So last year, our family went down to Southern California, did the Disney-world, Seaworld, and Legoland triumvirate around San Diego using the awesome house at Pelican Cove, Caarlsbad as a home-base. While we were there, our 5-year-old boy loved the build-your-own-boat game that's just by the entrance. We could barely get him off it to see the rest of the park.

As is its wont, time rolls on, and in a few months it's his 6th birthday. The Boss-lady has decided this year's party theme will be Lego-based and suggests that it would be "really cool" (this is code for "you need to figure this out pronto") if we could do something similar in the back yard. Thanksgiving week is coming up, so I'll have some time to work on it, so this is a record of the (hopeful) success in making a back-yard version of the Lego-land boat race.

One of the first things to decide was just how close to the original we wanted to get. We could have just gone for the easy option (putting a bunch of rain-gutters at an angle, and piping some water down them all); but … if I was going to do this, I wanted it to be as faithful an implementation as possible - my son had already played on the "real thing", I didn't want the home version to be a disappointment, fun though the rain-gutter approach would undoubtably be.