September 25 – 2011 The Midnight Hour

Our extended visa was good until midnight September 25, and we were told to be at the Vladistovok airport by 11 pm. at the latest so that we could get through Passport control with no issues.
We spent the day touring Vladistovok – big city totally under construction from the highways to the city streets. Lots of fisherman and a ton of fish and seafood along the shoreline.
Decided to play it safe and went back to airport at 8 pm. Had left our bags at a storage facility in the airport and when we arrived to pick them up, the attendant fed us caviar and some questionable drink…
By 11 pm. the departure lounge was jammed with passengers. Nothing had opened up and we were first in line at the door. At 11:45 it opened and we ran to the first agent – she was a little stunned and took her time to get our boarding passes done. Next was Passport Control and we had only minutes left before midnight. We were wrecks!!! I went through first and the BIG Russian took her time looking at my passport, while Jess and Corinne waited nervously. Finally at 11:57 pm. we were all through the Passport Control and on our way to Beijing.
And just to top things off, when we landed in Beijing 3 hours later, the girls went through Passport Control and when I did, the official stopped me to say that my Chinese Visa had expired!!!! I told them I was flying out later that day and so they called the airline to confirm this and stamped my passport for an extra day. A few good lessons to be learned on Visas.