Tag Archives: the Cambrian

“Cambria, CA Loves Me, this I Know” an alternative travel and coupon guide (includes Morro Bay coupons)

Cambria Loves Me this Brandon Follett - 1

Brandon Follett likes to travel, but he keeps coming back to Cambria.

When the former Bridge Street Inn owner (2012-14) returned during January — before departing again for his new home in Buxton, N.C. — he left a little bit of himself behind in the form of a book: “Cambria, CA, Loves Me, this I know.”

The quirky look at the community that’s a brisk read at 52 pages. It’s part guidebook, part humorous retrospective and part coupon book.

Have trouble visualizing that?

Follett, 40, provides a hint of what to expect from the book, which includes imaginary conversations between fictional characters such as Francisco de Lovely.

“One inspiration was a book I found at a thrift store called ‘Letters from a Nut,’ by Ted L. Nancy, with an introduction by Jerry Seinfeld,” Follett recalled. “The letters are off-the-wall hilarious and at the same time informative about the hotels.”

Follett points to one of the vignettes in his book, titled “Did you Know My Underwear Matches the Arugula on Your Pizza?”

“In a humorous way, I introduce the fact that Cambria does not have any box stores, but it does have an amazing farmer’s market.”

Although Francisco himself is a creation of Brandon’s imagination, the author points out that the information he provides in the vignettes is factual: meant to help travelers play their stay in the Cambria area.

His favorite vignette is titled “I’m Sexier Than a Forest,” one of the selections he read during a book launch party late last month at The Bridge Street Inn.

“The story still makes me laugh out loud,” Follett said. “Especially the lines, ‘Is this tree sexier than me? Do I need to find an ugly tree to pose next to?’ I ask, ‘iPhone where is the nearest clear cut?’ ”

The book, which includes plenty of photos and illustrations, is a potpourri of eclectic information, ranging from maps to poetry, along with a recipe for tuna (which, Follett informs the reader, doesn’t taste good a la mode), distances from one place to another and a section on the Bridge Street Inn.

“The BSI was a great writing prompt because it is a business that represents the values of the owner and community,” Follett said.

The book, which includes plenty of photos and illustrations, is a potpourri of eclectic information, ranging from maps to poetry, along with a recipe for tuna (which, Follett informs the reader, doesn’t taste good a la mode), distances from one place to another and a section on the Bridge Street Inn.

“The BSI was a great writing prompt because it is a business that represents the values of the owner and community,” Follett said.

“Sometimes it was hard to separate one’s self from the business. Running the BSI felt authentic to me, it was never anything like ‘I work for Monsanto, but will only eat organic veggies raised in my own garden.’ The BSI inspired me to continue being myself, which inspired guests to return to the BSI.”

The guests at the inn, a hostel that operates in a 110-year-old building on Bridge Street, inspired Follett’s creativity, he said. The inn, he said, introduced him to Cambria via a six-week internship.

“I was pedaling down Highway 1, from the Santa Cruz area, when I arrived for my internship,” he said. “I think it’s inspiring that Cambria can sustain such a unique business as the BSI.”

Before releasing his latest work, Follett wrote a poetry/flash fiction series titled “Mental Foreplay for the Classics,” published on Wolf Peach Press in Boise, Idaho, and a book called “You Can’t Hide an Elephant in an Omelet.”

“Cambria, CA, Loves Me, This I Know” was four years in the making, he said. His cousin, Kari McKinney, took on the role of graphic design director and “helped create the tone of the book, much like how George Martin shapes a Beatles song.”

It’s an apt description. The book’s design features a collage approach to graphics and photos that is likely to leave the reader discovering new tidbits tucking into its nooks and crannies, much like the Beatles’ album covers for “Revolver” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

“The biggest obstacle” in creating the book, Follett said, “was the actual writing. “I took English 102 in college three times. I enjoy writing poetry because there are no rules, much like improvisational dance.”

The book also includes $100 worth of coupons to 20 local businesses — ten in Cambria and ten in Morro Bay.

article by Stephen H. Provost published in the Cambrian