United States
McCormickville

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.

20 travelers at this place

  • Day5

    Exploring Chicago

    May 3, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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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  • Day4

    John Hancock Tower and Sightseeing

    June 21, 2019 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.

  • Day3

    Day 3 - Chicago Murder Scenes Seen

    April 24, 2019 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Woke up around 4:30am starving hungry. I completed our blog in bed then got ready for the day ahead.

    By 8.00am, we were back out treading the sidewalks of Chicago. We jumped on a train on the Red Line with all the other commuters, switched to the Blue Line and got off at Clinton.

    After a short walk, we arrived at the famous Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant which is generally believed to be the start of Route 66. Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant is a classic American Diner which has featured in numerous movies including Ali, The Weatherman & The Watcher. Presidents Obama, Bush & Carter have also eaten there over years.

    Jackie ordered a skillet of eggs & bacon, whilst I had thick French Toast swimming in maple syrup & fluffy butter. Both washed down with unlimited cups of the ‘Worlds Best’ coffee. It was absolutely delicious, obviously helped by the fact that we were starving.

    Fully satiated, we paid up & left. Outside I took a couple of photos of the restaurant, which having it’s windows & pavement washed. As I was doing this a big black car had pulled up & I overheard one of the employees say to 2 posh women “We will ready for you in just one minute”. As we walked away Jackie told me that there was definitely a VIP in the back of the car because the women were talking to someone in the back of the car & they had a couple of vehicles on blue lights escorting them. I was tempted to go back, but didn’t want to appear like some sad celebrity stalker.

    We walked down to the Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower. Allegedly it is still the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere & was the world’s tallest building when it was built in 1973. Looking up we could see the protruding glass floors that visitors could stand on for just $25 per person. Why?

    We made our way along N LaSalle Street until we arrived at the Chicago river. We followed the Riverwalk down Wacker Drive & admired the awe inspiring buildings including the Reid, Murdoch & Co Building, Marina City & The Langham Chicago to name a few. We photo’d the Heald Square Monument & The Gentlemen statue.

    We passed Trump Tower, popped into The Wrigley Building, then stopped at Peet’s Coffee & Tea for a coffee & mainly so I could use the loo. After our enforced pit stop, we passed the iconic Tribune Tower, then head north on a train on the Red Line.

    We alighted at Fullerton in the Lincoln Park district of Chicago. After a short walk, we found our venue of interest - The Biograph Theatre. It gained it’s notoriety as the place where infamous bank robber, John Dillinger was shot dead by the FBI on 22nd July 1934.

    After taking the obligatory photo, I looked at the buildings opposite & was amazed to see that in the diminutive Lincoln Hall, Billy Bragg was advertised as playing there for 3 nights starting on Thursday. Sadly that is the day we leave Chicago, otherwise we would have had to have gone.

    Next stop, just down the road was Oz Park, presumably because of the random Wizard of Oz statues randomly erected around the park. The park was generally a bit scruffy, but quite busy.

    Next a Parking Lot off N Clark St, just a 10 minute walk from Oz Park. So why were we here Jackie asked, well because it was the scene of the St. Valentines Day Massacre. There was not a lot to see, but it was still worth a visit if interested in historical criminal events.

    For those who don’t know, the St. Valentines Day Massacre was the murder of 7 members of the North Side Gang in 1929. They were lined up against a garage wall & shot by assailants wearing police uniform. The perpetrators were never officially identified, but they were believed to be a gang working for Al Capone, as well as Chicago Police Officers exacting revenge for the death of a Police Officer’s son.

    Next on our itinerary was Lincoln Park Zoo, which is free entry - thank god....It was generally all a bit sad. We started in the African area, but just a procession of empty enclosures. We only saw 2 giraffes, the rhinos were having an indoors day & no sign whatsoever of the lions.

    Next we came across a polar bear swimming in a pool, when I say swimming, it was going round & round in a small circle making the same jittery movements over again. It wasn’t nice to watch. The polar bear was also going bald & there was sign saying it was allergy related, although quite frankly it was more likely to be stressed related.

