I’ve had my Touareg for almost exactly a year now, and for the most part I am in deep, hot, inappropriate automotive love with it. It handles like a dream, has tons of storage, and has some BEEF behind the accelerator (I like to drive it kind of macho-style when I’m by myself: motor growling, music blaring, my eyes narrowed in badass concentration . . . until that deflating moment when I take a tight turn and my groceries fall over in the back with a depressingly suburban-sounding thunk, and I’m like, oh yeah, I’ve got on MOM JEANS).

The only bummer is that the car’s had an extensive, creative variety of electrical problems, all of which have thankfully been covered by the warranty but still, in twelve months I’ve taken this rig into the dealership more than I ever did with my Corolla in the ten years I owned it. Apparently the Touareg is powered by a number of tiny robots, all of which are prone to failing, or thinking they are failing and thus triggering an internal alarm on my dash. I had a TYRE FAULT a while back, where my car worriedly informed me that I should CHECK TYRE PRESSURE and finally shouted that I had a FLAT TYRE! FLAT TYRE! (I was driving on the freeway at the time and about had a damn heart attack, luckily there wasn’t actually anything wrong with the tire tyre itself). There was a wonky headlight connection, something with the brakes, and now my car is intermittently telling me I have an AIRBAG FAULT, meaning there’s something problematic with the passenger seat sensor that comes and goes. When the car decides that yup, something’s definitely wrong with that there sensor, it sounds a brief alarm before flashing the FAULT message on the dash, which causes Riley to chirp, “Beeeep! Be quiet, car!”.

It’s kind of like driving KITT, except if KITT were maybe suffering from Alzheimer’s, or Tourette’s, or something.

Electronic hijinks aside, I do love that car. It is by far the nicest vehicle I’ve ever owned, and I feel guilty that I’m not better about shoveling out the kid-related detritus on a more frequent basis. I mean, a family of sparrows could probably live for months on the leftover cracker crumbs strewn next to Riley’s carseat. And just think, soon enough there will be TWO carseats back there, one with a halo of toys and crumbs, one with a radial spray of milk-barf.

Two carseats. Two. Oh my god I just totally freaked myself out. Hoo, boy.

In other driving-related news, we are motoring to Bend tomorrow to meet up with JB’s family for Thanksgiving. We’re going to stay in the same spot we did last time, and hopefully the neutral location will alleviate any holiday-host-related-pressure so we can all just chill out and eat massive amounts of stuffing and gaze at the mountains. JB’s parents are in charge of the tricky meal items like the turkey and gravy, while I got the relatively no-brainer cranberries and potatoes. It should be fairly low key but nice, I hope.

If you’re doing the Thanksgiving thing this week, what are your holiday plans? Where are you going to be, who are you going to be with, what are you going to eat?

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Sara
14 years ago

I love the cranberry sauce recipes in my Everyday Food magazines. They are easy to make and look fancy (let me know if you want the info — I have a couple with ginger which are great).

We are having a huge dinner at our house, but I am trying to keep it simple. I’ll make some scratch items, but my parents will bring store pies and boxed stuffing. The years I’ve tried to the do sides and the baking, I’ve almost lost it.

This is the first time we’ve had a house large enough, and since this year we’ve lost some family members — it’s going to be an emotional gathering. When I feel the tears well up, I’ll just have more pie…

Have a good trip — Central Oregon is one of my favorite parts of our state.

Pete
Pete
14 years ago

Staying home with the family and building an Office/Network lab in my garage.

Eric's Mommy
14 years ago

I too have had electrical demons in my car, it’s an Audi, must be a German thing.

This Thanksgiving we are going to Chuck’s parent’s house as usual. I am going to spend my morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade because I am cheesy like that.

Have a safe trip and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Andrea
14 years ago

Heading all the way over to lovely Bothell (“For a day or a lifetime” their quaint city slogan) to spend the day with the in-laws and a bunch of misfits. It is usually a really low key affair with tons of food and a bit of football thrown into the mix. Much different than the more formal holidays I grew up with, which is why I think I really enjoy it.

