United States
Cook County

Here you’ll find travel reports about Cook County. Discover travel destinations in the United States of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

259 travelers at this place:

  • Day187

    Chicago

    April 23 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    Mit dem Zug von dem frühlingshaft blühenden Washinton nach dem noch kahlen Chicago d.h. fahrplanmässig knapp 17 Stunden Zugfahrt plus 90 Minuten Verspätung.
    Es ist eine interessante Stadt: Natürlich die Architektur und ausserdem gute Museen. Erstaunlich, wie viele europäische Künstler in den amerikanischen Museen hängen. Auch Hodler und Böcklin haben den Weg nach Chicago gefunden. Ausserdem gibt es 3 Quartiere, in denen man viele Murals findet.
    Meine letzte Station auf der Reise ist New York. Wieder mit dem Zug.
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  • Day157

    Boston & Chicago

    September 10 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    In Boston und Chicago waren wir jeweils zwei Nächte und haben zum Abschluss der USA nochmal zwei schöne Städte gesehen.
    In Boston sind wir dem Freedom Trail gefolgt, einem Spazierweg durch die Stadt, der an allen wichtigen Gebäuden und historischen Ecken entlang führt. Zum Beispiel gibt es hier alte Friedhöfe und Kirchen aus der Gründungszeit und die USS Constitution aus dem Unabhängigkeits Krieg.
    Nach Chicago sind wir dann unsere letzte und längste Zugfahrt (20 Stunden) über nacht gefahren. Am ersten Abend haben wir meinen anderen Austausschüler und seine Freundin getroffen, die in der Nähe von Chicago studieren und es war sehr schön ihn wieder zu sehen. Am nächsten Tag haben wir dann den Millenial Park mit der bekannten Skulptur "the bean", den Navy Pier und die Michigan Avenue erkundet. An unserem letzten Tag, weil unser Flug erst um 7 Uhr abends war, haben wir noch entspannt an einem (künstlichen) Strand am Lake Michigan ein bisschen Zeit totgeschlagen.
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  • Day5

    Exploring Chicago

    May 3 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    New hotel is much smaller than the Sheraton at San Fran but can’t complain. Breakfast included so #winning
    Today we started with a walk to Millenium Park. We stepped outside the hotel and wanted to get back inside asap!! It was sooooo cold. It was sunny, but the wind felt icy! Walked down magnificent mile and took in all the buildings - it’s a beautiful place. Up ahead we saw a Nutella store!!!! Well that called for a hot chocolate which was next level great! Now we were much warmer and really ready to explore. A few sculptures, beautiful greenery and great views of the city as we headed down to Lake Michigan. It’s such a pretty city!
    Next we got on the ‘L’ and headed to Wrigley Field to watch a baseball game! Chicago Cubs vs St Louis Cardinals. Here we were sitting in the shade so froze our butts off. Again there were cup holders which was exciting haha and all those guys walking around selling peanuts, beer, hot dogs - just like in the movies. I don’t know how anyone could hate cricket and like baseball. Didn’t do much for me but it was a good experience.
    Our next stop was Navy Pier and a ride on the Ferris wheels with some more great views.
    Did some souvenirs shopping! We went in a mall, and had to show ID twice and then get a wristband as proof of age. It was ridiculous and pretty hilarious
    Finished off the night at Kingston Mines - a blues bar which was great. Something different and was really fun.
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  • Day6

    Second day in Chicago

    May 4 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    After a late night with one too many drinks, we didn’t really want to get out of bed. Still lacking a decent night sleep, we kinda wanted a rest day. Alas, we had more to see and do!
    Off on the L again, back to Wrigley Field for a stadium tour. Everything and anything is Chicago Cubs themed. From Logos everywhere including cups and napkins, to all the staff wearing Cubs clothing and Hats. Even the toilet symbols - the heads are in the shape of a C!!! Was pretty cool to see the field from different views and hear about the manual scoreboard they still have and the history of the club, field and supporters.
    Next was the Chicago 360. Up 94 floors, an observation deck which views of the city and lake from all directions. Stunning!! We also did the Tilt! You Stand uo against the window and hang on - the window then leans out (tilts) down towards the ground. Watching the people in front, it didn’t look like you tilt that far but you definitely feel like you do. That was pretty cool a I think it might be a bit scary to start but it actually wasn’t.
    Weather was much nicer today!!! Actually warmer and could sit outside for lunch in the sun!!
    Next was Lottie’s Pub which is where they film some scenes from Chicago Fire in the bar they own ‘Mollys’ Food was great - we ate chicken tenders, waffle fries and tater tots! Pretty sure we won’t be needing dinner tonight. We also saw the fire & police stations!!
    Back to the hotel for a bit of a rest and awaiting our transfer to the airport!
    Niagara Falls here we come
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  • Day3

