Cole Tries New Things

First Time's the Charm

Friends and Familiar Faces

Cole Rush


Cole Rush is a very important business man. He is also a new thing doer, a writer, and a mediocre musician. He vehemently supports use of the Oxford comma, shamelessly sips Tito’s and cranberry, and frequently listens to Frank Sinatra. Cole is a proud Ravenclaw and Harry Potter superfan. One time he cried because his dad beat his high score in electronic Yahtzee.

Cole started to experience new experiences, see new sights, hear new sounds, find new places, feel new sensations, and broaden his horizons. He’s lucky enough to have an amazing squad of loyal and fun friends to accompany him on his many excursions.

Want to collaborate, ask a question, or suggest something new for Cole to try? Fill out the contact form or shoot an email to


This page is dedicated to my friends who make this blog possible and, more importantly, fun! Read about them below.

Tyler Dantuma


Tyler Dantuma is a Slytherin posing as a Ravenclaw who loves everything to do with winter and has a knack for visual arts. He consumes one Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream daily to complement his four to six daily meals; somehow, he is still constantly hungry. Maybe he’s a tapeworm? Tyler is scuba certified but hates deep water. Regardless, he’s happy water has emotional capacity and isn’t completely superficial. Tyler enjoys creating baby evolutions of Pokémon. Tyler designed the logo for Cole Tries, and you may see his work featured in future posts! You can find Tyler on Instagram and his website.

Dylan Doherty


Dylan Doherty (aka Dylam Dolly) grew up in McHenry Illinois and is the self-appointed leader of Cole’s friend group. Lofty claims for someone who asked Cole to write his bio for him. Dylan is a proud Gryffindor and amateur photographer. He loves capturing landscapes and people. For Dylan, photography is the ability to capture a moment in time as it passes, so it never fades away. Dylan dreams of travelling to London, Japan, and New Zealand to explore and shoot new, unfamiliar places, and likely to dive deeper into his weird attraction to pretzels (as discussed here).  For Cole Tries, he joins Cole on many excursions and takes photos for the blog. Take a look at Dylan’s work on his website.

Mike Howard


Mike Howard loves to talk. It’s his favorite thing to do. If you meet him, he’ll talk to you until he can name someone you both know. Then he’ll talk to you about that person–likely for a long time. Mike met Cole while they were both Resident Assistants at the University of Iowa. Cole followed most of the rules. Mike did not. Mike gallivanted across Europe with Cole and Erin, so he appears in the entire Cole Tries Europe series! You can follow him on Instagram.

Erin Maturo


Erin Maturo is Cole’s certified bestie and girlfriend. Her hobbies include singing little ditties while accompanying herself on the ukulele, nearly crashing her car at the sight of mildly attractive dogs, drinking beer, being a stereotypical Hufflepuff, playing ping pong on the reg, drama (the kind in musicals), playing games of the board variety, watching Boy Meets World, listening to Dave Matthews Band while arguing that if everyone just gave their music a one month commitment they would understand, and most recently taking photos (especially of people, places, and things). For the blog, she accompanies Cole on many of his adventures (like running a 10k or trying miracle berries), takes photos, creates GIFs, edits video, runs the Cole Tries social media accounts, and serves as Cole’s financial adviser. You can find Erin on FlickrInstagram, and her website.

Christina Monroig


Christina Monroig is a Slytherin (not one of the bad ones). She is best known for her love addiction to french fries (seriously, she orders them everywhere). When it comes to music from her high school days, she’s a human jukebox. She devours books on the regular and is willing to try anything twice (except mayo…ew). For the blog, she tags along with Cole on certain outings, proofreads, and keeps Dylan in check. You can find Christina on Instagram.

Jesse Rush


Jesse Rush is best known for being the biggest dingus in the history of the universe. She’s also Cole’s sister. She only makes occasional appearances on the blog, because she lives far away in sunny California, where she has developed a superficially salty attitude…but that’s okay, because she’s all warm and fuzzy inside. Jesse is allergic to pretty much everything on the planet, including tree nuts, shellfish, her EpiPen (seriously), and groups of people who take up the entire sidewalk. On a typical day, you can find Jesse complaining to Cole on Facebook that she doesn’t have a bio on, channeling her spirit animal Luna Lovegood, and eating entire avocados. So far, she’s joined Cole on his parasailing adventure, and you can expect to see her in more posts in the future. You can find Jesse on Instagram.

Daniel Stribling


Daniel Stribling (Damn, Daniel!) has known Cole for more than 10 years. They met in middle school and became close friends in high school, playing frisbee with the same friend group and attending many a bonfire in friends’ backyards. After graduating from different schools, Cole and Dan moved into a Lakeview apartment and promptly began exploring The Windy City together. Dan’s main role for Cole Tries is to culturally shock Cole with excursions to Boystown, drag shows, and many other LGBT-related activities. He is also a much faster runner than Cole. You can find him on Instagram

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