Inside Carolyn Murphy's Perfect Day

9:30 a.m. Big Sur, where the mountains meet the sea, is my perfect weekend escape. I like to sleep in for as long as possible, with the days centered on family, food, and the beach. We’re like salty dogs.

10:00 a.m. My day starts with coffee, fresh eggs, berries, and jam from local farmers. There’s no technology; I like to keep things simple. It’s like the less you have, the more you can live. We do have something to play mellow tunes on. Crosby, Stills & Nash, Ray LaMontagne, Neil Young, and a little Leon Bridges get the groove going.

11:00 a.m. I go on a hike for an hour to break a sweat. There’s so much beauty in Big Sur. I spend my time just ogling the trees, then I’ll surf. I’ve been surfing my entire life. If the water’s cold, I’ll wear my Patagonia wet suit. My board is a Greg Liddle single fin. I’m fortunate that I’ve never seen a shark. When I was living in Costa Rica, the locals called me the good witch because one time I sensed something in the water and got out, then five minutes later everyone came running out, as there was a blacktip shark.

1:00 p.m. Lunch is cold beers and fish tacos. I love to cook. Afterward we get the games going—we like to play Scrabble—and we’re big card players, especially War.

3:00 p.m. I’m reading Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed. I lean toward nature writers. I’ll read, then doze off, preferably in a hammock.

5:00 p.m. Everybody gathers on the beach until sunset. This ritual happens wherever we are, whether it’s Big Sur, Costa Rica, or the Hamptons. My beach wardrobe consists of Isabel Marant T-shirts, Re/Done denim cutoffs, K. Jacques sandals, and Dôen dresses that I throw in my Shinola Lois tote [pictured here]. I’ve worked with Shinola for five years. The Lois was inspired by and named after my nana; it’s the perfect transitional bag for that city-country duality I have living in New York, just like my nana did in D.C. Come the weekend, she’d throw everything into her tote—she always carried a bottle of vodka—and head to our family farm.

8:00 p.m. We all convene in the kitchen to cook more fish, with lots of vegetables, for dinner. We like to eat locally sourced, in-season produce not because it’s trendy; we were just raised that way. My nana had a massive garden, and I think I got her green thumb. She’d give me these great tips like, “Set some beer out in the garden,” when I had slugs.The evening is about talking and playing charades. We always laugh; everyone has their own skill set. We even do the Hokey Pokey sometimes.

9:30 p.m. I love, love, love a bath. I have these stinky but super-hydrating seaweed bath balls. I dump some in the water and zone out.

10:00 p.m. I read in bed for half an hour, then it’s lights out.


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