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Tucson, Arizona

Buster's Road Rules

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson is a big city that sits in a very dry area. Right outside the city you see low desert plants. But when you get to the mountains that surround Tucson, there are tall trees. It's so different from Elwood City!

Out on the Open Road is Los Viajeros' song about Tucson. It's true: when you're driving in Arizona, everywhere you look it's cactus, cactus, and more cactus.

We stopped in a supermarket called Food City. With a name like that, how could I resist? Tucson is only 65 miles from Mexico, so Food City sells tons of Mexican food, including chili peppers and tortilla mix.

We met Ariana there. Her birthday was coming, so she wanted candy and a piñata. A piñata is a colorful clay or paper animal, filled with candy and fruit. Kids try to break it with a stick to get the candy and fruit.

D.W. e-mailed me (with Arthur's help). She wants a piñata at her next birthday party. But she wants Arthur to break it open for her and then keep back her party guests while she grabs all the candy!

Ariana also plays vihuela, a high-pitched guitar, in a mariachi band called The Little Ugly Monkeys. Other instruments in the band are violins and trumpets. Mariachi music is traditional Mexican music.

The little shouts the musicians do are called gritos, which just means "shouts." Gritos get the crowd excited and involved. Gritos show that the musicians are enjoying themselves. Yi-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa!

In the desert, we met Cactus Jack. He runs a botanical garden made up of desert plants. We smelled desert oregano. We made rope from agave cactus fibers. We even tasted the fruit from a saguaro - that's a cactus, too!

One evening we saw a beautiful sunset. The entire sky was glowing orange and red and yellow. It was like someone had painted the sky!

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