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CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

Maple Valley...
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CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

What should a 19+ year old guy from CA know about Jacksonville while he is a student at the Commercial Diving Academy? Will a bike be adequate for just getting around? Good pizza or good burgers? Where?

Neptune Beach, FL
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1. Re: CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

Hi Mom,

Jacksonville covers a huge area. It's more spread out than any other city in the U.S. It's probably about 40 miles from east to west. The Comercial Driving Academy is in the middle of the west side of Jacksonville. He'll probably want to live over there somewhere. Housing in that area is relatively reasonable, but there are some potentially dangerous areas to live in so he should be sure to check with the academy or use a real estate agent to find a place to stay.

A bike would allow for only local tranportation. Jacksonville has a bus system but most people don't find it useful.

Tom and Betty's is a neat restaurant on Roosevelt Blvd in the west side. 4409 Roosevelt Boulevard

Jacksonville, FL 32210 It has a 1950s/old automobiles decor. The driving academy students should like it.

Have lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants at The Landing on the river in the middle of downtown Jacksonville, and get out to Jacksonville Beach at least once. Everyone should also visit St. Augustine while they are here. It's 30 miles south of Jacksonville.

Jacksonville, FL
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for Jacksonville
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2. Re: CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

Spirit gave you some excellent information. It's an absolute must to have a car here, unless he's only planning to stay in the area right around the Academy. Our bus system is just not adequate.

For restaurants, I'm not sure what is good in that area, but he can go to the website www.restaurant.com and find some restaurants within five miles. When you join restaurant.com (free to join), you get $25 gift certificates for $10. You simply buy them online and print them out. We use this service frequently not only here in Jacksonville, but when we travel as well since they have restaurants all over the USA. We've never experienced a problem. Additionally, they constantly email further discounts...we've gotten $25 gift certificates for only $2! Since the normal price is $10, they will email discounts anywhere from 50% to 80% of the normal price. So using a 50% discount code would get him a $25 gift certificate for $5. Here's a link for restaurants within five miles of the Academy:

restaurant.com/rdc_site.net/listings.aspx…

The certificates are good for one year, and if you happen to misplace one, just print it again. You may even want to see what restaurants are close to you in California by putting in your zip code.

I assume that he will be here for four months? That should give him plenty of time to visit our beaches and take a day trip to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the USA. It's a little less than an hour away from Jax.

If you want more info about our city, send me a private message and I'll give you my phone number and we can talk about what he can expect here. And it's always good to have a 'mom' away from home so he would be welcome to call me if he has questions.

Let us know if we can help further.

Vicki

Maple Valley...
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3. Re: CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

Thanks to you for giving such good, detailed advice. The young man is actually my grandson, I'm his mom's mom. He will be living and eating at the academy, but when he has some free time on weekends, I just wonder. The Academy is 10 miles from the coast (or so I think)on the river. The St. Johns river? In the mention of the area being somewhat questionable, how serious is that? He has flown in there, so no car is in the picture. It is home under cover with insurance canceled for several months until he comes back.

This is my first of five grandchildren to leave home and go off to seek his fortune. He's old enough to find out some of these things on his own, but you know how Grandmas can be. Just trying to help.

Vicki, it sounds like you are familiar with the Academy as you mentioned the time frame. He is a certified SCUBA diver, wants to do both underwater and topside welding, so will likely add to his time, unless he fails the tank test during the first few days. I don't anticipate that, but who knows? If you care to respond please do so at my e-mail address mctreehaus@comcast.net with your phone number. Thanks Grandma Marian

Jacksonville
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4. Re: CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

Hi - you've received some great advice. Just want to mention that the Landing area downtown is a very safe area. Currently there are free outdoor concerts on Friday nights that he may enjoy - very festive atmosphere - a few restaurants and a food court with inexpensive food and drinks. Once he gets settled, I'm sure someone at the academy can help him with bus schedules. He should have no problem riding the bus from the westside to downtown or to the beach. I have a friend who works downtown and lives at the beach and rides the bus daily. Hope he has a wonderful time.

Maple Valley...
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5. Re: CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

Thanks,Trixie. Every bit of information is helpful. I am sharing these messages with my daughter and it is comforting her to know things. We lived in Ormond Beach '63 and '64 but she was just a pre-schooler who has little recall. These responses from the locals make her feel better about the 3000 miles distance.

Jacksonville...
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6. Re: CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

He should check out jacksonville.com and folioweekly.com for listings of things going on all around the area. Both are great resources. We have lots of paid and free entertainment available all over the city. As someone mentioned he might make a pal at the school who has a car to help them get around.

A side note: I recently had to put my car in the shop for several days leaving me to depend on the local bus system. I found the buses clean, the drivers friendly and the schedules very easy to investigate online.

7. Re: CA guy, Student at Commercial Diving Academy

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