Our jet lag wasn't bad (only 4 hrs time difference), but we did wake up at 5:30 or so the next day. That wasn't so bad, the sun was up very early and we had a quiet beautiful beach to explore. Hamish and I walked out on the dock for some apple sauce breakfast and fish-spotting in the crystal clear waters.
Once everyone was fully awake and mommy-fed or apple-sauced, we made it to a nearby breakfast spot with wifi by 7 a.m. to touch base with everyone. The kids ran around being joyful and amusing Polynesians. 
We had yummy bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits and fresh sweet local pineapple accentuated with a little coconut milk.

After satisfying some internet cravings, we loaded up the car and decided to do some driving and exploring. We attempted the pineapple way, but this was a poor choice for our little car with very low ground clearance. The paved road quickly gave way to gravel, to dirt, and then to half washed out. It was also steep, and we didn't go far before deciding to turn back. We attempted driving up to the Belvedere overlook (kind of in the middle of the picture posted before) and made it as far as the agricultural school for pineapple sorbet and milkshakes. 
Manimal was falling asleep in the car and getting really hot. He did sleep for a little bit outside of the car seat while we were getting started on ice cream ordering, but naps quickly became a mess. We walked downhill to a pineapple field. 
We found this flower:
which Hamish dubbed the pinkish-purpleage bug flower.
It was on the walk back uphill, carrying Manimal, that I noticed he was breathing as if he were the one doing all the work and just felt very hot. We still made an initial attempt to go higher toward the outlook, but our car said it was hot too, and we took it as a sign and called it a morning. 
-overheated manimal.

We went home and put Manimal to nap in the air con, but he still felt really really hot. Once Hamish went down for her nap, Alli took the little boy into a cool shower and I took the car out to find a room for the next night, deciding we really liked the area and could do with a little more time on Moorea (and our fare was booked up). I also bought some more coolant and local pineapples and got more cash. 
When I returned, we all laid down together in the air con and rested. Manimal was sleeping but still breathing strangely and still so hot. Somewhere in here we took his temperature and confirmed a decent little fever, 101 or 102 I think. We as a family spent the months of November and December with colds that we were still fighting off, so it wasn't entirely clear the relative influence of germs vs. heat.

After all waking, we spent the afternoon at the beach, attempting to keep Manimal out of the sun, but in the cool water- which was beautifully possible at the little beach we were on. 
See those palm trees over the water, this is a great thing to find in a beach.
On that note, I should point out that this location and several others made awesome beaches, especially with kids. Much of Moorea and Tahiti are encircled by reefs that create a shallow lagoon. Clear water, no waves, and the gentlest slope. The kids can just sit in the sand right at the water's edge and build their sand castles. There are warnings in locations about stone fish that recommend wearing plastic shoes, but these warnings were largely unheeded, and we never saw anyone run out of the water screaming. Alli and I still wore our scuba boots if we were going to venture out much. Hamish kept her sun sandals on (waterproof) and Manimal didn't venture out without us holding him really. 

Anyway, back to Manimal--
He was fairly unhappy, not enjoying the water or sand nearly as much as the day before, even acting afraid of the water, but cooling off and otherwise being normal. 
The kids helped me with my beach workout:
and played
We made mac and cheese we'd brought with us at the fare that night and everyone ate well. This night we put the kids to bed in our air-con room (the first night manimal slept on the 1st floor but outside our room, outside of air con, which was warmer, but not really hot at night, but after his hot lethargic day we were trying to keep him as cool as possible).  Then Alli and I enjoyed a glass of wine on the porch. 

Everyone slept well and woke up at normal temperature. We got up and booked a boat excursion to swim with sting rays and sharks. The kids were a little scared, but they stayed out with us and touched the rays (our guide says they feel "like a wet mushroom" in his French accent, pretty accurate).
Next stop was snorkeling to see some replica idols. These are about 30 years old and based on the true story where natives threw out their idols as many converted to Christianity-- though these actual idols sunk to unseeable levels. Our guide babysat (Manimal fell asleep) on the boat while Alli and I took our time snorkeling. We then returned to our lovely fare, packed up, and moved to the next hotel, which was nice, but more like a standard hotel room. We tried a nearby roulotte (fancy food truck) for lunch but it took forever, throwing naps off again. We tried to get naps in the new hotel with no luck. The new hotel did have wifi, so Alli and I, and subsequently, Alli, Hamish, and I, sat in the hallway and enjoyed. We consulted with our favorite pediatrician for advice about Manimal's previous heatyness. As it turned out, we were past the point of concern, but it was good to know what our trigger points should be for finding a local doctor.

