The Planet Earth Celebration (aka Earth Day) in downtown Raleigh is a very cool festival “showcasing all the ways to love the Earth – from repurposed art and music to expert advice on sustainable living.” It is also a great time to stock up on discount Burt’s Bees products, score a free bag of compost and make decisions that ultimately take you out of the path of the storm.

We’ve been to the festival, music, make-shift parade before and it is always a good time. This year after we’d had our fill of “corporate-hippie-save-the-planet-do-gooding” we decided to skip Cuegrass (it did look like rain) and go grab some lunch and a beer. First thought was Backyard Bistro just outside of downtown where they have good food, beer and are not usually crowded. In transit on Wade Avenue we saw signs for the sidewalk sale at the Go Pack Store in Ridgewood Shopping Center. This triggered us to remember NCSU’s spring football game and made Backyard Bistro seem a little less inviting (being across from Carter-Finley meant either fighting a crowd inside or outside of the restaurant). The quick decision was made to turn down Ridge Road and go to La Racherita at Crabtree Valley Mall. One thing lead to another and when the worst of the storm hit we were shopping.

Yes – this means I bought more bricks. It also means on Foursquare day I took back over mayor-ship of the Lego Store. No – I will not admit to having fun at the mall with Cara and Courtney. That being said they did go to the Lego Store with me and fed me Starbucks and maybe in a group think way kept us out of the line of the storm. No – I didn’t complain at the time about going into the Limited and am very glad I “took one for the team.” Had we left earlier we might have been driving down South Saunders when the storm hit. The pictures after the jump are of Earth Day and a few shots from the ride home which was a little scary until I talked to Champ (neighbor across the street) and learned that despite what we were seeing on the road and hearing on the radio the home front was in good shape.

So what is the moral of this long story? Had we learned anything at Earth Day (Planet Earth Celebration) we likely wouldn’t have gone into the mall for fear of destroying the planet with our coffee cups, shopping bags and non-biodegradable Lego bricks. We would have left the mall earlier and might have found ourselves in harms way. Did consumerism save our lives? We may never know.