We had a little hitch in our giddy up on arrival in Rome. That morning in Tortoreto, some construction work at the hotel we were staying in meant the power was turned off. That meant no internet, so I couldn't update my email and make sure I had all the arrangements finalized for the apartment we had booked in Rome. I remembered from the owner's email that she said she would most likely leave the keys at a Chinese Restaurant downstairs.
When we got to the Testaccio apartment there was no Chinese restaurant anywhere in sight. After asking several people and being pointed to a place about eight blocks away I finally found a Chinese restaurant that was closed. By now, I'm about a half-hour into the search, and I don't have the phone number of the owner who had said she was going to a play or exhibition of some sort until 7pm.
I managed to find a laundromat that also offered internet access so I got into my email and saw that the apartment owner had said the keys would be left at the Chinese store by the apartment. I walked back to the apartment, finding Annie and the kids waiting somewhat patiently, although we were all a bit annoyed by the delay in our plans to eat pizza at Remo's after a wait of more than a year and a half. Sure enough, a couple of doors down there was a store with a Chinese couple as proprietors.
Neither one spoke any English, or at least didn't want to speak any to me. They did apparently speak some Italian and a customer helped interpret my predicament. Turns out the woman did have the apartment keys but refused to give them to me! She finally got the apartment owner on the phone but wouldn't let me talk to her. I called her on my phone and was informed that her cleaning lady was in the apartment waiting for us. Why the cleaning lady didn't occasionally look out the window and notice a family with suitcases and backpacks standing on the sidewalk will remain one of life's great mysteries.
We were relieved and happy to at last get into the apartment, get settled in and head over to Remo's. Walking back into a place that we had talked about for going back to for so long. The dining room is almost like a living organism, always moving and shifting as the servers work their way among the patrons who sit elbow to elbow at adjacent tables.
The food did not disappoint us, and after more than a year and a half of waiting, it was great to taste the pizza that we spent so much time talking about back home in Ohio.