With just days left before departing on the road trip mentioned in a prior post, a few updates:
(1) After careful deliberation, it was decided that the cost-benefit analysis for the question of "What type of car should we rent?" had tilted to favor a "Standard SUV" instead of a Prius. As the economy has faltered and the price of gas has risen, the cost of renting an SUV has fallen dramatically -- to the point where renting the SUV and paying for the additional gas it will consume on our voyage is virtually identical to the higher rental cost (but lower fuel cost) of the Prius. The added benefits of the larger vehicle include more cargo space, more "nap" space, and 4-wheel drive... which enables us to trek on some of the higher clearance, less-traveled roads that have in the past provided some of the most breathtaking views we've seen.
(2) Sushi has been moved from Mr. Sushi in Encinitas to Nobu in Solana Beach. I've never been there before, but hear it's delicious.
(3) The final night of the trip is still up in the air. Once we depart from the Grand Canyon, we have several options on how to return to San Diego. The original plan calls for spending a night in Phoenix, but we still have not booked a hotel room there yet as a means of keeping our options open. There are four different "major" routes we can take to get back to San Diego from the Grand Canyon -- only two of which go through Phoenix or the surrounding area. Option 1 takes us directly from the Grand Canyon to Barstow on I-40, where we meet up with I-15. Option 2 takes us on US-40 to US-95 and some State Highways to I-10 near Joshua Tree and through Riverside County, where we'd meet up with I-15. Option 3 takes us East on I-40 to I-17 and down to Phoenix, where we would meet up with I-10. Option 4 takes us on the same route, but further South from Phoenix, where we meet up with I-8 and head back to San Diego along the Mexican border. Addtionally, there are a number of State and US highways as well as Forest Service roads we may try to navigate, now that we have a larger vehicle in which to do so. Picking a route may prove to be difficult -- all of the options are "new" to us. We planned originally to stop in Julian on our way back to San Diego, but depending on the route we take and the time of day we're near the area, the Pie shops may not be open. We'd just have to make a quick trek out there the next morning. :-)
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