    Next was a solitary meerkat that was stationary & looked scared out of its wits. We went into the bird house, where we saw exotic birds housed in small indoor enclosures. We also saw a red kangaroo lying on its back in such an awkward way, that it wouldn’t surprise me if it was dead. The zebras looked sad, the camels looked scruffy mainly because they were moulting, but one also had a hump that had flopped down it’s side. All very depressing.

    The only highlight at the zoo were the gorillas. There were 7 or 8 gorillas that looked healthy & had a nice enclosure to live & play in.

    Interesting Fact : The zoo purchased it’s first animal in 1872 - a bear cub for $10.

    We didn’t hang around at the zoo & caught a bendy CTA bus back to the city centre. It was now 2.30pm so decided to go & have a rest at the hotel before going out later.

    Around 6.00pm, we were back out heading up the Magnificent Mile to The John Hancock Center, the 2nd tallest building in Chicago. As we looked up to the top we could see some minute multi coloured rectangles. These were the TILT booths the tilt out 30 degrees in the 360 Chicago Observation Deck on the 94th floor. This treat cost just $25 per person - No Thank You.

    Instead we smugly took the lift, which took literally just a couple of seconds, to the FREE Signature Lounge on the 96th floor. There was a queue for window seats, so we joined ‘anywhere else will do’ line and were immediately shown to a table with a wholly satisfactory view.

    The waitress came over with a menu & I was pleasantly surprised to see the prices weren’t extortionate. We ordered a beer each at just over $10 each. I was not so amused when the waitress returned with a small bottle for Jackie & an even smaller can for me.

    I had intended for us to stay until sunset at 7.40pm, but after 40 minutes of nursing the same drink (I was too tight to buy another one) we were bored so we left. In any event, I had walked around the Lounge & taken enough photos in every direction. Tip - It is probably best not to have a window seat, because idiots like me are prodding their cameras around your head trying to get the perfect aerial shot of Chicago!

    In the lobby on the ground floor of The John Hancock Center, we found a decorative light globe thing worthy of a photo. I got Jackie to pose next to it as I snapped her. It was at this point that an old boy in uniform who clearly worked there came over & asked if we would like a photo of us both. We agreed, but shouldn’t have bothered because my eyes were shut!

    The old boy said that he doesn’t normally offer, but he likes the Brits because we were polite. Then out of the blue he asked, “Is Tommy Robinson still in prison?” I replied, “I don’t know, I think so”, to which the old boy declared “I like Tommy Robinson. He should be your next Prime Minister”. We made our excuses & left.

    I then marched Jackie all the way back down the Magnificent Mile (now not so Magnificent in Jackie’s eyes) to the Michigan - Wacker Historic District. When we finally got there, Jackie looked on miserably as I tried to take some photos of the buildings now all lit up.

    Feeling under pressure to get on with it so we could get something to eat, I snapped away randomly & generally got on Jackie’s nerves. Sadly I shouldn’t have bothered, the photos all turned out to be blurry & rubbish.

    Next we hunted out the famous ‘Billy Goat Tavern’. It was down a dark & dingy road under the bright lights of the Magnificent Mile above. We nearly decided to find somewhere else, but so glad we didn’t. It was an old fashioned bar full of memorabilia & bonus, pints of Billy Goat lager were just $4.

    The nice bar manager on hearing we were British came over for a chat & gave us a detailed description of the history of the bar. In summary, the original Billy Goat Tavern was opened up in 1937 by a Greek immigrant, William Sianis. It was then situated across from the Chicago stadium. Sianis got the nickname ‘Billy Goat’ when a goat fell off a passing lorry & he kept as a pet.

    The Chicago Cubs got to the baseball finals around that time & Sianis bought 2 tickets for him & his goat. Allegedly Sianis was refused entry because of the goat, so he cursed the team that they would never win the finals in his lifetime. They didn’t & have only since recently won it in 2016.

    The Billy Goat Tavern is still a family run business & moved to its current location in 1964. The Tavern was frequented by influential newspaper editors & sports journalists, notably from the Chicago Tribune. BGT became famous, when a news person joined Saturday Night Live on NBC & wrote a sketch about the Tavern.