Happy Turkey Day to all!

Kiwi
14 years ago

I’m going to my folks’ house, about 2 hours on NYC subways and trains up NY state with my boyfriend, who my mother still refers to as “your little friend.”

Despite the fact that we’ve been together over 3 years. And despite the fact that we’ve lived together for the past year and change. She also said she would get him drunk.

I’m going to make the pumpkin chocolate cheesecake too.

Denise
Denise
14 years ago

I sort of get two holidays – I’m going to my sister’s tomorrow to see everyone there, then I’m going to my boyfriend’s parents’ on Thursday for the real holiday deal. It should be all kinds of fun. :)

Abby
14 years ago

My daughter and new son-in-law are hosting. All I have to bring is mashed potatoes and extra chairs. All they have to do is finish tiling the floor. HA!

Jen O.
14 years ago

Way up here in Canada we had our Thanksgiving in October. But if I could do it again (which I totally would), I would be eating my mom’s chunky stuffing (I especially love the crispy outside bits), loaded with turkey gravy, gravy sandwiches (take a dinner roll, poke your finger through long-ways almost to the bottom, fill with gravy, enjoy – we’re very, very classy up here) and finish it off with a big slice of pumpkin pie slathered with whipped cream. Mmmmm… We do the same meal for Christmas, so I’m excited already, can you tell?

Cari
Cari
14 years ago

I am going to my mother-in-law’s. There will be ten of us there: Her, her brother, his two sons, my brother-in-law, my sister, her boyfriend, my husband, me, and my MIL’s pain-in-the-ass cousin. Oh, and my 9-month-old, but she doesn’t eat much.
We are eating turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn casserole, butternut squash, green bean casserole, salad, and pies – pumpkin, chocolate, little key lime tarts, and your apple crumble. I’m hungry already.
The pain-in-the-ass cousin has already informed us that her “arthritis” is bad and she won’t be able to help out. She will stand around and wait for the appetizers to be put out and then will tell us all about her aches and pains. Is it really Thanksgiving without one of “those” family members?

Banana
14 years ago

I’m eating the world’s best Thanksgiving Dinner at my mom’s house. Yum.
I’m in charge of bringing the boring vegetable.

JennB
14 years ago

Going to Maine to eat prodigious amounts of turkey and sweet potatoes (my brother-in-law and I are in charge of cooking)…. trying to keep my kid and her germs away from my other sister-in-law’s week-old baby… should be good times.

Happy thanksgiving!

And, I just had the power steering pump go on my Van. Eek. Thank god it’s fixed, there’s no way in hell we could get the three of us and 2 dogs and all of our crap to Maine in my husband’s Outback. That’s a compact car now.

Jennifer
Jennifer
14 years ago

Maybe VW should call it the “Touaret.” My 1999 Passat also has issues (electric windows randomly choose whether to get stuck in either the open/closed position) but otherwise I love my VW – the steering/turning in particular.

We’ll be heading to my stepsister’s in Edmonds for the traditional spread with lots of extended family in attendance. She apparently just bought a Wii so after dinner we’ll all be gathering in the gameroom to figure out how to play with it.

Have a great trip and happy T-Day to you and all your commenters!

Marolyn
Marolyn
14 years ago

My husband, son and I are going to join my sister, her husband and their daughter in our state’s capitol and have Thanksgiving at a swanky hotel. I always thought that spending Thanksgiving at a hotel buffet was so sad and lonely sounding and that I would never want to do that as long as I had two hands with which to cook and a table to sit around and argue with my sisters. Well… plans change and I am REALLY looking forward to dressing up (new dress) and going out on Thursday! Only thing is.. I’m still cooking a turkey this weekend because there won’t be any leftovers!
Have a wonderful holiday!

