I am new to this forum, and drove from Detroit to SD back in 2006 and am now moving back to San Diego will be driving from Detroit Nov. 16th in the AM. I am a woman driving alone with my little dog =D and driving a 2009 Toyota in good shape with about 63K miles on it and new tires. I am not a fan of driving up/down steep grades and the mountains, but realize it appears there is only one way to drive to San Diego and that is across the mountains at least as I recall taking I-8 West. I have pretty much decided to take similar route, but also would like to stop for a night in Sedona, AZ and spend an afternoon there to do some sightseeing en route to my final destination in San Diego. (I am very interested in the spiritual/energy vortex aspects of Sedona that some of you may be familiar with. =D)
Can anyone please advise on the best route to take? I would like to be in San Diego by Thanksgiving Nov 22nd. I would like to take my time and not rush but can do about 400-500 miles+ a day of driving-ideally would like to drive for about 7-8 hours a day. I do not want to do any driving in the dark/evenings. I also would prefer not to do extensive driving in Texas simply because it is soo big and kinda boring to me lol. Most important things are: safety, driving in least amount of steep grades/mountains, good weather (don't wanna drive in snow/ice etc), no night driving, and be able to see Sedona Arizona for a couple of hours and spend the night there.
Also, is it better (since I will be driving during the week of Thanksgiving) for me to pre-book motel reservations or just stop as I go along? Also important requirement, is that I must be able to stay at motels that allow a small dog (I have a 6 year old Dachshund!) I really would rather not reserve motels if don't need to, as last cross country trip, I wound up having to cancel a couple of them as I was able to drive farther than anticipated for that given day. Thanks very much~