    Day 3 - Alcatraz

    May 1 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    The day didn’t start too well when we got a phone call from the tour guide and there was lots of confusion about pick up. We ended up making our own way over to the pier to catch the ferry over to Alcatraz.
    Such an interesting place!! The audio guide was fantastic!! Just the right amount of information, wasn’t an overload of it, and kept you interested as you walked around the prison! Heard stories from prison guards and inmates about life in Alcatraz & about the attempted escapes as well. Got to go inside the cells and see how small they really are - no wonder people go insane. A great tour. Made our way into the bookshop and there was one of the former inmates there who had written a book about his time in Alcatraz & grabbed a signed copy!
    Headed off to the meeting point for our arvo city tour. We were a bit worried as we were there right on time, no one else in site and no tour bus. The tour bus turned up shortly and we had the bus to ourselves. Some tjings were repetitive for us after already doing the hop on and off bus, but good to see again. Also got to see some things we hadn’t - Twin Peaks, an amazing view of San Francisco.
    After the tour we headed to Pier 45 to check out the Musée Mécanique which had all these old arcade games and puppet show things. All played with quarters.
    Went to this place for dinner that’s famous for its sourdough bread and crab chowder. The bread was nice l, the chowder not so much. Would much rather Lucy’s cheese dip!!!

    Caught the cable cars again and hung out the side. Went to the Top of the Mark at The Incontinental for amazing views and a cocktail. Then finished off the night at Tonga - tiki bar at the Fairmont, didn’t seem fancy enough the be inside, but it was so cute. There was a small Pool in the middle, and a boat which came towards the deck we were standing on whilst the band played. It also rained indoors and there Straw hut things and tiki cocktails
    We weren’t gonna stay out late but things changed haha had a great night
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  • Day8

    Downtown Chicago

    September 19 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Sightseeing and getting data cards for the motorcycle trip which starts tomorrow.
    The city turns out to be a very nice place to visit - we even found a nature reserve and free zoo in the middle of Chicago!

  • Day4

    Thundering Through The Night

    May 25 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    The Lake Shore Limited follows some of the nation’s most beautiful shorelines, combining scenic beauty with interesting history. It traverses the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Erie and the Mohawk River.

    Our train had an extended stop at Albany, the State capital of New York State. Given the limitations of the onboard buffet, I sought refuge in the station cafe. Here in Albany, the Boston and New York sections of The Lake Shore Limited meet. Then on to Syracuse - named after a city on the east coast of Sicily - it reminded me of the Rodgers and Hart’s 1938 musical The Boys from Syracuse. What wonderful songs in that show - Falling In Love With Love, This Can’t Be Love, You Took Advantage of Me, and Sing For Your Supper. Why does no one do these wonderful shows any more? Another musical memory came in the shape of Buffalo on the eastern shore of Lake Erie. Shuffle Off To Buffalo from the musical 42nd Street seemed appropriate somehow.

    Stops at Cleveland (setting for the musical Curtains) and Toledo, Ohio came during the night. Surprisingly I got a reasonable sleep, although I had a Marx Brothers moment trying to master the various levers to adjust my seat into a reclining position.

    I read that the train route between New York City and Chicago was once the apex of luxury travel with glamorous trains such as the famed 20th Century. Passengers boarded after walking on a red carpet and dined on lobster on fine china in the dining car. By contrast, my breakfast consisted of a chewy microwaved bagel which might have been manufactured by Wrigley’s, accompanied by a tube of cream cheese which was impossible to open, until it squirted everywhere - apart from on the bagel! Still the coffee was good as I awoke to the cornfields of Indiana. Attractive clapboard houses lined the track, many proudly displaying the Stars and Stripes.