Sadie
Sadie
14 years ago

sorry about your VW – I once had a GTI that I fell out of love with, and fast, due to its increasingly dangerous electronic quirks. The last straw was when it just TURNED OFF while I was driving 70 on the highway – engine dead, no more power steering or power brakes. I had to coast into the breakdown lane and start breathing again, and then the car just started right back up like I had imagined it. HATE!

Thanksgiving: I am hosting for 6 – immediate family and SOs. I love to cook so I am making everything except the sweet potatoes and the rolls (had to leave SOMETHING for my mom to do). Herb-brined turkey, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans with roasted shallots & fennel, the aformentioned sweet taters, and broccoli casserole.
OH! and cranberry-apple chutney, which is fan-fucking-tastic and easy and makes the house smell great, you should make it! It’s fancier than canned jellied shit but not strange enough that traditionalists will balk. Skip the mustard seeds, you won’t miss ’em. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/231003

Leslie
Leslie
14 years ago

Shrimp and grits with the folks. They’ve both been ill so we decided to skip any meal that took more than one pot or pan and save the “with all the fixings” meal for Christmas when both my sister and I will be home.

My sister and me?

Mia
Mia
14 years ago

Staying home and having just the four of us for dinner this year. Keeping it simple with turkey, sausage mushroom stuffing, mashed potatoes, broccoli tossed with parmesan and pureed butternut squash. My family won’t touch traditional fruit or pumpkin pies so dessert will be choc mousse pie and ice cream.

Amy M.
Amy M.
14 years ago

I’m going down to Chicago to stuff my fave with family friends. I’m making a pumpkin pie & a banana creme pie. Speaking of which, I’d better throw the pumpkin in the oven after work! Happy Thanksgiving all!

Trina
Trina
14 years ago

Hope you have a nice relaxing Thanksgiving.

We have Thanksgiving with my family this year. Which is usually a formal affair. There is always football on and the Macy’s parade but other than that you have to wear your Sundays best and sit at the table and use the proper silverware. But, this year I think it might be different. My grandmother is dying (stage 4 cancer) and this will be her last Thanksgiving with the family (if she makes it to Thursday) and I have a feeling we won’t be so formal and if she passes before Thursday, I can only imgaine the mood will be pretty somber.

BethanyWD
14 years ago

I’ll be cooking up a Thanksgiving dinner for my family tomorrow – we’re doing it the day before due to travel plans. We’re actually getting a heritage turkey delivered via UPS today!

Melinda
Melinda
14 years ago

There will be 19 at my house for dinner. 8 of them are staying over at least one night. At one point, in a moment of despair last weekend, I asked my husband “where are we going to PUT all these people?” He said “We’ll stack ’em like cord wood in the guestroom”. The visual image of all my in-laws stacked like cord wood is still making me chuckle. I love that he cracks me up when I stressing out. Have a safe drive, Sundry!

wilddreemer
14 years ago

even though i had a baby 5 days ago we are doing thanksgiving at my house. i will be making

Roasted garlic mashies (with actual roasted garlic)
a rosemary herb perfect turkey
home made cranberry sauce with apple and orange essance
spicy italian sausage stuffing
vegetarian stuffing
REAL sweet potatoes (not out of a can)
french bread
corn
rosemary bread with balsamic dipping sauce
spinich dip
weenie wraps (cuz we be rednecks)

warcrygirl
14 years ago

I’m hosting my best friend’s 19 year old son, fresh out of basic training. He’s 3,000 miles away from home and won’t get to go home until Christmas. I’m just happy that I’ll have someone in my house who WANTS to eat what I cook and has a substantial appetite. I mean, nothing ruins Thanksgiving like a PB&J and chicken nuggets.

