Hi and welcome to my little silk strand of the Web!  My name is Leslie Carbone, and I’m glad you’re here, so we can explore the good life together.

I started my first blog in September 2005.  I was bored silly at an office job in Washington, D.C., and needed a creative outlet.  I drafted my posts during my lunch break and typed them in when I got home to my apartment in Virginia.  Wow, blogging has changed since then!  And so have I.  But first things first.

I was born in Salem, Massachusetts.  I loved it so much that my doctor nicknamed me Little Miss Salem.  I’ve lived across the country; now I have a condo in Alexandria, Virginia, but Salem will always be my home town.  I love its sense of history and spirit of the ocean.  I’ve always loved the water; I grew up swimming and sailing, and they’re still two of my favorite activities.

I wore a back brace to correct spinal curvature.  Then my family moved, and I changed schools in the middle of my first year of high school.  I used these twin traumas to get Dr. Little-Miss-Salem to excuse me from gym class.  I gained weight.  I’ve been passionate about fitness ever since.

I took the most unglamorous gap year ever after high school and worked at an insurance company in Boston.  I climbed the stairs in the morning to my department on the 21st floor and rode my bike before dinner when I came home at night.

Then I went off to college in Washington, D.C.  I got up early before classes to swim in the university pool.  My degree is in political science, which I rounded out with equally practical courses like horseback riding and COBOL.

Years later, I went back to Massachusetts to care for my disabled and dying parents, and then clear our family home of all our memories.  I fought back the depression by taking an intensive photography class at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

I’m quirky.  I can’t stand peanut butter, grape juice, or anything slivery—mushrooms, sliced almonds, shredded coconut.  I’m sensitive to everything; I’ve gotten vertigo from a rock concert and contact dermatitis from a pen.  I can’t sing a note on key.  I can recite chunks of Miracle, Braveheart, and Ocean’s 11 from memory.

I’m a walking contradiction.  I love luxury, but hate to over-spend, so I’m always looking for good deals.  I love food, but hate to gain weight, so I keep low-carb when I can and indulge when I can get away with it.

I have two favorite places:  home and away.  In other words, I’m a travelling homebody.   I love to explore art museums and gardens and wineries, catch a concert or a ballgame, relax on a boat or at a spa, feel snug and safe in a fine hotel, and sit on a barstool or a waterfront porch and sample new dishes and cuisines.  And then I love to come home.  I love to cook and bake and to entertain.  That’s what you’ll find here—fun places to visit, new recipes to try, tips to live the lifestyle you want.

If all these experiences have taught me anything, it’s that living well is an art and needs an artist’s dedication.  I’m sure you’ve faced many of life’s curveballs too.  There are so many things that want to intrude on our fun–from simply paying the bills to dealing with other people’s reasonable and unreasonable demands on our time and energies.

The Sancerres at Sunset lifestyle is about making life fabulous alongside its challenges.  You’ve done what you have to do.  And then you sit and savor the glorious sunset over a well-paired plate of cheese and bottle of wine.  Enjoy!

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