    The musical references keep coming. Elkhart, a town people say was the inspiration for Broadway’s hit, The Music Man was known as the Brass Musical Instrument Capital, and the first U.S. produced cornet was made here. We whizzed passed Gary, Indiana but I refrained from doing a Winthrop - too early in the morning for that!

    We had to put our watches back by one hour, having moved from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time. Running late by 2 hours, the Lake Shore Limited finally limped into Chicago’s Union Station at 11.45am after a journey of over 20 hours.

    The entry into Chicago was not in the least glamorous - miles of gas and industrial works lined the tracks and the station itself looked dingy. That is until I got into the Great Hall of Chicago Union Station which was magnificent. I felt like Dorothy walking out of a dark nightmare and into a beautiful fantasy world. What a fitting welcome to the Windy City!
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  • Day5

    ...from the Windy City

    May 26 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    On my 2nd day in the Windy City I got up early and fought through several hundred members of the North American Chinese Basketball Association to get breakfast at the hotel. I then went on a 2 hour guided walking tour of Architecture from the Golden Age of Chicago. It was an excellent tour showing how the citywide had literally risen from the ashes after the great fire of 1871 which had destroyed much of Chicago. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable but reminded me of a rather dishevelled Paddington Bear, with his floppy hat and blue coat. By the shape of him he had enjoyed too many marmalade sandwiches. One of my favourite buildings was the Wrigley Building, gleaming white and built for the chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, Jr, which sits at a jaunty angry at the Chicago River. We visited the interior of the fabulous Palmer House Hotel (where Magnolia and Ravenal in Show Boat lived before moving into a cheap rooming house when he lost his money gambling). Another highlight was the Chicago Cultural Centre which houses the world’s largest Tiffany dome - gorgeous. Another Tiffany masterpiece can be viewed on the amazing mosaic ceiling of Macy’s Department Store on State Street (sings ‘that great street’).

    I decided to opt for one of Giordani’s famous deep-filled pizzas for lunch, but the one that arrived would have fed a family of four. It was delicious but although I tried my best I had to get a doggy bag after only 2 (very deep-filled) slices. Next a visit to the wonderful Art Institute of Chicago - a real treasure trove - highlights for me included Seurat’s ‘A Sunday On La Grande Jatte’ (the basis for Sondheim’s ‘Sunday in the Park With George’), and of course ‘American Gothic’ (as reproduced beautifully at Eastwood by Marie-Claire and Kevin in The Music Man).

    Being a train lover, I was keen to take a trip on the Chicago Elevated Railway - known simply as ‘the L’ - which started in 1892. It goes round a city centre loop and then branches off in different colour coded directions. I got off at Belmont station to have a look around, only to find myself in Boys Town - the official gay district - where street crossings are painted rainbow colours and the whole area has a party atmosphere of music, bars and restaurants. Being a very hot day, I was tempted to quench my thirst in a large bar whose windows were open to the street, only to discover that the bartenders were big, burly male go-go dancers clad only in tiny leather thongs who appeared to gratefully accept dollar bill tips in their butt! I decided to opt for McDonald’s instead.

    Finally a trip to Navy Pier, a 3,300 foot long pier on the Chicago shoreline of Lake Michigan. It was a great fun place to visit, with lots of attractions including a carousel and fun fair, as well as countless bars and restaurants. I enjoyed a walk right to the end of the pier with its ballroom and great views over the lake. What a great two days I have had in the Windy City - so much to see and do - and definitely recommended for a visit.
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  • Day2

    Day 2 - Skyscrapers & The Blues

    April 23 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    Woke up at 3.30am - not surprised. By 4.10am still wide awake in America, so decided to start my blog. Slow start it took me close on an hour to complete, when total disaster struck. I hadn’t saved it & somehow managed to hit a wrong button & lost the lot. After a lot of F**ks, I calmed down & started again. Lesson learnt, save it as you go. Have I not heard this before somewhere?

    At a sensible time of morning, I looked out of the window of our 9th floor ‘Executive King Room’ to see that it looked grey & damp outside & the tops of the skyscrapers were in the clouds. I also espies 2 idiots dangling off the side of one skyscraper, presumably cleaning the windows.

    At 8.30am we set out for a day of sightseeing and an early breakfast in a local cafe. We were both in our blue Rab puffa jackets, jeans, walking boots & matching rucksacks. Very Harold & Hilda!

