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Cosmopolitan Review May 29- June 4, 2014

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 5/29/2014, 2:18 p.m.

Greetings from Anna Maria Island, Fla., where the sun is hot, the water is blue and the living is easy. The Mitchells joined other family members and friends for the nuptials of cousin Catherine, daughter of former Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Frank Morton Jr., to Charlie Palmer. 

We arrived on the island via the Amtrak Auto Train, which I absolutely love and find a vacation all in itself. The Auto Train departs from Lorton, Va., every day at 4 p.m., and I find the four-hour trip to Lorton worth the while, because we are able to pack all of our stuff in the car and not have to schlep with it through the airport. Upon check in, the cars are loaded into a container, which is attached to the back of train. On a previous trip, we had a little, private compartment that had its own bunk beds, tiny shower, sink and toilet. This time, we chose to ride coach, and I found it just as enjoyable. The seats are big and comfy, with an apparatus that extends the seat for easy nighttime sleeping. There were plenty of big picture windows with which to watch the world go by as we traveled through the towns of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia before reaching our destination, Sanford, Fla., where everyone disembarked, car and all.

It is a two-hour ride down the Florida turnpike onto I-75 before crossing over SR-64, which leads to the 17-mile-long island. As we passed Disney World, Sea World, Animal Kingdom and Dinosaur Land, where the lifelike statutes seem as though they will gobble you up if you come too close, it is hard to believe that the state of Florida isn’t all peaches and cream—but that’s for another article. For this trip, it was all about Catherine and Charlie.

We stayed in the cutest little cottage right off of Gulf Drive, which runs from one end of the island to the other. The complex had a pool where my daughter, Julia, made friends with two little boys from Tampa, Fla., and where she stayed from sunup to sundown. Fortunately, my husbamd Charles found a chair and umbrella, where he stayed seated with Julia from sunup to sundown. I packed my bag and headed down to the beach, which was right across the street, where I stayed from sunup to sundown. My only problem was, there wasn’t anybody to rub my back down in suntan lotion, and so I got a sunburn. Drats! (I made a mental note to get a bottle of spray-on lotion.)

The bachelorette party that took place on Friday night can only be described as “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” so I am sworn to secrecy and forbidden to give any details; just use your imagination to the fullest. What I can say is, all of Catherine’s friends from her book club back in her hometown of Atlanta, were there to the join in the fun. Let’s just say these girls know how to have fun, which is all girls want to have anyway.