Laurel
14 years ago

I’m off to my parents’ in Florida. They’re hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner that includes grandmothers and aunts from both sides of the family. It’ll definitely be interesting!
I have no cooking responsibilities this year – at least battling the airports the day before Thanksgiving has some perks.

telegirl
telegirl
14 years ago

We are cramming 11 adults, two children, our baby, and four large dogs in our small family cabin east of Bend. We’ll do the traditional holiday fare with tons of desserts and there will be lots of walks, reading, relaxing, motorcycle riding, playing, etc. I’m making a chocolate cake because pumpkin pie and pecan pie do absolutely nothing for me. I’ll also help out with the dinner but my b-i-l does a kick-ass job of making the turkey on the BBQ and my Mom makes the best stuffing in the world so if that’s all that was made, I’d be happy. Have fun with your family in Bend, it would be fun to meet you some day when you’re down here and don’t have to meet up with a gazillion relatives. Does that sound stalker-ish? It wasn’t meant to be. :o)

Ali
Ali
14 years ago

Driving 6 hours to Columbus, GA with my two parents in the car. Did I mention they’re divorced? And that my mother cannot stand my father’s driving? And that THEY’RE DIVORCED??
Hell, thy name is Thanksgiving. Bring on the airplane mini-bottles…

Jess
14 years ago

I had a VW New Beetle for 6 years, and it was the exact same thing–everything about it was perfect, except the electrical stuff, where the wiring was always going all kaflooey and messing everything up. My car guy said VWs are known for that.

Josie
14 years ago

I’m going from Seattle to Chicago to be with my husband’s Serbian relatives. They are a very boisterous bunch and are quite refreshing compared to my two sides of the family (teetotaling swedes and proper new englanders). His uncle is a Serbian orthodox priests, and we usually have some Serbian seminarians singing opera for us while we eat off of serving platters. His aunt decided a few years back that the trips you needed to take with a regular dinner plate were too much, and now we eat off of plates larger than my lap. Its a great time.

Operation Pink Herring
14 years ago

I’ve never owned anything but a VW (I’m on my third, a 98 Jetta), so I’m well versed in the electronic gremlins. But the airbag thing, that must be new, because I recently started getting an intermittant red flashing AIRBAG ALERT while driving on the highway. It can’t make up its mind: airbag is broken, oh nevermind it’s OK, NOPE DEFINITELY BROKEN, just kidding abort emergency eject procedures. It really started to freak me out because I was afraid that the airbag was going to go off while I was driving, and THAT would suck — but my mechanic (aka, my father) said not to worry — it’s all a hoax to try to get you to go to the dealer. Besides, he removed that damn airbag two years ago when he had to take the steering column apart to fix the starter switch.

Ah, VWs.

Unrelated, I saw this shirt on threadless and I thought you would want to know of its existence: http://www.threadless.com/product/632/In_Case_Of_Zombies

Jen
Jen
14 years ago

I also have a Touareg and the fooking robots drive me crazy also! I love Love LOVE my car but everytime I turn it on it bitches me out for like 30 seconds! First it’s telling me I need to refuel (thanks to hubby leaving it EMPTY for me… AGAIN.), then it’s telling me I need to check my breakpads, then there’s the TYRE PRESSURE (I took it to Les Schwab (sp?)and they fixed the TYRE alarm thingy right away for free (it had something to do with it not detecting my tires after they were rotated or something- eh.)… But yeah. I feel ya.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Erica
14 years ago

Assuming my younger daughter and I get over this DEATH COLD, we’ll be getting together with my dad’s huge family as usual this year (He’s the youngest of six, 5 of whom have grown children with kids of their own now). I love making my homemade cranberry sauce, but I was assigned green beans this year, which I HATE. Oh well, they are easy so other people have to deal with the turkey and stuffing and potatoes and such.

Christina
14 years ago

That electrical stuff would freak me out… I also like to drive like a bad ass when I am alone with the music up, the window rolled down and than it dawns on me that I have those shade things hanging in my back windows and you can SEE the car seat… Oh well, it makes me feel “young” as in pre kids again!

