I finished the long expanse this morning - probably in about 4 hours. I took a break in there to run to Home Depot (thanks for the coupon, Sarah!) to get grout and more thinset but I ended up not needing more - I had exactly enough to finish the whole thing! It was definitely easier to do this long wall - very few intricate cuts needed as compared to the short walls around all the outlets, etc.
You'll notice I went back to the 3-3 pattern. When he got home last night, Thom said he really liked that better than the random pattern I did on the adjacent wall. I was more partial to the more random look but I think the pattern works better on the long expanse.
I have a sneaking feeling, however, that I am now going to be quite unhappy with the cream colored outlets and switches. I have no desire to really change them out though. Maybe I can talk my darling life partner to do it for me :)
It's certainly not perfect (come to find out the distance from the countertop to the bottom of the cabinets on this side of the kitchen is actually shorter than it is on the other side of the room and we definitely do NOT have plumb walls whatsoever) but it is what it is. I will grout either tomorrow or Monday - maybe Monday. It will be nice to have it all done. I am inexplicably tired, however. I think I'm just not used to standing up for so long anymore. I guess when you pair that with being hunched over for hours at a time it is perhaps not surprising.