    The Tavern also has a grill & we each ordered a Double Cheezborger (That is how they are spelt). After adding our own gherkins & onions, I wolfed mine down - so lovely. I then committed ‘Crime of the Century’ by suggesting we have another. After much negotiation to justify I wasn’t a ‘greedy bastard’, I ordered a single Cheezborger just for me.

    After a 2nd pint, it was only 9.00pm, but we were knackered so we paid up, trooped up the MM for a finally time & went to bed.

    Fitbit shows we took 24,800 steps today around 11.5 miles.

    Song of the Day - Chicago by Frank Sinatra.

    Bonus Songs of the Day :-

    Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards by Billy Bragg
    St Valentines Day Massacre by Mark Foggo’s Skasters
    At The Zoo by Simon & Garfunkel
    The Magnificent Seven by The Clash
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  • Day30

    Bean, Driehaus Museum & Hamilton!

    April 19, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    This morning we had breakfast at Panera and it was reasonably good. It was a lovely, sunny day and we walked up Michigan Avenue without hats on! We got to the Millenium Park area and the Bean was great. It's a giant sculpture that is in the shape of a bean and it reflects like a mirror. Great photos of Chicago's skyscrapers and people are possible and it's fun. The nearby Pavillion is also creative and looks like a potential Guggenheim structure! Then we walked uptown to the Driehaus Museum which is a gorgeous building - owned by various very wealthy people. Richard Driehaus (a banker) bought it last and has renovated it to its original glory and it is beautiful and full of fine arts. Beautiful rooms with ornate marbles, woodwork, tiles and wallpaper and floors - simply gorgeous. We loved the tour and met some nice women from Oak Park who have been to Australia.
    After this, we had a wonderful lunch at Eataly. It is like a department store full of Italian food goods with several eating areas. Loved the salad and mozzarella with artichokes, roasted tomatoes, and pistachio pesto! Yum - Craig's pasta was good too although a little undercooked. We also enjoyed a ricotta/pistachio canolli and both want to go back to Italy again! Next, we went to a Nordstrom store to check it out. It seems to be an upmarket, trendy department store with the big labels and more affordable stuff.
    On the way home, we tried to check out the underground to see how easy it would be - not very user easy access with bags it seems.
    Tonight we are going to Hamilton, the musical - so needing a rest now. More later.... see tomorrow’s entry.
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  • Day3

    Chicago I

    July 4, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Day two: Chicago you got me back! ❤
    After a long flight we arrived in the USA. First we directly get to know our room mate Andy from Santa Barbara. Afterwards he joined us to explore the city. It is the 4th of July and the whole USA is celebrating. On the street you see nothing than people. Beside the Independence Day the Navy Pier turned 1.000 - and we joined the party! 🖖🎉🎆

    Navy Pier ✔
    Grant Park ✔
    Millenium Park ✔
    Lake Michigan ✔
    Independence Day ✔
    100 yrs anniversary Navy Pier ✔
    Fireworks ✔
    Get connected with citizens ✔
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  • Day4

    Chicago II

    July 5, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Day three: The last day in Chicago is over. Tomorrow we gonna pick up our rental car.
    Today we just walked thru the city, enjoying it and ate some Chicago food. Also there was a free Chicago festival called “Taste of Chicago“. So in the capital of festials you definitely shouldn't miss this!

    Enjoy city ✔
    Trump Tower 😖 ✔
    Festival ✔
    Backingham Fontaine ✔
    The Bean ✔
    Nutella Cafe ✔
    Deep Dish Pizza ✔
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  • Day7

    Und nochmal Rock Bottom Brewery

    December 11, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Nach nem langen shopping Tag.. n schönes Starkbier mit dem Namen "Wicked Elf" extra für die Feiertage hier vor Ort gebraut und dazu klassisch Chicken Wings und für Malin nochmal Pizza.
    nachher gehts nochmal n ganzes Stück Richtung Süden um Fotos von der Skyline bei Nacht zu machen.

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McCormickville

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