New Year's Day, Friday:
We woke up and the children basked in the toys. Alli and I were alone for a few hours to discuss priorities and semi-plan our remaining trip.

I had my second near-death experience (the first was when the car didn't go into reverse and I nearly ended up in the ditch). Just a typical morning visit to the restroom. Locked the door behind me, like a generally normal person. I mean, not everyone locks the door when they use the bathroom at home with their family, but kids sometimes like to just bust on in there, and I like my privacy. Anyway, when I was ready to exit the bathroom, the locked door would not unlock. I tried calmly for a while, trying to decide whether to cross the threshold into "I am locked in the bathroom" territory, but I quickly realized I could use some help.  I sort of assumed it was one of those bathroom doors where a key would work on the other side pretty well, but in fact I had the better opportunity to unlock the door. It was sort of just a deadbolt. Here was my view:
and here was Alli's:
We have these photos because I had my phone and the internet in there with me, and we were communicating with each other in this way in addition to talking through the door.
On Alli's side you can see that the unlocking mechanism is just a piece of plastic with sort of a flat head screwdriver indentation to use for leverage. The deformation to that piece was there before Alli made any attempt. Bottom line, Alli could not help me out of there. I should say more in that this was a small bathroom with no window, just a tiny little ventilation port, and we were in an apartment building that was like concrete walls and metal doors. I made multiple attempts to open from my side to no avail. We finally emailed the homeowners and even their local friend who they told us to contact if we needed help. The owners wrote back pretty quickly to say they didn't really understand my situation, but that they never used the lock on that door.  Clearly. The friends never did respond...
Alli kept trying to come up with ideas and also tried to keep the kids from going crazy or realizing how nearly panicked we were. And she prayed. I ultimately ended up taking the toilet paper roll core, folding that up, and using it to give myself a little extra grip/alleviate the pain of trying to turn the small knob, and with one last reach into the depths of my strength reserves, I freed myself. Then we went right back to life as normal, and we never used the bathroom door lock again.
We tell the truth about our travels here.

With that out of the way, we got the kids ready and took off around the North side of the island to hike some waterfalls. But when we got there, there were barricades set up that we could not pass. We found some locals having a New Year's party on the side of the road blasting Sublime's Santeria. I went and chatted with them and learned that the road had been washed out and nobody was going to those waterfalls any time soon.

Instead we drove around and found a deserted, beautiful black sand beach where we introduced the kids to waves.
We weren't planning to go to a beach, so no swimsuits, we just dared the waves (and they successfully soaked the bottom half of all of us). Manimal was actually asleep in his car seat again, so Alli and Hamish started it out.
Once he woke up, he took a little time to sit on top of the car and admire the view while eating a snack bar
Then we all played wave dare together.
We air dried a little bit, had some more car snacks,
and pressed on. We stopped at One Tree Hill for a break to watch some surfers and do just a little bit of climbing.
It's a neat little place, but the kids were being kind of ornery and as a result we took no pictures worth sharing.

We sought lunch, but practically everything was closed. Even McDonald's. We found a supermarket and bought some food, and then went home for naps and lunch. Hamish napped; Manimal refused. 

We got an email from the host family with details on a family-friendly happy hour nearby, so we jumped in the car and went to the Le Meridien for their beach bar happy hour. 

We parked in the wrong spot and had to cross the water to get to the beach. Some friendly locals pointed out the walkway. We eventually got seats and beachy drinks. 

Hamish and Manimal were both bold and amazing in making friends. They ran around like wild things with other kids with whom they could find no common language.

We came home and had a dinner of baguette, pineapple, and rotisserie chicken. 

Saturday, we slept in until 7:15 and then drove down to the water gardens of Vaipahi to see different flora, hike, and take a dip in a waterfall.
Hamish needed to compare her size to some of the trees after she saw depictions in the placards for each tree showing size relative to a human:
There was a good hike up a hill involved:
view from the top:
finally waterfalls:
Mommy wouldn't get all the way in:
... there *was* a giant eel swimming around in the water there, though the locals told us the eels wouldn't hurt us...

Afterward we drove down to Tahiti Iti and had a rich and yummy (and too expensive) French lunch at Terre-Mer. (Manimal napped through it, which was nice.)

