Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our Tables

Our tables were beautifully decorated by our wonderful wedding planner, Beth, of Amy Byrd Weddings, and her assistants with our home made menu cards, chocolate bar favors, green button mum blossoms, and little ivory votive candles.

We had originally thought about using the Incident Command System, better know as ICS, to name our tables, but we ended up going with the names of some of the places we will be visiting on our honeymoon to New Zealand.  Which, by the way, will begin in just 3 days!!!!!

The menu cards that we made were actually different for each table.  On the backs of the menu, we wrote a description of the place and what we planned to do there.  If you put together one menu from each of the eight tables, you would pretty much have a description of our entire trip.

So just in case you weren't able to grab a look at each one, here is what you would have found by putting together the puzzle in the correct order.

Pronounced ao tea’ roa

Aotearoa is the most widely known and accepted Māori name for New Zealand. It is usually translated as “the land of the long white cloud”. The name is attributed to Kuramarotini, the wife of one of the first great navigators to arrive in New Zealand. Upon seeing the new land she cried out “He ao, he ao tea, he ao tea roa!” (A cloud, a white cloud, a long white cloud!)
Zeke and Adina will be headed to Aotearoa for their honeymoon on January 29th, 2011.  It’s summer time in the southern hemisphere then and they’ll be traveling almost the length of the long white cloud over the following 3 weeks.


Auckland is the largest and most populous city in New Zealand. It’s located on the north island and has been ranked as one of the worlds top most liveable cities. Auckland straddles the Auckland Volcanic Field, which includes over 56 extinct volcanoes. There are still at least 14 large lava tube caves that run from the volcanoes down towards the sea. 
Zeke and Adina will arrive in Auckland in January 31st and will be staying on Queen Street in the same backpacking hostel that Adina stayed at in 2005. It’s just a short 5 minute walk dow to the ferry terminal, where they plan to take a couple of ferry rides to Devonport, Rangitoto Island, and Waiheke Island. They plan to stay in Auckland for about 4 days.


Rangitoto Island is the youngest and largest volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf. It’s just a 20 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It is linked by a causeway to a much older island called Motutapu. Except for one primitive campsite there are no dwellings or residences on the island.
Zeke and Adina will take the ferry to Rangitoto Island sometime during their stay in Auckland between January 31st and February 3rd. They plan take the short hike up to the summit and around the rim of the crater.  They will also explore the lava caves and beaches. 


Waiheke Island is the second largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. It’s about a 35 minutes ferry ride from the city of Auckland on the north island. Waiheke Island is famous for it’s scenic beaches and arts community.  
Zeke and Adina will take the ferry to Waiheke Island sometime during their stay in Auckland between January 31st and February 3rd. They plan on spending time on some of Waiheke’s many beautiful beaches.  They will also very much enjoy the ferry ride through the gulf islands and will probably rent bicycles to travel around the island for the day.


The word Waitomo comes from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole or shaft). The Waitomo Caves are a system of over 300 caves that dot the countryside. There are three main caves; the Glow Worm Cave, Ruakuri, and Aranui.
Zeke and Adina will be taking the Black Abyss Tour in the Waitomo Caves on February 5th. They will abseil into the Ruakuri cave and spend 5 hours underground climbing, squeezing through rocks, tubing down rivers, and doing something called a flying fox. But they haven’t figured out what that means yet!


Turangi sits at the southern edge of Lake Taupo on the Tongariro River. It is the main gateway to Tongariro National Park in the central part of the north island of New Zealand.
Zeke and Adina will be arriving in Turangi on February 6th and will stay just two nights.  They plan to use Turangi as a jumping off point for completing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a full one day trek across some incredibly scenic volcanic geography. They will also probably spend some time exploring around Lake Taupo, which actually sit’s on the caldera of a volcano which was formed after a collapse during an eruption about 26,500 years ago.


Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand. It’s located in the center of the North Island and is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The park was the fourth National Park established in the world. There are three active volcanic mountains in the center of the park, Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro. 
Zeke and Adina are planning to complete the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on February 7th within the National Park. It’s a full day’s trek past active craters, steam vents, and jewel colored lakes. 

Abel Tasman

Abel Tasman National Park is located at the north end of the south island of New Zealand. The park blankets the northern end of a range of marble and limestone hills and it’s interior is honeycombed with caves and potholes. However, the real reason to visit are it’s beaches, golden sands and gleaming azure water.
Zeke and Adina will be exploring the park for over 5 days starting on February 10th. They plan to take a water taxi from Marahau each day to spend time in a different area of the coast each day.  They plan to take up lots of sunshine and enjoy swimming and kayaking on the coast.


Hokitika is a small town on the wild west coast of the south island of New Zealand. The town was originally based around gold mining but now is well known for green stone carvings. 
Zeke and Adina are planning to stop for the night in Hokitika along their drive from Abel Tasman National Park to Fiordland. They picked the small town as a spot to stop because of the beautiful and dramatic pictures of the forested mountains towering over the black sand beaches.


Fiordland National Park covers the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand. It’s the largest National Park in the country and includes the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Site. During the cooler past, glaciers carved many deep fiords, the most famous of which is Milford Sound. The region is one of the most rugged parts of the country with jagged mountains, dense forests, and deeply recessed fiords.
Zeke and Adina are planning to launch their exploration of Fiordland from the city of Te Anau. They would like to walk parts of the Milford Track and take a boating cruise through the deepest of the fiords, Doubtful Sound. They will arrive in Te Anau on February 16th and will stay in the area for about 4 days.

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