So there was nothing for it but to try to get the screen off so I could climb in. I balanced atop the air-conditioning unit, positioned conveniently beneath the window, and used a barbecue grill scraper to pry the spring-loaded screen off; it only took 10 minutes to get it off - the spring was that snug. Holding our breaths, we tried raising the sash. Tricky to do since it is specifically designed to NOT be opened from the outside.
Cheered on by Arnie and using superpowers fueled by desperation, I managed to open the window and wiggle through the window from a precarious position on a step ladder. Entry was made more difficult because I really wanted to avoid landing on top of my camera gear and computer, which were on the floor directly under the window. Supporting my upper body on the bed to the left of the window, I somehow managed to get one short leg inside and stretch it over to the bed, then drag the rest of me through the window. Arnie documented the break-in with his cell phone camera.
|Caught in the act.|
After the detour to retrieve the key, we began again. Here is a view of our destination.
|The original section of Grove Park Inn with colorful autumn landscaping.|
|A new wing can be seen to the right.|
|Impressive aspect of the west-facing terrace.|
|Mule team pulling felled timber from the mountainside forest.|
|"Car-train" used to transport locally quarried rocks to the building site.|
|Another view of the car-train.|
From Wikipedia "Four-hundred men worked 10-hour shifts six days a week. With only the use of mules, wagons and ropes, granite boulders, some weighing as much as 10,000 pounds, were hauled from Sunset Mountain to build the hotel."
I took just few photos inside the Inn.
|One of the 2 matching massive fireplaces in the Great Hall lobby. This one is fitted with gas now, but the other one remains wood-burning.|
|Many of the original furnishings remain in use.|
|A display of furnishings used by F. Scott Fitzgerald during his long stay.|
|View from the Sunset Terrace. The Inn's Spa is housed in the glassed-in atrium.|
|A bit of Asheville's skyline can be seen at the left half of the photo.|
|Part of the golf course. Obama played here and his golf clubs are on display in the Inn.|
|A closer look at the Asheville skyline.|
|I think Arnie's house is located halfway up the small mountain just above the large church at the middle of right side of the photo.|
|A drink with a view.|
It was a lovely day, all the better for having the house key in my pocket.