Spent the better part of tonight wading through the labyrinth of online info regarding the entry visa to China. Apparently, there's an exit one too, but I'm still working on that. Good thing I left crumbs to find my way out (not good for the laptop).
Conclusion: I must present myself to the Chinese Consulate which has jurisdiction over my state of residence -- that would be San Francisco. Not Seattle, no, not that lucky this time. Or, even Los Angeles, where my parents live. Nope, San Francisco, Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra.
Although I could use a visa service, the money kind of comes out even if I take into account frequent flyer miles and other deals I could leverage.
Visas must be obtained no more than 90 days from departure, so.... sometime in late July... anyone want to go to San Francisco?