We were fortunate to also see many of the subtle colors of emerging and changing leaf colors. The garden is designed for year-round color and interest. Words cannot describe the garden. It must be seen in order to be understood.
In the back patio, the metal gazebo provides an ideal spot for lounging, surrounded by tropicals, honey locust trees and for us, a purple Paulownia. It is so lush, you think you might be in Hawaii. Behind the side hedge is his veggie garden and small greenhouse in which he stuffs many tender plants. The garden is open several times each year for tours and garden events.
After “over-stuffing” our senses, we relaxed on the patio with juice, water, fresh baked cookies, and scones.
In addition to the photos embedded in the text, some from Garden Tour enthusiast George as well as some of Brian's picture, Brian also share the full set of his excellent snapshots of the May tour.
— Dr. John Wott, Tour Organizer, Leader, and Expert Horticulturalist with Justin
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.
California Coastal Cruise, 2017
Seven Mature Friends sailed on the ten-night California Coastal Cruise departing from Vancouver, B.C., on April 11. 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 Fancisco. Then we sailed up the coast for two days before arriving back in Vancouver the morning of April 21.
On the trip, we saw Universal Studios, beautiful Catalina and Santa Barbara, and then two days in San Francisco with tours of Muir Woods, Alcatraz, and Sausalito, among others. A write up will follow soon with pictures to illustrate our great time!
Escape into Cuba
Five Mature Friends took off on March 15 for Cuba 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.
Our resident gambling tour arranger Marlyce was unable to secure ten people for her final annual gambling trip to qualify for the discount package of airfare, hotel, and show offered through the airline. Marlyce and several members have made their own reservations to meet in Reno May 30 through June 2. You are invited to make your own reservation and join the fun in Reno.
Contact Marlyce for hotel information and about available shows. Thank you Marlyce for the many years of service to the club as the sponsor of the annual gambling trip. We are looking for someone who wants to coordinate future gambling trips so this Mature Friends tradition does not fade away.
We all had a great time the last time we flew down to Reno. Read about that trip here.
Viking Homelands — April 28 – May 2, 2018
Next year Mature Friends are planning a more ambitious cruise 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.
For full information, contact Shawn (or call him: 360-903-4353) at Woodside Travel.
— Mature Friends President Bruce
Other Plans for 2018
For 2018, we are looking at a South American Odyssey. The itinerary includes Santiago, Puerto Varas, Bariloche, two nights on the Argentine side of the Iguassu Falls, and two nights in the wine region of Mendoza. Pricing for 2018 is not yet available, but in 2017, the package ran at $4,000.
We were working with Expedia to develop additional travel offerings. Apparently, our group is too small for a multi-billion-dollar travel company and plans for two additional excursions have failed.
The board voted to try another new travel company. I will be meeting with their representatives by early April. If you have suggestions for future travel, please forward your ideas. Suggestions from members in recent years have gotten us to China, Spain, Russia, and San Antonio.
If you have other ideas, please pass them along to Bruce.
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!
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
The Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23
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 Victoria, B.C., 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 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 MusicThis section lists local theater and music productions that might be of interest to Mature Friends.
Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)This season’s film festival opens May 18 and runs through June 11.
SIFF by the numbers:
400 Films from 80 Countries
36 World Premiers, 34 North American Premieres
20 US Premieres and 25 LGBT films and programs
Tributes honoring Anjelica Huston and Sam Elliot
GAY/LESBIAN (John’s top picks * but I hope to see them all)
Beach Rats (also listed in Erotic/Sex) *
Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall
Boy Trouble (7 short films) *
Cabaret: An Evening of Cabaret with Robbie Turner
Chronicles of Hari
A Date for Mad Mary
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson *
The Fabulous Allan Carr (Disco lives!!!)
The Feels (also listed in Erotic/Sex)
God’s Own Country (also listed in Erotic/Sex) *
Handsome Devil *
I Dream in Another Language
Maurice (Archival) *
No Dress Code Required
The Ornithologist *
Prom King, 2010 *
Santa & Andres (also listed in Erotic/Sex)
Susanne Bartsch: On Top (The GAY-LA film) *
Tom of Finland (also listed in Erotic/Sex) *
Other Films to consider:
Ethel & Ernest (great animation and nice gentle story)
A Ghost Story
The Little Hours (Nasty Nuns, I understand)
Heal the living (I really liked it, the initial surfing scenes are worth the ticket)
Check out the top picks for each of the SIFF programmers, click on their picture and see what they recommend.
I’ve been to some of the SIFF press screenings. I like detective stories and recommend these films:
- A Dragon Arrives!
Enjoy the festival. I’ll try to do a weekly post as I see films.
See you at the movies.
— John Chaney
Fourth Annual Road Trip to AshlandCome join us as we drive down to Ashland August 18 – 22 for the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We will see Julius Caesar, and the two parts of Henry IV in the intimate Thomas Theater and Shakespeare in Love adapted from the film. We will also celebrate Daedalus, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s fundraiser for AIDS, including a reading of a play appropriate to LGBT issues and a talent show produced by the company, which includes the ever popular underwear contest, where you get to stuff your donations into the underwear of the actors or crew members.
Deposit $100 check, due ASAP or at least by the end of February, to me, Bruce B. I have filled all the rooms reserved and will need to reserve additional rooms before they fill for the season. I do have plenty of tickets.
Estimated cost $600 including four nights accommodation at the Stratford Inn (double occupancy), tickets to the four plays, the two Daedalus events, and a group dinner. You provide transportation, by car, including car pooling, or flying to nearby Medford. I can help you arrange car pools. You will pay for lodging directly to the Stratford Inn, approximately $80 per night, when you check out. Single rooms cost about the same as a double, so the single supplement will be around $300, but we can help you find a roommate for the trip or try to accommodate you in a suite for three.
— Bruce B.