We drove down the south coast road all the way to the water and scouted a boat for later in the week. We had read a recommendation for Michael at Teahupoo Excursions, but instead found a guy on the dock who said he'd be happy to take us the next week. By this time Hamish was asleep, so we drove up the Iti belvedere, scouted the view, and let our car cool off.
kids ran around entertaining themselves and others-
It was getting late by the time we left Iti, so we drove straight home, just stopping for more groceries. Then home for a frozen pizza dinner, frog jumping, popsicles,
and bed. 

By Sunday, everyone was finally getting into a sleep routine. This was the first night Hamish didn't come visit in the middle of the night. We woke up later again and got on the road to the Sunday Market a bit before 8. The market seemed a little quiet, not nearly as much variety as we had been hoping for, and not nearly as cheap.
But we still bought things: soursop, chocolate crepes, donuts, watermelon, a pomelo, fei--an orange banana variety best cooked:

-- and poe'ape, a bamboo section stuffed with a mix of taro, brown sugar, and coconut milk:
We also bought Hamish a tiare flower crown. It was a bit big, but she looked precious. 
We came home after the market to unload and have breakfast. The chocolate crepes were surprisingly not a massive hit. The pomelo was.

Over the next couple of days I tried a couple methods of cooking the fei-- frying it like plantain, and boiling and mashing with some butter like mashed potatoes. Both were good, but an interesting and kind of intense flavor that you didn't want a lot of. Hard to describe.

After breakfast we went to the Museum of Tahiti and the islands. Lovely museum, but cut short by the kids being kids. So we sat on the sea wall and watched waves crash for a while before coming home.
Both kids got a proper nap. And we woke Hamish up at 3:30 to go have a picnic dinner on the beach. We went to the PK23.5 beach, it was black and white sand with lots of tiny rocks and coral. Not soft, but the kids still loved it.
We dug for treasures, and then the Tahitian family next to us gave us some treats (2 oranges and applesauce). We had a dinner of a baguette and pulled chicken (from the rotisserie), fresh watermelon collected from the market that morning, and our new oranges. Then we went back to play until the sun set. Baby tossing was performed:

The beach closed at 7, so we packed up after the sunset and headed home to bed. 

On Monday, we were hoping more things would be open after the holiday weekend, but our first stop--the James Norman Hall house--was closed. So we carried on to Point Venus for a beach morning. 

We found a lovely spot with picnic tables. The sand was again soft and black and we easily walked past the breaking waves and played in the swells. The kids mostly had a great time, only protesting when we tried to get them to swim. 
there was a neat little lighthouse here too
We didn't stay too long in the heat of the day, though, and headed to Place To'ata for lunch. Again Manimal fell asleep and snoozed while we dined.  It was one of our best meals so far: poisson cru and chrevettes cru, salad and green beans, then ice cream for all. Hamish quickly learned how to ask for une glace.

We headed home for Hamish's nap, but decided to drive past the condo and on up the mountain first. The houses and gardens get nicer and nicer as you climb! On the way back, though, we saw our coolant reservoir steaming again. When we got home and opened the hood, the cap was gone :-(

We put Hamish down, and then I left with the owner's other car at about 3:00 to either find the coolant cap somewhere on the hill (we thought we'd heard it fall) or find a garage where I could buy one. 

While gone, Alli tried again to book an inland driving tour and called family. By 5 she woke Hamish up and started praying in earnest.

She was thankful when I came back by 5:20 or so. I ultimately found the cap-- still in the car, just bounced around under the hood and well hidden from view. With a flashlight and a leatherman I extracted it and we were back on track. 

We headed back out and visited a marae. The ruins are of the cultural and religious centers for villages. Many of the marae were torn down when the missionaries arrived in Tahiti. Several Christian churches were built symbolically on top of the marae. 
After climbing over the "paved" courtyard, we headed out for dinner. We had seen a few roulottes the night before, so we picked a crepe one for dinner. It was just a small metal trailer parked in a field with four tables with plastic stools out front. The one next door was slightly more legit: it had an awning. 

The food truck wasn't fast food, but it was delicious. We ordered a pizza for the kids and two savory crepes for us. The pizza was neglected in favor of an egg, Gruyere, onion and bacon crepe and an egg, Gruyere, ham and pineapple crepe. When we'd devoured those, we got an Oreo crepe with whipped cream. 
We were all stuffed and happy and tired. We took the pizza to go and loaded up the car to put everyone to bed. And drove away with the pizza on the roof.