From the Archives: Hawaii, Circa 2002

Later this month, we're heading to Hawaii for a friend's wedding. We're going to split our time between Oahu and Maui -- very similar to a childhood trip I took years ago.

Chris has been to Oahu, but never to Maui -- and I can't wait for him to see it! It's certainly more laid-back than Honolulu, although there's still a lively buzz and plenty to explore.

Here are some of the things I'm most excited for this time around! Any must-see's I should add to the list? Please share!

Flowers, everywhere.

From the moment you land, you can just tell it's a lush tropical paradise. I've never seen such vibrant flowers and greenery. As Chicago anxiously awaits our springtime blooms, I can't wait to be surrounded by palm trees and exotic plants.

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Beachfront living.

There's nothing better than having the ocean at your doorstep, and Maui's string of resorts take it to the next level. While we'll probably spend most of our time exploring the island, I'm already looking forward to kicking back with an evening mai tai and watching the sun set over Kaanapali Beach.

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Diverse natural scenery.

Waterfalls, volcanoes, mountains -- Hawaii's got it all, and plenty more. I'm looking forward to revisiting Haleakala, and the Iao Needle, once we get to Maui. There are also so many hidden waterfalls and outposts on the Road to Hana. So much to explore!

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The Aloha spirit.

From luaus to Kukui beads, the best part of a Hawaiian getaway is the relaxation it affords. This time around, I want to soak up as much of the local culture as possible -- and I have a feeling we'll never want to leave.

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Flowers from Afar: The Perfect V-Day Bouquet

If there's one thing Chris is good at, it's giving the most thoughtful gifts. From the early days of dating to now, he's always been ahead of the game -- sending flowers for everything from birthdays, to new jobs, to holidays, to just because. 

For a while he ordered from an adorable little flower shop in our neighborhood, but last year he discovered a cool new startup: The Bouqs. Their flowers are grown and shipped straight from sustainable farms in South America. And from my experience, these passport-stamped bouquets really do last longer than their store-bought counterparts. 

In honor of Valentine's Day, enjoy some of my favorite bouquets through the years. And don't forget -- you still have just enough time to pick up a Valentine bouquet for your special someone!