I'm not following along very well. There seem to be two issues being discussed and two different test pages.
Regarding the error message with the <ul>:
<ul class="unstyled inline">
<li class="box01"><a href="#">text here</a></li>
<li class="box02"><a href="#">other text here</a></li>
According to Firebug, the <ul> is not allowed inside the <span>. The reason is of course that block elements such as the <ul> are not allowed inside of an inline element, such as the <span>. You could probably change the <span> to a <div> and style the <div> as needed.
The other questions I'm unclear about. What needs to be positioned?