So, I went to Europe. It was my first time flying alone, and after I went through security and left my family behind I felt very independent and a little nervous. I quickly got way more nervous when my backpack didn't come out of the security scanner and the lady watching the scans called someone else over. I waited while they talked, wondering what in the world could be in my backpack that could cause a problem. I'd packed everything I needed for 10 days in Europe in there--clothes, a few small guidebooks, shampoo and toothpaste in 3-ounce containers sealed in a plastic bag. There was nothing wrong with any of that, was there?
They let my backpack out, and a man felt around inside. "Do you have maple syrup in here?" he asked, and I suddenly remembered that Nora's mom had sent a quart of maple syrup with me as a gift for the friend of Nora's we would be staying with in Prague. None of us, not Nora's mom, not my mom, not me, had realized that I wouldn't be able to bring that in a carry-on. I wondered if they would confiscate it, leaving Nora's friend gift-less, but the man just told me, "Next time, put that in your checked luggage" and let me take my backpack back.
Very relieved that I wasn't unwittingly carrying explosives or illegal drugs, I headed to my gate, where I found that my flight had been delayed. Even after everyone boarded, it still didn't take off for a while; I actually fell asleep while waiting. So began my trip to Europe.