1. That Thing That Just Zipped Past Was Probably A Roadrunner (Even If It Didn't Say Meep Meep)
Source: Flickr user Ben Sanborn
These funny-looking little birds are actually quite tough. They not only survive but thrive in the desert, where they've been known to feed not just on mice and lizards but also smaller birds and even snakes.
The one thing they can't do, outside of the Warner Brothers universe, is outsmart—or even outrun—wily coyotes. It seems a roadrunner's top speed is about 20 mph, while a coyote clocks in at 43 mph.
2. That Thing You Just Zipped Past Was Probably A Snowbird
Source: Flickr users Larry and Teddy page
If you're stuck behind a monster SUV going no faster than the average coyote, chances are you've got the infamous Tucson snowbird in your sights.
This semi-indigenous species consists of oldsters who winter in these warmer climes, but decamp when springtime comes, back home to their native Minnesota, Michigan, or Massachusetts.
3. You've Got To Stash The Trash Or Brace Javelinas Will Get It
Source: Flickr user Anita Ritenour
These little piggies can be quite pestiferous. Not only do they make messes but they also attack pets and some particularly aggressive ones have been known to go after humans.
The upside, though, is that they can be pretty tasty if you barbecue them. But not as tasty as...
4. The Best Bite In Town Is A Sonoran Dog
Source: Flickr user Brandi Wills
Chicago and New York may boast of their signature hot dogs, but in my oh-so-valuable opinion, it’s all bark.
Bacon-wrapped, stuffed in a bread roll, and topped with beans, tomatoes, onions (grilled and raw), mustard, mayo and jalapeno sauce makes the Sonoran Dog is the next evolution of hot dogs.
The dish may have originated south of the border, but nobody does it better than Tucson's own El Guero Canela. The only thing that could possibly be better is...two Sonoran dogs! Duh.
5. Cacti Make Great Alternative Christmas Trees
Source: Flickr user Ed Bierman
In Tucson you stand about as much chance of seeing a white Christmas, as, well, a snowball in the desert. That doesn't mean Tucsonans don't put their own special spin on the holiday, however. Christmas lights on a cactus are quite the festive sight round these parts.
6. Tucson May Be A Desert, But Relief Is Only 30 Minutes Away
Source: Wikimedia user Kent Thornell
The Santa Catalinas rise some 9,100 feet above sea level, and in the wintertime you can even spot a little of the elusive white stuff atop the highest peaks.
Even in the midst of Tucson's always-sweltering summers, a drive up into the mountains means a practically lifesaving 30-degree drop in temperature. Ahhhh, so refreshing.
7. That Stuff In The Desert Isn't Sand, It's Caliche
Source: Flickr user desertdutchman
The Sonoran desert isn't your classic move-set desert complete with white sands, palm-tree oases and sad-eyed sheiks. Instead, it's full of this chalky soil packed so hard it resembles concrete. Caliche is why many Tucson homeowners don't even bother with any semblance of a yard, instead opting for a layer of decorative gravel.
8. It’s All About Second Saturdays
Source: Second Saturdays via Facebook
Should a Tucsonan be plagued.. ahem I mean blessed
with visitors, which they undoubtedly will from the end of October right up through April Fool's, they’re going to have to find a way to get them out of the house amuse themselves somehow.
Financially-savvy Tucsonans in the know, schedule those visits to coincide with the second Saturday of each month, when you and your visitors can head downtown for the monthly street festival complete with face painting, food trucks and plenty of free live entertainment.
Free fun, umm yeah, Tucson knows how to party.
9. There Are 177,000 Pennies Paving The Floor At The Hotel Congress
Source: The Cup Cafe @ Hotel Congress via Facebook
You know no out-of-towner ever stayed around long enough to count all the pennies at the 95-year-old hotel's Cup Cafe. No-one ever gets that bored, especially not in Tucson where you're never stuck indoors too long on account of weather.
And why would you want to, when there is so much to explore, do, see and eat here in Tucson (seriously, try a Sonoran dog, it will change your life, bro).
Feature Image Source: Flickr user Michael Wifall