This became a WHOLE lot more expensive than I had imagined. But I got it done, and while I was sore and discouraged, so far it seems to have come out well enough. Time will tell if I've bad the base stable enough and if the issue where the walk is now a little low compared to the stairs will be annoying.
I learned there is this new cool paver base stuff that saved me digging out and laying down 4-5" of rock base. I also tried using the polymetric sand for the joints. I'm also really happy with the stones I choose even though they were quite expensive and I was forced to buy way more than I needed. Getting the curve was harder than I had imagined to, but I did get away with not having to make any cuts. I did chip of one corner to fill a hole.