We are doing nothing besides eating like beached whales. We plan to stay at our house, make a big feast for ten even though only three 1/2 of us will be eating (okay and the dogs will probably get some food as well so that sort of makes five 1/2…) We plan to try to get some nice photos at this nifty Christmas themed place downtown for our Christmas cards and finally the ever popular decorating the house for Christmas! Holiday tradition to decorate over turkey day! I love it. It is also the start of Egg Nog season which just makes me all jittery thinking about that luscious nog :)

Have fun and happy Turkey Day!

Jennifer
14 years ago

I am in Houston celebrating the holiday with my parents. My dad is likely going to do or say something that will cause me to want to scream until I am hoarse with rage (he’s really not THAT bad) but despite this there are two things that will save my sanity. They are: copious amounts of champagne and the fact that I have escaped having to spend yet another holiday at Walrus’ mother’s house. Ahhh, bliss.

It will be just my parents, myself and the family dog and we will be dining on the following:

– turkey, obvs
– cranberry chutney
– crescent rolls
– praline sweet potato casserole
– french green beans with slivered almonds
and finally…
ASPIC. For the uninitiated, aspic is basically VEGETABLE. JELLO. BLARGH.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

superblondgirl
14 years ago

Hoo boy, two car seats does sound slightly… overwhelming. Though the car itself sounds overwhelming, too. If my car did that, I think I’d take a bat to it all Office Space-style, because I hate beeping.
Thanksgiving plans right now are weirdly loose – I am not sure if we’re going to my mom’s or my MIL’s, but one way or another there will be turkey and pie and stuffing and all that stuff. And hopefully it will end in naps.

Elizabeth
14 years ago

We’re headed to Portland to stay with friends. I’m making my stepfathers famous sausage chestnut apricot stuffing and I’ve hyped it up so much to everyone now I’m afraid it’s going to be awful. But I’m also making the ambrosia “salad” and that’s a guaranteed winner, no matter what. Oh, and then to balance out all that, roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta and garlic. Everyone hates those but me, but it’s just not Thanksgiving without some vegetable no one likes.

vedjen
14 years ago

Heading over to the Tri-Cities for a Turkey Day hosted by my sister where all I’ve got to bring is a box of Ritz Crackers. Whoop! That morning we are running a whopping 1-miler in a Turkey Trot, which sounds absolutely horrible and cold right now, but afterwards I’m sure it will ease the guilt of eating all the pie(s) I want.

Happy Thanksgiving.

veralynn
14 years ago

Flying from Philly to Asheville, NC, to meet my boyfriend’s family for the first time. As the only near-veggie person there, I will be eating whatever non-meat-based items are on the menu. I know they’re doing a ham, but apparently they don’t have standard must-have foods like my family typically does.

el-e-e
14 years ago

Going to the in-laws’ in Savannah, GA, and don’t have a neutralizing mountain view… we’re staying right there IN the hosts’ house. GAH. I’m worn out already.

At least I can count on there being mashed potatoes, AND that I won’t be required to cook anything. That helps a bit. :)

S
S
14 years ago

We’re headed to St. Louis. I don’t know what’s on the menu, all I know is we’re bringing the wine.

H
H
14 years ago

We had a car (not a VW) that did the electronic-warning-for-no-reason thing all the time too. We dumped it as soon as the warranty ran out because by then, it was pretty well known to be a bad model. Interstate driving with CHECK ENGINE beeping scared the crap out of me.

The family is getting together without me because I have a virus that would be very bad for my tiny new nephew. I’ll stay home with the pets – me and the animals and probably a pizza or something, and a good book.

GoingLoopy
14 years ago

Visiting my dad, who lives in Mt. Vernon (the Mt. Vernon North of Seattle, not the George Washington one). Between him, my crazy stepmother, her mom, the dogs, and a lack of my very own computer (my laptop is a pile of steaming fail which weighs approximately three metric tons and I am therefore not hauling it through the many airports I must traverse in order to get from Oklahoma to Seattle)…I’m gonna go nuts. Which will happen first, my complete mental breakdown or my flight home?

