GRAND CANYON OR BUST!
Normally, I write my trip reports as we're on the go. Not this time -- this time, we're already back. It will still take me a couple of days to write all this and to include photographs.
DAY 1 - SAN DIEGO TO TEMPE, AZ - 363 miles
First thing in the morning, we picked up a mini-van from Avis, to keep for about 9-10 days. We needed the seating space, so we rented this one through Costco Travel. Normally we use Enterprise or Alamo, but neither of them had a mini-van for the time period we needed. It was a 2017 Chrysler Pacifica -- the kind with the under-floor storage -- but it was a real learning curve for folks with only older cars at home.
We went back home, loaded up our own things, keeping it light because we were picking up four family members along the way and they'd have luggage, too. We found construction along I-8 between El Centro and Yuma, ending right at the state line on the bridge over the Colorado River. At Yuma, we stopped at Golden Corral for lunch, our "happy medium" between something fast and a sit-down restaurant. You can eat fairly cheaply and healthy as well.
Got into Tempe late in the afternoon and spent the evening visiting with my family members in Tempe.