One of the reasons we chose the Palm Cove Marina near Jacksonville was its proximity to the bus line into Jacksonville. The bus that ran right by the Marina ended its run at the Amtrak station. This made it easy to get to the train station for our trip north. We took a trial run on the bus into downtown Jacksonville a few days early. The bus system was easy to navigate and cheap (only a $1). We explored The Landing, a mall of shops by the river. It was windy that day, and the St. John’s River had a strong opposing current, which made it look . . . ahh . . . interesting. There was plenty of free dockage along the river wall. We learned that you can stay for 72 hours, but you must be prepared to allow boats to raft to you. We stored that info away for future reference. The docks are just beyond an on-request opening bridge (the Main street bridge). If a marina stay is preferred, there is one on the south side of the river opposite the Landing. A water taxi will cross to the north side of the river for a few bucks or the monorail for 50 cents. Pretty easy. We explored downtown by (free) trolley, which dropped us off at the bus transfer station so we could catch our ride back to the marina.
So, on the 5th of December, we caught the bus one more time to catch our late evening train north to Petersburg, VA. We enjoy traveling by train for a number of reasons. The Amtrak personnel couldn’t be more helpful. We had plenty of room at our seats. The train was served by a dining car, where we enjoyed a hot breakfast and got to meet a fellow traveler who was seated at our table. And we arrived in Petersburg right on time. It’s a much easier way to travel than driving.
We enjoyed our brief stay in Virginia, visiting with the kids. We plan to return south to be with them at Christmas, before traveling to NC to be with Cathy’s family.