Aloha! This trip is still 4 months away (128 days from now, exactly - which gives me time to work on my beach body) but I'm v. excited. I'm headed to Maui and I couldn't be happier! I love going to new places, and though I've been obsessed with Europe for the past few decades, after my sunny escape to San Juan, a fondness for tropical getaways has been growing.

Apart from my loyalty to my birth state of New York and the sunny-celebrity-glittery allure of California, I'd have to say that Hawaii is my favorite state even though I've never been (... yet). Or maybe I should say I think it's the coolest state. An archipelago surrounded by pristine blue waters and freckled with palm trees and volcanoes plus laid-back island living seems pretty perfect to me (though, I'm sure I'd grow to miss snow and autumn and snooty people).

The cost: $1430 per person for flights, lodging, and rental car for 7 days, 6 nights. Even with my "budgetary limitations" (i.e. my Asian frugality - or to put it bluntly, cheapness) I view this as a pretty decent deal. If you break it down, it's about $0.15/mi (since it's 5000 miles from Newark to Maui, so 10,000 miles total). Not bad, right? Though this is more than I spent on transportation and lodging on my European holiday last year, I'm splurging on a few luxuries for this mini break. The entire crew will be staying at a condo resort so we'll have our own kitchens (where we can cook freshly caught fish), access to a lovely pool, and walking-distance-access to multiple beaches. Plus, having a rental car will make things so much easier (though, I'll probably have to highlight the pros and cons once the trip is over).

We're set to depart on January 1 (way to welcome in the new year!) and to return a week later.
There will be lots of time sitting on an airplane, but it'll be worth it! Especially because I'm sure I'll be itching to escape the winter frigidity. There's a layover in San Francisco on the way there, which is 3+ hours so maybe we'll be able to explore the city a bit? Probably not, but one can dream. On our way back, we have a layover in Santa Ana, but that's only 30 minutes so I bet we'll be rushing to get from one gate to the other. Though, it would be nice to experience the well-known Santa Ana winds (The Holiday anyone?) One tiny upside is that I recently received an iPad2 so I can be productive during airport down time and perhaps it'll encourage me to blog a bit more efficiently and punctually.

Anyway, I'm so enthusiastic about this trip that I've already started putting together a list of what I want to do, where I want to eat, and tips and tricks for island living. I'm most excited for the super fresh seafood, the beaches, and whale watching. And I've started planning outfits using Polyvore. I'm not 100% sure of what Polyvore is supposed to be used for, but personally, I collect items that I actually own (or ones that look similar enough) and then use it to plan what clothes to pack on my holidays or outfits for specific occasions. And the nice thing is, with the end of summer approaching and fall/winter fashion already hitting stores, I can stock up on fun on-sale beachwear now! Who doesn't love an excuse to shop?? Click after the jump to see my first Hawaii Polyvore set.