An Unexpected Adventure: And Work Turns To Pleasure In Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

An Unexpected Adventure: And Work Turns To Pleasure In Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Doylestown downtown walk-17
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My Friday plans changed late Thursday afternoon when I volunteered to file some legal papers for my nephew, and partner in my law practice, in the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown.  Always looking  for an excuse to get out of the office I was looking forward to the drive and ,  I decided, while I was in the area,   to visit The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa a place that was very special to my dad, who we lost 2 1/2 years ago. It was sunny and warm when I arrived in Doylestown, about a two hour drive from my home.Doylestown downtown walk-1

My plans for the day immediately began to change when I read this sign, a few feet from where I parked my car. I remembered my dad and I both reading  Michener’s  novel about  Poland when it was first published,  it’s hard to believe, over 30 years ago.Doylestown downtown walk-2

I first made my way to the new Buck’s County Court house where  I did my filing and talked to the friendly employees about their town, where to eat lunch and the Phillies baseball team. After I had filed the papers, instead of heading to the Shrine I decided to explore downtown  Doylestown and visit the James A Michener Art Museum. Doylestown downtown walk-8

And what a wonderful decision it was.  I soon learned that Buck’s County was one of the  three original counties in Pennsylvania. The state’s founder William Penn lived in this county. I fell in love with the town as I walked the streets from the new Courthouse to the cultural district.Doylestown downtown walk-19

The streets were lined with stately old homes and businesses. Ancient tree grew in many of the yards. I  could have explored the streets all day but I soon made my way to the James A Michener Art Museum., housed in  the 130 year old former Bucks  County prison. James A Michner Art Museum -1

I knew I wouldn’t have the time to see all of the exhibits in the museum but I still wanted to see what it was about and to learn more about this author.  I am so glad I did. upon entering the museum I quickly found this quote from Mr. Michener, which endeared me to the man.James A Michner Art Museum -13

And upon inspecting the exhibit depicting his office I was surprised and moved to see this large  dictionary sitting next to his typewriter. It was the same one my dad had purchased  in our home.  Some of my earliest memories were looking through that large boring book. Why? Because of   the colorful photographs of the snakes, birds, flowers trees and other wonders of nature  that it contained. James A Michner Art Museum -8

I made a quick visit to the many works of art knowing I would not have the time to appreciate  their beauty.James A Michner Art Museum -18

I did learn about Daniel Garber and the art colony he founded at New Hope, another place I need to visit. His three best works were on display  in the museum.  Here is a link to  more photographs from  the James A Michener Art museum. A Michner Art Museum -23

I had to reluctantly leave the museum since another building across the street had caught my eye on the walk from the Courthouse, the vast Mercer Museum. Mercer Museum -46

I had to investigate this huge old  castle like structure and  soon learned it housed a vast museum containing many tools used in the early years of the American nation.  I once again had only enough time to scratch the surface of it’s  countless collection of the many tool and implements used by the first settlers in our country.  This link to some of the photographs I took will give you an idea of the  size of this collection. Museum -25

As I was leaving I had to visit the colonial home that was erected on the museum grounds and visited this pleasant young lady tending the fire in the cabin. Mercer Museum -5

I was enjoying my walk, but it was well past lunch time now, so I stopped for , and had,  a nice meal at Lily’s Cafe America. I wish I could have continued my exploration of this charming and historic city but I still planned to make it to  the office and wanted to first visit the Shrine before I headed home. Here is a link to some more photographs I took on my walk through Doylestown. downtown walk-27

I drove the few miles to the National Shrine Of Our Lady of Czestochowa, founded on this old farmland  by a Polish priest in the 1950’s  My dad, being of Polish descent, brought my family here for the first time on a sunny and warm June day when I was thirteen years old. We visited a few times over the years, even though he did not like to travel he loved this place. My sister and niece also visited here shortly after his death.  Needless to say this I thought this  would be an emotional visit. And it was. Doylestown shrine-5

I walked around he grounds for a while reflecting on many good times.  After visiting the chapel I was returning to my car when i heard the beautiful song of a mocking bird. I saw it perched atop this statue of Mary, singing it’s heart out.  My dad and i both loved listening to the remarkable song of this beautiful bird.  I was sure it was sign from my dad. Doylestown shrine-14

I enjoyed the singing and engaged in a conversation with a fellow sitting near the statute about the Shrine and my dad.  As I was leaving, the bird took off too, and the fellow said he was following me home.Doylestown shrine-17

Well as I neared my car,  I was amazed to watch the mocking bird land on the outstretched hands of the statute of Pope Paul II. I listened to the wonderful singing until the bird finally took off.  What a wonderful visit. Here are some more photographs from my visit to the Shrine. shrine-19After my visit to the Shrine I decided I wasn’t going to make it back to the office and instead drove a few miles to hike in Peace Valley Park and along  the Neshaminy Creek, which I never visited before but which  I read about online. Peace Valley park -16

It was still sunny and getting very warm out, a perfect day I thought, for a  walk along the water.  I left my car and followed a trail  a little way along some farm fields before entering some old woods with ancient tree towering overhead. Peace Valley park -21

There were a lot of songbirds singing high in the treetops, out of range of my camera but closer to the ground were quite a few catbirds who are never camera shy.Peace Valley park -4

The ground had some plants that I was familiar with such as  mandrake and milkweed and also some wild  flowers which I haven’t seen before such as the carolina spring beauty.Peace Valley park -9

And this introduced species which now grows wild in southern Pennsylvania the star of bethlehem flower. Peace Valley park -7

The trail ran along the slow flowing Neshaminy Creek which reminded me a lot of the Nescopeck Creek here in northeastern Pennsylvania. I saw quite a few mallards flying up and down the creek, occasionally landing and enjoying the cool waters on this warm afternoon. Peace Valley park -17

I also saw this spotted sandpiper darting along the stream banks in search of food. Peace Valley park -19

And there were a few blue herons in the creeks looking for a meal. I sat and watched one for about a half hour and my patience paid off. I was able to capture it grabbing and eating this large fish, which may be a shad. There are more photographs of this blue heron eating the fish and other blue herons in this link. blue heron fish-5

I headed back down the trail and saw a few of this birds, I believe to be carolina wrens in the brush along the path. Peace Valley park -26

I made it down to the lake and wanted to explore some of the trails on the other side of the creek but it was a long day and I still had a long ride home. So reluctantly I walked back to my car.Peace Valley park -29

I sure hope I  get another chance to explore this wonderful park and the historic and cultural town of Doylestown.   Here is a link to some more photographs of Peace Valley Park.

Peace Valley park -1

But in spring, of course, any place is beautiful, because in spring fires leap from your heart, and you can see things that aren’t there.”
James A. Michener, The Fires of SpringPeace Valley park -31













  1. JONI BUTALA on May 22, 2016 at 10:39 am


    • on May 28, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks so much aunt Joni . I love to sahre and so glad you enjoyed it. tell the family I said hello. We have to get together this summer

  2. Christine Triantos on May 23, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Dear Frank,

    We are so glad to hear you enjoyed your trip to Doylestown and to the Michener Art Museum! Thanks for blogging about us. We hope to welcome you back very soon.

    • on May 28, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Your welcome Christine It was a beautiful town with so much history and culture. I learned so much. I am so glad you enjoyed my blog post. I wish i had more time to put into it. I hope to visit again soon.
      Have a great holiday weekend.