When no one was sleeping ,we decided to go for a drive again. The weather was cooler, so we went to the Intercontinental to see the dolphins and the sea turtles. We found no dolphins (you can certainly see them as part of a paid tour), but saw the sea turtle ICU anyway. Then we gave the drive up to the belvedere a second try and conquered the hill. It was worth it and came with a beautiful view.
We stopped for baguette and cheese and then back to hotel for a picnic dinner. Kids went to bed easily and we sat in the garden enjoying wifi and the amazing stars. It was really the first clear night we had there to see the stars. Decided not to add another night, so we got up and ate breakfast and took it easy packing. We first went to the Moorea Tropical Garden for jam tasting and vanilla and taro ice cream.
More lovely views
Beautiful view!
oh and this is the view headed back down the hill- I wasn't entirely sure our car would make it up the hill to get there in the first place:
We also saw a greenhouse full of vanilla beans and various other tropical fruits growing in the gardens.
We drove to the ferry to switch tickets (because we'd originally planned to leave Moorea a day earlier), enjoying the scenery on the way.
While Alli was in line to switch tickets, I drove around and very nearly put our car in a ditch turning around-- the car didn't always go easily into the reverse gear and this was a bad time to find out that the gas was doing nothing as I crept further away from the road. Luckily one last prayer and giving the car all she had got us out. The kids slept right through it.
We went to the grocery for more picnic supplies and to buy me new sandals as mine gave out at the tropical gardens. Then we went to a nearby public beach to eat and play until ferry time. This was the first time we pulled out our beach tent that we brought with us. We found some shade under a palm tree but it was nice to give us a base with even more shade and a place to eat our picnic lunch off of the sand and with some additional cover.
The water was amazingly clear. Manimal again loved the ocean as long as he was not wearing his life jacket.

We played until it started raining, then packed up and drove all the way around the island before getting back to the ferry.
We were still early for the ferry, so we got some fresh coconut.
Hamish didn't love it, but Manimal--once he finally woke up from his nap--did. Then I loaded the car while everyone else boarded upstairs (keeping everyone much less hot than last time).
It had been raining on the north side of Moorea when we left, so there was a bit more chop to the water, but we still got dinner and cokes in the dining area and ate and snacked as soon as we got moving.
There was some nice local entertainment to dance to during the ride:
Then we went to the upper deck in a slight mist as we pulled into Papeete. Manimal LOVED the wind on the deck and as we pulled in we saw our second full rainbow.
Just gorgeous.

Sadly we didn't get the same stunning view of Moorea as we did when we arrived--rain plus evening. And we didn't have the energy (mental or electrical) to take any photos on Monday. But it was still an enjoyable crossing.
We unloaded without incident and headed to our house.

We had no trouble making it to our home exchange and getting inside. It was lovely and offered us this view of the Tahitian lagoon and Moorea in the distance.
The kids were in heaven to find a kids' room full of toys they'd never seen. Manimal found himself a bed friend right away.
This is a huge advantage to the home swap idea, especially for families with kids. The kids' room just came with all these toys and helped soooo much on rainy days and down time that would have been so much harder in a hotel room.

Anyway we were finally in Tahiti in a place we'd stay for the next 8 days; we could spread out, buy groceries with a plan to keep them for a while, and just relax some.

Another nod to home exchange- the place was clean and in great shape, but more impressive is that the family that stayed there before us, who is not staying in our home or anything, left us a lovely note telling us about the things they'd enjoyed in Tahiti, and left behind some gifts of their own (like some lovely exotic Tahitian rum cocktail drink that we toasted for new year's eve).