California is an adventure all in its own and since this is where I currently call home, it only seemed appropriate to dedicate an entire section to it. The name California originates from a queen, Calafia, who ruled over an island of women named California in a Spanish novel entitled, Las Sergas de Espladián (The Adventures of Espladián) published around 1500 (with subsequent novels featuring Calafia). Calafia and her army of female warriors leave their island to wage war in Constantinople. After being taken prisoner, she falls in love and marries and returns to her island of California to continue her adventures. The name Calafia probably has etymology relating to the Arabic word khalifia, a ruler or leader and was certainly was an unusual role for a woman during the time period it was written. During the age of exploration, seeking a land of beautiful women, riches, and adventure was a goal of many a sailor including Cortés. When he landed in what is now Baja, California, they thought they had found an island but when many of the crew were attacked and killed by natives, they quickly left. Later, when writing of this land, Cortés refers to this place as California. Reinforced in the writings of the explorer Cabrillo later, the name of this untamed, wild land was born. Today with countless natural wonders coupled with a people who have always been known (for good or bad) with pushing the envelope, California embodies her namesake.