    Chicago is famed for it’s skyscrapers, architecture & sculptures. I had a loose itinerary for us to follow, so that we could see the most iconic buildings & statues. First on my list was the Wrigley Building which right on our doorstep - or so I thought.

    We hunted high & low, but couldn’t find it. Great start! (We later found it next to Trump Towers). Next was the Holy Name Cathedral, which had a stunning interior. Whilst Jackie said a prayer, I snapped off a couple of photos, but felt slightly uneasy about doing so, so I tried to do it discreetly when the staff weren’t looking.

    Next on the itinerary was supposed to be a stroll along the famous Navy Pier. We got to the Lake Michigan shore road, but the Navy Pier in the distance didn’t look too open, so I postponed our visit to it. Instead, we ran the gauntlet of crossing numerous multi-carriageway roads to get to Millennium Park.

    En-route we crossed the Chicago River and saw Trump Towers & the elusive Wrigley Building. We then made our way to Maggie Daley Park, a kids paradise of skating tracks & climbing walls. My idea of hell, so we crossed the impressive BP Bridge into Millennium Park. We passed the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which is a state of the art outdoor concert venue. In the summer they apparently have free concerts & the acoustics are superb.

    Next was Cloud Gate, a public sculpture created by Sir Anish Kapoor. Cloud Gate is better known as ‘The Bean’. It is a polished chrome blob that reflects the Chicago skyline. We attempted to take the obligatory selfie & after numerous attempts we managed to produce one that wasn’t too horrendous. It appears either my arms are too short or my face is too fat or both! We then uploaded it to instagram (thanks Beth) - Get us!

    By now it was 11.00am & we were now starving. We stopped at the first Café we found called Panera Bread. I ordered a breakfast wrap only to be told that breakfast was good over. Working on the theory that American portions are massive, we both ordered just a half a flatbread sandwich & coffee . Unfortunately it was as described - Half a sandwich. I accidentally used the ladies toilets & got caught by a female staff member as I was coming out. I also managed to trip up on a cleaning sign as we were leaving, which made a hell of a racket. We won’t be going back!

    Still hungry, we pressed on southwards down Millennium Park. Next was the Crown Fountain which was blank because we could see it was being cleaned from the inside. The fountain should depict local residents faces. As we made to move on, the fountain burst into life & a girls face appeared without the water, surely only then qualifying it as a fountain.

    Next was the Art Institute of Chicago. Apparently one of America’s premier museums and houses the ‘American Gothic’ painting by Grant Wood. The entrance fee is $25 each so we didn’t bother, instead we made do with taking a photo of the 2 lion sculptures at the front.

    It was then into Grant Park to admire the following statues, ‘Spirit of Music’, ‘General John Logan Memorial’, ‘The Spearman’ & my favourite, the ‘Agora Statues’.

    At the end of the park, we took the train back one stop on The Loop & went in search of the iconic buildings. We stumbled across the Harold Washington Library, the Old Colony Building , the Second Leiter Building & plenty of others too numerous to mention.

    We passed Alexander Calder’s Flamingo statue, then located The Rookery I was particularly keen to see. The Rookery is in the heart of the downtown Financial District & is a looker on the outside, but is stunning on the inside, with its ornate staircase & glass ceiling.

    We stepped outside a different door to be confronted by the architecturally impressive Chicago Board of Trade Building. CBOT is the first of its kind in the world! After admiring several other Banking related buildings, we moved on to see the Picasso Statue, the Chicago Temple & The Alise, considered to be Chicago’s finest boutique hotel.

    Looking out of place amongst the skyscrapers, we came across St. Peter’s Church with a large statue of Jesus on the cross above the door. We went in to discover that a service was taking place. Jackie said a prayer & dabbed her forehead with holy water.

    Lunch consisted of 2 pints of beer each in The Berghoff Restaurant’s bar in the Theatre District.

    After a well earned rest, we walked to the Chicago Cultural Center - for some culture! The building itself was stunning particularly the stained glass domed ceilings including the world’s largest Tiffany Art glass dome (Is there another one?). We didn’t dwell on the content other than to browse a display on Chicago - The Musical.

