It's only a five and a half hour drive, and things were going really well until we were about 40 miles from San Diego. We were on that twisty, mountain road, just starting our descent from 4000 feet when all hell broke loose. The sky darkened, and it began to rain. Suddenly, buckets of rain. The windshield wipers could barely cope. Visibility zero. Cars and huge trucks in front of me, behind me, coming towards me and I could barely see anything. Everybody going 65 mph. I would have pulled over and waited it out but I was scared to slow down lest whoever was behind me plowed into us. Then a warning signal started to scream. I had no idea what it was or where it was coming from and I didn't dare take my eyes off the road to look. This went on for about 10 minutes, although it felt like forever. Then -- as suddenly as it had started -- the rain stopped. (The warning signal turned out to be an emergency bulletin from my cell phone, warning of severe flash flooding) The rest of the drive was uneventful, thank goodness.
We checked in and Josie and her dog Annie walked over to welcome us. Xingxing had never met Annie, but it was love at first sight. Annie is a big, gentle yellow Lab, and she and Xingxing got acquainted while Josie and I enjoyed lemonade and cookies on the terrace. A lovely ending to what had been a long -- and a bit frightening -- day on the road. And we're sitting outside! You can't do that in Scottsdale, this time of year.