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 Coffee Night
Thu., May 5, at 6:30 p.m. Cubcake Royale, West Seattle 🍴
Wed., May 11 and 25, at 12:00 Noon Charlie’s on Broadway 🍴
Tue., May 17, at 6:00 p.m. Robb’s 125th Street Grill 🍴
Wed., May 25, at 12:00 Noon Charlie’s on Broadway 🍴
Fri., May 27, at 6:30 p.m.
Odd Fellows Hall 🍰 Wine Tasting
Mon., May 16, at 7:00 p.m.
May tasting: Wines of Tuscany
In members’ homes🍷
Sat., June 2016, at 6:00 p.m.
Womens’ Athletic Club 🍴
Sat., Aug. 2016, at 12:00 Noon
Woodland Park 🎄
Dinner for Six
Determined by participants In members’ homes 🍴
A Saturday next December
Robb’s 125th Street Grill 🍴
Playing Date and Time Where A Better Club for Investing
Sun., May 1, at 4:45 p.m.
Pandasia Restaurant 📈
Tue., May 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man, At home of Conrad K. 📖
Mon., May 16, at 7:00 p.m.
At the home of Bill and Bob 📓
Tue., May 17, at 9:30 a.m. Boulder River Trail 🚶
Wed. May 11, at 10:00 a.m.
Ed Hume’s Seeds in Puyallup Travel and Events
Various trips, foreign and domestic
Check our destinations ✈️
Every Wed. at 7:00 p.m. Odd Fellows Hall 🃏
Wed., May 4 and 28, at 7:30 p.m. Temporarily in a private condo room
Normally at Odd Fellows Hall 🃏
Theater and Music
May 12 – 15, free show May 8
Seattle Transgender and
International Film Festivals 🃏
Every Wed. at 10:00 a.m. Odd Fellows Hall 💃
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
F, H, L, O, R, W
C, G, I, J, S, Z (servings for 6)
A, K, N, P
D, E, M, V
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?
May Hike along the Boulder River Trail
Our hike in May will be along the Boulder River Trail, just off Highway 530, east of Arlington. This is a popular, relatively easy hike along the river bank, with waterfalls on the opposite bank. The hike starts on a wide flat trail that used to be a railroad grade for logging. In about a mile we enter the Boulder River Wilderness. About a half mile further there is a double waterfall cascading down the opposite bank. The rock wall is covered with moss and ferns.
This will make a good lunch spot. If our hikers wish to we can continue further along the trail, where there is another waterfall. After that the trail moves away from the river. At one time it went all the way to the top of Three Fingers Mountain, but that part of the trail is no longer maintained. Recent trip reports on the Washington Trails Association website say that trail crews have cleared the trees that fell in the winter, and the water level in the river is high. That should make for an enjoyable and scenic hike.
We will meet for car pooling at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17, near the Bank America building at the north entrance to Northgate Mall, with the goal of reaching the trailhead by 10:45 or so. Bring a lunch and water. Wear sturdy shoes. Car pool riders share the cost. We will get back to Seattle around 4:00 p.m..
If you wish to drive directly to the trail head from I-5:
- Take Hwy 530, (exit 208) signed for Arlington/Darrington.
- Exit right toward Arlington.
- Stay on 530 through Arlington.
- 23.6 miles from I-5, turn right onto French Creek Road (AKA NF-2010), just after milepost 41.
- Follow French Creek Road on good gravel to its end at the trailhead.
Our hike for April led us along the Robe Canyon Historic Trail. This 2.4-mile round-trip trail is on the opposite side of the South Fork Stillaguamish River from the Lime Kiln Trail that we have hiked on in the past. A series of gentle switchbacks lead down from the highway to the river level. It is about a 300-foot elevation change. The trail then follows part of an old railroad grade of the Everett-Monte Cristo Railroad and offers fine views of the river canyon. As the canyon narrows the water roars over boulders and rapids, which was quite a sight and sound with spring melt water in the river. Only seven miles from the town of Granite Falls, Robe Canyon has the look and feel of somewhere much more remote.
April Hikers on the Robe Canyon Trail, L to R Dale, Gene, Ramon, and Doug
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.
Brian, Tim, Jim, Edwin, and Dale in Lord Hill Regional Park
— Dale J.
Garden Tours Are Back Again
The May Garden Tour will visit the headquarters and gardens of Ed Hume’s Seeds in Puyallup on Wednesday, May 11, starting promptly at 10:00 a.m. Ed has long been a fixture in northwest horticulture on both radio and TV and in major publications. He has been featured on many area public programs. In fact, I have been a guest on his TV show.
We will be visiting his family owned and operated business. They have also been selling the highest quality seeds and garden products since 1977. 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.
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.
- From I-405 (at Southcenter), take WA-167 south toward Auburn/Kent (about 20 miles).
- Take the ramp on the right for WA-512 W./WA-161 south toward Olympia/Puyallup (3.4 miles).
- Keep going straight onto WA-512 W. (3 miles).
- Take the ramp on the right for Canyon Road to Summit.
- Turn left onto Canyon Road E.
- Turn left onto 112th Street E.
- Turn right onto 58th Avenue E. and continue to:
11504 58th Avenue E.
The first Garden Tour was held on Thursday, April 28, at the Seattle Children's PlayGarden, located at 1745 24th Avenue S., Seattle, Washington 98144.
This grand idea took root in fertile soil in Seattle in late 2002. Inspired by the Rusk Children's PlayGarden in New York City, Liz Bullard gathered support for a PlayGarden in Seattle. With the backing from the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and from families of children with special needs, the horticultural, and medical communities, the Seattle PlayGarden became a reality.
The PlayGarden's mission is to provide children of all abilities a safe, accessible and adventurous place to play. The summer of 2006 found the first PlayGarden campers filling the south end of Colman Playfield with the sounds of raucous joy. The final design and construction was completed for the summer of 2010.
Photos to come, so keep checking back.
— Dr. John Wott
Back to "Goings On"
Wine TastingMonday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m. we meet at the home of Stephan and Bruce on Capital Hill.
We will be tasting wine from Tuscany, Italy, dominated by the Sangiovese grape well known for producing Chianti and Brunello wine of many qualities and costs. You are welcome to explore other lesser known varietals. This is one of the great centers in the history of wine and we have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy their products. You are encouraged to pair up to increase quality and reduce quantity. This should be a terrific evening.
Please contact Ed if you plan to attend.
Previous TastingLast month, 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: For those of you who are not members of Mature Friends, you must join the club before you can travel with us.
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.
2016 Gambling Trip, June 12
The 2016 annual gambling trip will be a return visit to Wendover, Nevada. We will leave on June 12. The trip includes airfare to Wendover and accommodations at the Montego Bay Hotel. Further details to come in the June newsletter.
The Cruise to Nowhere, September 16 – 23, 2016
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 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 a little more than $2,000. Inside cabins cost about $800, prices will inch up the closer we get to the departure date. So be sure to book this trip as soon as you can.
You can get more information by contacting Linda at Cruise World.
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.
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!
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.
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 TourIn 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 Music
Translations: The Seattle Transgender Film Festival is a groundbraking film festibal that provides the Paciric Northwest with a venue for films by, for, and about transgender people and the issues facing the transgender community. Launched in 2006, Translations is one of only a few trandgender film festivals in the world and places emphasis on visibility and positive representations. Celebrate the tenth year of Translations: Seattle’s Transgender Film Festival. Shown May 12 – 15 at various locations, with a special free showing on May 8.
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.