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Sanibel woman says yes to junonia with diamond

By Staff | Jan 13, 2010

Julia Dressler is overjoyed after finding out a junonia planted on the beach near the Sanibel Moorings by her sweetheart Michael Grey, contained a diamond ring inside along with a marriage proposal.

Julia Dressler always dreamed of finding a rare junonia shell.

And like most young women she also longed to find the man of her dreams.

She got both.

On Thursday, Michael Grey got down on bended knee on East Gulf beach in front of the Sanibel Moorings and proposed to Dressler, his girlfriend of nearly two years.

For Dressler, 26, the cool, sunny day seemed like a fairy tale.

One minute she was sifting through the sand looking for shells with Grey and the next she was scooping up a junonia with the words printed in marker “Julie will you marry me”.

A moment early her clever Casanova called her over to check out a shell he found. He picked up the brown mottled shell and gave it to Dressler.

Her mouth curled into an O and her face broke into a 100 watt smile at the sight of the round solitaire diamond ring placed inside the shell.

“He pulled it out and gave a cute speech,” Dressler said. “People didn’t realize what was going on.”

The day before his marriage proposal, Grey bought a junonia at Showcase Shells and got prepared for the big moment.

“I had actually run through it a few times,” he said with a chuckle.

Grey had decided to propose to Dressler in front of the Sanibel Moorings – where her parents Barry and Suzanne Dressler own a condo – because the vacation home and Sanibel mean a lot to her. She has been spending time with her family on Sanibel since she was 18-months-old.

The Pennsylvania-based couple who met through mutual friends are excited to be engaged.

“It was love at first sight,” Dressler said as she flashed a shy smile at Grey. “He’s even a rarer and more special find then my junonia.”

Dressler’s parents were in on the romantic surprise. They had mimosas waiting for the pair when they arrived off of the beach with the junonia and ring in Dressler’s hand.

“We’re just so delighted to have a son in our lives,” Suzanne Dressler said.

Grey, a computer consultant, is relaxed after everything went as plan -including Dressler’s response to the ring.

“I said yes,” she said.

The couple plans to marry on Sanibel.

“It’s a place that’s near and dear to my heart,” Dressler said.