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I am working on a Sharepoint calendar. This calendar will allow any staff member to request time off by posting an event to the calendar. However, before an event is posted it should be approved.

I've gotten through the first part of this by taking shreyas's advice and using a workflow. But in this case I want the approval request to be sent to a single person who will be chosen by the user requesting time off.

How can I direct the approval email to this specific person, and make approval and thus the event being posted to the calendar contingent on this single person's acceptance?

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When you use an "Approval" workflow usually you rely on assigning tasks to someone to perform an action, which can be "Approval Task". When creating this task also the email can be sent as part of the Task creation process, just as the out-of-the-box Approval Workflow does, see here and

It would be maybe recomanded to enable Approval on the Calendar too, in this way the Event is not actually accepted until the Approval takes place, and then the Outcome could be Rejected/Approved

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