I think we’re having turkey, and probably some of the weird food that my stepmother’s family considers traditional. (Seriously – I had to have many lessons about how mashed potatoes are an essential component of holiday meals.)

Enough parentheses. Enjoy your holiday – safe travels.

Tara
Tara
14 years ago

Oh, Linda. . . from what I hear, electrical problems come standard on Jettas, so maybe it’s a VW thing.

I’m staying home for the holidays and hosting a small crew (hubby, son & mother-in-law). The show-offy stuff: I’m making apple cider-brined turkey with herb gravy, sweet potato souffle, garlic-rosemary rolls, and cranberry-apple-walnut relish. The not-so-showoffy stuff: Pepperidge Farms is supplying the stuffing with very little help from me, I’m steaming some broccoli because my toddler son will eat it (can’t say the same for the more traditional green beans), and I’m planning to serve pumpkin ice cream with ginger snaps and whipped cream for dessert. Mmmm. . . I can’t wait!

Have a great T-day!

amelia
14 years ago

inlaws.
they have this tradition where they sing this puritan thanksgiving hymn while standing around in a circle in the living room. It is only borderline endearing b/c my husband loves it so much. I thought they were kidding the first time I witnessed the madness.

Claire
14 years ago

We are taking our first longer-than-10 minutes- car ride with the baby. He’ll be exactly 12 weeks tomorrow and we’re headed four hours way to stay with my parents. My grandparents will also be there and get to meet their great grandson for the first time!

dorrie
dorrie
14 years ago

TWO CAR SEATS OMG

Ha ha, I totally remember that. Don’t worry, soon R will be getting himself in and out of the car…

Lola
Lola
14 years ago

I’m having a Thanksgiving breakfast at my house with my friends and then, we are going SHOPPING! Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (oh, and I suppose there will be the turkey thing in the afternoon….then, SHOPPING!!!!!)

Chloe
14 years ago

I’m going to my boyfriend’s grandparents house (though I guess they are “step” grandparents, but he’s been raised with them as if they were) at 2 pm. It tends to be very smoky, so hopefully we won’t be staying more than an hour or two. Then at 5:30- 6 pm we are supposed to go to my aunt’s house, and do it all again with my family. He will probably eat a full meal at both… I doubt I’ll eat very much at either. Oh well!
He also has an uncle (his family is divided into his mother’s side and his step-father’s side, so he normally has two events for every holiday) who I think is doing Thanksgiving too, but I am led to believe we don’t have to go to that one also. It’s always so stressful having two groups to visit on holidays! Aren’t we just supposed to eat a ton and then veg out?
I don’t think I need to make anything… if I’m supposed to, no one’s told me yet!
I’m sure we’ll eat all the standard fare at both. I’m looking forward to lots of pie!

Barb
Barb
14 years ago

We go to my husband’s sister’s house and its nuts. The meal is never on time, it comes in stages, too many kids and various weirdos that I do not know. But hey! All I have to bring is 7-layer salad and hubby is making sausage dressing that only he and one nephew will eat. Luckily they are in the same town, so it’s eat, be sociable for a bit, then get the hell out of there! (After waiting for 12 other people to move their cars, that is.)

She Likes Purple
14 years ago

My dream car is a Touareg. I currenly drive a Saturn. Dreams falling a bit short there.

My husband had surgery this past week and we can’t travel. So we’re having it just the two of us at our house. And I’m on Weight Watchers so I’m making WW-friendly dishes. Now that I just made you GLAD YOU AREN’T ME, let me say I am excited about not fighting holiday traffic and actually relaxing over the holiday weekend.

ShannonJ
ShannonJ
14 years ago

Hosting my parents and several of my in-laws. Luckily they are bringing most of the food! I am in charge of turkey, a vegetable dish, and managing the chaos. Wish me luck. Have a wonderful trip and holiday!