If you have followed my writing, you know that I was freaking out about getting our travel visas before our trip. It was close, but we got them. Now let me tell you about some friends who are also in Russia.
They had their passports and visas (the visa is simply a sticker that gets pasted inside a passport) a couple weeks before they left, but somehow, the passports (and thus the visas) got left in some clothes that got donated to the Goodwill two days before their trip. They went to the Goodwill warehouse where they searched a mountain of identical black trash bags, but couldn’t find the bag they donated. On to Plan B. The day before their trip (they were going to Italy for 3 weeks before Russia) they went to the Twin Cities where they got emergency passports in the same day. The next day, they flew to Italy, and once there, Fed-Exed the passports and copies of necessary paperwork back to the US to reapply for visas. They were in a foreign country without passports for two weeks! But, they got the visas in time to fly to Russia, and all was well with the world.