For the last 6 months I've been going to our city's rec center. It may be small but you can always get the machine you want and the limited selection of weight-lifting apparatus was actually a good thing - much less confusing for the beginner.
The only downside to the rec center was the daycare. While it was always empty and I really liked the ladies that ran it, it cost $2 per hour for the kids to be there. It didn't seem bad while Joe was on an afternoon shift and he watched both kids in the morning, but this month (with Spring Break thrown in) my $15 rec center pass has already doubled in price. So the idea of free daycare finally lured me into a Gold's Gym membership.
Fortunately Joe found someone who was desperate for a sale and scored me a killer deal on the gym pass. Today was my first day and I think I enjoyed it. There are a whole lotta people who are in much better shape than I am (as opposed to the rec center where you work out equal parts senior citizens and firefighters.) The number of weight machines was a little bewildering. I think Joe needs to come and set me up a new weight-lifting program.
And I do so ever love the hot tub.