I have a strange relationship with Illinois. I haven't spent a lot of time physically in the state, but as a kid it was like my second home.
Because I grew up in Whiting, Indiana, I spent most of my youth just a few miles from the Illinois stateline. Our cross street was "118th Street", which means that our position was reckoned by downtown Chicago (118 blocks away).
I visited my Uncle Frank and Aunt Anne in Chicago. I went to baseball games, rock and roll concerts, and other visits to the "windy city". More significantly, my TV stations originated in Chicago, so I spent hours drinking in Illiois through the air waves. I thought that Mayor Daily was my mayor. I listened to WLS radio from Chicago.
When I traveled far from home, I told folks that I lived in Chicago (nobody knew where Whiting was). Outside of Chicago, my experience in Illinois is practically nothing. Although I did go to Starved Rock State park once.