    Now feeling somewhat rather leg weary, we caught a CTA bus to Navy Pier. It is billed as one of Chicago’ highlights - I beg to differ. It is mainly touristy shops & restaurants & a big wheel. We walked halfway down the Pier until we got bored, then walked back & headed to our hotel.

    En-route we stopped at a Café called Buona for a ‘Chicago Hotdog’ (when in Rome) & coffee.

    We got to our hotel room around 5.00pm, Jackie went sleep, I didn’t. At 8.00pm, we dragged ourselves back out. We took the Red Line CTA Train back to Downtown Chicago & straight to Buddy Guy’s Legends, a famous Chicago music venue actually owned & occasionally frequented by the man himself.

    Tonight’s scheduled show was Jamiah Rogers (His album ‘Blues Superman ‘ is on Spotify) and his band which was due to start at 9.30pm. We paid the $10 entrance fee & got ourselves a nice little table with a good view of the stage. I absolutely loved the ambiance with blues booming out from the speakers. I explored the venue, which had loads of guitars belonging to the greats - Richards, Wood, Clapton, Beck, Sumlin etc etc & other memorabilia. We had waitress service at our table, where we supped beer & wine. I had a pint of Anti-Hero IPA 6.5abv, a pint of Fat Tire 5.2abv & 2 pints of Goose Island Green Line 5.0abv. Jackie had a pint of Blue Moon 5.4abv & 3 Merlots. What really impressed me was the drinks were cheap!!

    At 9.30pm sharp, Jamiah and his band took to the stage and belted out some great tunes, both oldies & his own original numbers. They were fantastic and put on a real show. Jamiah got some incredible sounds from his guitar & worked the pace up down, whilst pulling strange faces. A great showman.

    At 10:30pm, mid song, an old git in an electric blue shirt & trilby hat shuffled on to the stage with microphone in hand. The audience went wild. It was only the man himself who then started singing. I didn’t know the song myself, he could have been just ad-libbing, but by god he was good. He had the audience eating out of his hand, then 10 minutes later he shuffled off.

    It left me wondering whether we were exceptionally lucky to be treated to a rare performance or whether he did this every night. Either way, I felt privileged to have seen him perform.

    Poor old Jamiah, then returned to the front of the stage & tried to re-engage with the audience, which he did, with old classics like ‘All Along The Watchtower’ until 11.00pm.

    During this time I had noticed that Buddy was stood in reception & people were having photos with him, which were closely monitored by his bodyguards. Before Jamiah’s set had finished, I observed Buddy leave the building flanked by his bodyguards. Jackie nearly crashed straight into him as she returned from the loo, but she didn’t even notice. I was by now kicking myself that I hadn’t got a selfie with the main man.

    But luck was on my side, or so I thought, because Buddy returned & sat at the bar. This was to good an opportunity, so I made my way over & asked his bodyguard if I could have a photo. Weirdly he pointed me in the direction of the girl selling the merchandise, who told me I could have a photo but only if I bought a T-shirt or poster first. No chance, not at $25 for the T-shirts. It seemed a real shame that Buddy felt the need to generate extra cash this way.

    Never mind, this didn’t spoil what was a fantastic evening. We fought the Train back & we both asleep by midnight.

    FITBIT shows that we walked over 29,000 steps equating to 13.5 miles. Not sure how accurate they are, but still an active day.

    Note to self: Write less in future.

    Song of the Day - Blues Superman by Jamiah Rogers.

    Bonus Songs of the Day :-

    Bad - Live by U2 (from Wide Awake In America)
    Damn Right, I’ve Got The Blues by Buddy Guy
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  • Day4

    John Hancock Tower and Sightseeing

    June 21 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We decided to visit the John Hancock Tower with our roommates Desiree and Ryan from our Airbnb. They are from Orlando and asked us to come with them, visiting some sights. It was a very great day and it was fantastic to talk to some natives about the life here compared to our life in Germany.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Cook County, مقاطعة كوك, Кук, কোক কাউন্টি, Condado de Cook, Cooki maakond, Cook konderria, Comté de Cook, מחוז קוק, Կուկ շրջան, Contea di Cook, クック郡, Cook Comitatus, Cook Kūn, Hrabstwo Cook, کک کاؤنٹی, Округ Кук, کک کاؤنٹی، الینوائے, Quận Cook, Condado han Cook, קוק קאונטי, 庫克縣

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