A quick summary of the outcome of a roadtrip planned on this site - I don't mean to bore people, but I just wanted to assure you all that your input helped.
May 13: Driving day. Left St. Louis early in the morning and made no significant stops (other than to stretch legs, eat picnic lunch in rest stops, etc.) and pulled into Clinton, OK in early evening. this was about 575 miles and, we decided, just a bit farther than we really liked to go in one day with a 5 year-old. Highlights of the day: A very nice picnic/rest stop in SE MO and the swimming pool at the hotel.
May 14: Driving day. Clinton OK to Santa Fe. Arrived in the early evening and took a quick stroll from the hotel down to the Plaza and back around for some enchiladas with green. Had the only rain of our entire trip across the Texas panhandle and were caught in a drenching downpour in Amarillo.
May 15: Took a side trip up to Bandelier NM and picked up our National Park Pass. Did the hike around the ruins in the small valley near the Visitor's Center and our daughter very much enjoyed climbing the ladders to get up to and into the ruins. Had a picnic lunch then returned to stroll through Santa Fe in the afternoon and evening.
May 16: Side trip to Taos and the Rio Grande Gorge bridge. Daughter found a playground behind one of the toy shops in Taos and spent a bit over an hour playing and splashing their with the local kids. Honestly, i probably could have skipped Taos, although the road back down to Santa Fe was gorgeous. If we were to do this again, i would have spent an extra day on the road on the way to Santa Fe and come down through Taos rather than doing it as a side trip. Back to Santa Fe for the late afternoon and evening and more strolling around.
May 17: Santa Fe to Tusuyan with a stop at the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest. We did a brief (~2-3 hour tour - in retrospect, just about the right amount of time for this trip) of the park on the way and it was well worth the stop. Pulled into Tusuyan just about a half-hour before sunset, so continued on up to the Grand Canyon for a quick view before heading back to the hotel.
May 18: Grand Canyon. Spent the morning walking and shuttling West of Grand Canyon Village along the rim and the afternoon and evening heading East along the rim. Visibility was good, but the air was a bit hazy the whole trip. Still, you can't really grasp the enormity or the majesty of the Grand Canyon form a picture - it has to be experienced.
May 19: Travel Day. After one last visit to the canyon shortly after sunrise, we headed out West again. We were thinking of trying to make it all the way to Santa Barbara, but our daughter got a bit sick to the stomach around Kingman and we ended up hanging around there for over an hour until she felt better. We ended up pulling up for the night in Santa Clarita following a suggestion from glc (thanks!) to use the Pearblossom Highway. Again, a nice relaxing dip in the pool and hot tub and enjoying making it to California.